Colin Farish, founder and owner of the production company, Stillwater Sound, is a composer, pianist, guitarist, producer and multi-instrumentalist.
Born on March 15, 1961, in Pasadena, California, Colin Farish grew up surrounded by performers. By age three, Colin's prodigious musical gifts were emerging: he played the piano by ear, picking out popular tunes and melodies. From ages four through nine he toured California and Hawai’i extensively accompanying his father, an accomplished baritone, and performing solo on piano. By age nine he began playing the guitar, and composing music.
Colin studied at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara and with jazz artist Bob Phillips in Monterey. Colin also studied classical guitar and composition at Cornish School of Music in Seattle, Washington. In the late 70s, Colin traveled to India, where he learned about classical East Indian music. He also learned to play the sitar, studying with Ashwin Bartish, and performed with many different accomplished musicians. The exposure to the East shaped Colin's musical development and continues to influence his musical sensibilities.
Colin’s Musical Influences
Gershwin, Rogers and Bernstein were Colin’s favorite composers while growing up as well as Bach, Grieg, Rachmaninoff, Debussy and Ravel from the classical world. He immersed himself in the German record label ECM in his early twenties especially focusing on Keith Jarrett, Egberto Gismonti, Ralph Towner, Meredith Monk, Eberhard Weber and Steve Reich. From India, Nikel Banerjee and Imrat Khan were among his favorite sitar and surbhar maestros. This laid the groundwork for the eclectic, stylistic mastery that is now his trademark.
Colin has composed music for film soundtracks in Hollywood, for dance productions, symphonic works, chamber music, string quartets, world music, healing music and jazz, for both large and small ensembles and solo for piano and guitar.
He has recorded albums of solo piano jazz standards and originals, examples are: Influences, Influences Encore, Spring is Here, For You, Inhaling the Stars, Liquid Origins, Point of Departure.
Colin has also composed works for orchestra including a commission for the Aga Khan’s North American visit. This tone poem featured instruments from both the Eastern and Western musical traditions and was composed specifically for an all Muslim orchestra. The ‘Welcoming’ had its debut in Atlanta, Georgia in 2007.
A small selection of Colin's Collaborative Works works are:
Colin was allowed with only a few notable others (the likes of Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys) to put twenty five of Robinson Jeffers’ poems to music resulting in the albums "Enskyment" & "Night".
He also collaborated on original music for two pianos played with Grammy-nominee pianist and composer Weber Iago an the album 2 Hearts 4 Hands.
With singers Rose Chapman $ Sarah Aili, he sings song of Loss and Love on the album 'Love is Awake'.
The Vocal group SoVoSo is prominently appears on "Shadowland" a lavishly produced jazz trio album (Colin Farish on piano, Kai Eckhardt on bass, Bob Blankenship and Sean Rickman on drums) it's a bittersweet journey into love, sex and death.
Love Everyday reflects his passion for Brazilian music, on this collection of mostly instrumental songs and a few love songs he is joined by good friend Weber Iago on piano, Michelle Goerlitz on percussion & Kai Eckhardt on bass amongst others.
Shadows is a collaboration w gifted guitarist Sudhananda, this album is based on the interplay between the 2 guitarists, its beautifullly augmented w celli, double bass and an occasional piano.
Coyote Jump centerstages the Native American cedar flute, Grammy award winning fluitist/jazz musician John Carlos Perea weaves his improvisations over a musical tapestry and takes us places that are both foreign and familiar.
No Destination is a journey into modern classical soundsculpture, into realm of East/West acoustic sounds, the internationally renown sarangi master Ustad Sultan Khan plays the Siranghi hauntingly, and Tuvan Throat singers and Cricketts deliver the counterpoint.
On Recieve we hear the healing power of the human voice in singer Rachel Bagby's soulful and loving chanting that reminds us to simply “Receive".
Many of these CDs are recorded at Scoring Stage at George Lucas's Skywalker Sound and are or will be available on soon CDBaby.
Most albums have a beautifully edited video (by director/editor Jon Felix) associated w the music, notable examples are: Vulture' from Enskyment, "Love" from the album "Shadowland" and the "House Dogs Grave" from "Night"
Colin has composed music for the award winning documentaries, Bringing Creation Back Together (with John Carlos Perea) and Gifts of Grief by Nancy Sobanya.
Other Projects/Production Credits:
Other projects include working with Grammy-nominee Brazilian pianist and composer Weber Iago on his Adventure Music release Children of the Wind, and Tibetan songstress "Tsering Wangmo's Forbidden Voice which had it’s debut in Carnegie Hall for the annual concert for Tibet hosted by Philip Glass.
Colin has also produced and edited thirteen solo piano classical albums for the renowned Japanese pianist Tomoko Hagiwara.
He has recorded and produced, together with piano restoration expert Gary Sage, five albums of rare totally unique, vintage piano rolls featuring Gershwin, Ravel and Joplin, among others, many performing their own compositions.
Colin has also composed a musical, War Nevermore,
Colin’s interest in film and video has inspired him to create a television pilot for a proposed series, Sound Insight, which is currently in production. For more information and to view samples please visit, www.soundinsight.tv or www.colinfarish.com.
Commitment to Social Change:
Along with his passion for original music and audiophile recording, Colin is deeply committed to using music as a vehicle for social change.
He is concerned with creating a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world. His social consciousness is reflected in many of his selected performances. For example, Colin performed for the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Human Rights at the United Nations and at City Hall in San Francisco; the Bioneers Restoring the Earth Conference in San Francisco; the United Religions Global Summit at Stanford University; and numerous other Earth Day and Interfaith festivals.
Together with his wife, native ecologist, author and educator, Dr. Melissa Nelson and cultural geographer Philip Klasky, they created the "Storyscape Project of /"The Cultural Conservancy"
These projects assist indigenous communities in recording their native languages, songs and stories.
In addition, Colin recorded the historic Salt Songs of the Southern Paiute nation, the Mother Earth Songs of Western Shoshone elder Corbin Harney. He is currently helping establish the /"Digital Tribal Village project (scdtv.net) in San Diego County.