Colin Farish, founder and owner of the production company,
Stillwater Sound, is a composer, pianist, guitarist, producer
and multi-instrumentalist.



PERSONAL HISTORY

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.

Education

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 Batish, 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.

Performances

From 1964 - 1970 Colin played annual concerts for guests of the Century Plaza Hotel In Los Angeles, the Ahwahnee in Yosemite, Mauna Kea and the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Hawaii, The Balboa Bay Club in New Port Beach, Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, The Biltmore in Santa Barbara and The Lodge at Pebble Beach.  Throughout the seventies in continued to study music in both California and in India.  During the eighties, he played in nightclubs in Portland, Oregon and in Santa Barbara. In 1991 and 1992 Colin toured the universities and colleges of the Pacific Northwest, performing on piano and guitar.  From 1995 to 1997, Colin performed at the Lodge at Pebble Beach on piano and guitar.  Since 1997 Colin has lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area performing at various festivals and events.

Productions

Colin owned and operated his own recording studio between 1987 and 2005. In 1997 he created an extraordinary recording studio and performance space in the historic Main Post Chapel of the Presidio of San Francisco where for eight years he produced numerous recordings, events and concert series. In 2007, George Lucas allowed him to film his recording sessions at his studio Skywalker Sound in San Rafael, California and he has been involved with film and television production ever since.



COMPOSITIONS

Solo Works

Colin has composed music for film soundtracks, 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.

Colin has recorded over twenty albums of original instrumental and vocal music. Additionally, he has recorded three albums of solo piano jazz standards (Influences, Influences Encore and Spring is Here) and put twenty-five of Robinson Jeffers’ poems to music (Enskyment and Night).

Colin has also composed works for orchestra including a commission for the Aga Khan’s North American visit in 2007. 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.

Collaborative Works

In addition to recording his own music, Colin has produced dozens of live and studio albums for other artists from many diverse genres.

Jazz and World Music

In the jazz and world music genres, Colin has collaborated with Grammy winners Paul McCandless, Glen Velez, Kai Eckhardt, Glen Moore, Airto Moreira, John Carlos Perea, Ustad Sulthan Khan, Tuvan Throat Singers, Rachel Bagby and others. These musicians perform with him and are featured in numerous CDs in his catalogues.  Many of these CDs were recorded at George Lucas's Skywalker Sound.
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 produced thirteen solo piano classical albums for the renowned Japanese pianist Tomoko Hagiwara.  He has also recorded and produced, together with piano restoration expert Gary Sage, five albums of rare, vintage piano rolls featuring Gershwin, Ravel and Joplin, among others, performing their own compositions.  These recordings are all available www.stillwatersound.com

Soundtrack

Colin has composed music for the award winning documentaries, The Salt Song Trail: Bringing Creation Back Together (with John Carlos Perea) and Gifts of Grief by Nancy Sobanya.  He was hired as the producer and orchestrator for “West of the Moon” composed by Maria Danly for possible inclusion in Lord of the Rings, Return of the King featuring the Grammy winning vocal ensemble Chanticleer.

New Age

In the New Age genre, Colin has played with Sudhananda of Dragonfly Studios, Dueter, Govi, James Twyman, Gary Malkin, Rhiannon, Estara, and Kimberly Bass. He also hosted Miten and Premal while they performed and recorded their best selling album Embrace, produced by Kit Walker. 



Local Works


Colin regularly records and performs with members of the San Francisco Bay Area symphony and opera orchestras.  In addition, he has composed cello quartets, guitar duets, and dozens of small chamber ensemble pieces.  These pieces are featured on his various recordings (please see Discography).

Colin also hosts, co-produces and records many concert events, including: a Latin Jazz series, Bay Jazz (co-produced with Linda Woscow) with Omar Sosa, The Snake Trio, Frank Emilo Flynn and others; a World Music series (co-produced with the Cultural Conservancy) with Glen Velez, Ustad Sultan Khan, the Throat singers of Tuva with Paul Pena, Stephen Kent and Lisa Rafael, Linda Tillery and others; and an ongoing orchestral series featuring the music of twentieth century composers performed by the Worn Chamber Ensemble.

In 2000, Colin and Richard Worn invited composer Gunther Shueller to conduct one of his octets as part of a two day Gunther Shueller Festival. Colin also recorded composer Ron McFarland and Australian baritone Maxwell Jarmen.  Both received favorable reviews worldwide.

In 1998 Colin (with Stephanie Hendricks), hosted "Sing For Your Life," a 24-hour a capella participatory singing event originally founded by Bobby McFerrin at the Grace Cathedral.  This performance featured members of his Voicestra (Rhiannon, Joey Blake, Dave Worm and others), who welcomed in the New Year.

Colin helped produce several albums and concerts for different a capella groups including the all women vocal ensembles of Solstice, Kitka, Juju and French Noel as well as San Francisco Bay area favorites Sovoso. 





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 (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) 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 the late Western Shoshone elder Corbin Harney.  He also helped to establish the Digital Tribal Village Project in San Diego County with a consortium of southern California Tribes. 





Colin’s Current Works

Colin is launching three new websites: www.colinfarish.com, www.soundinsight.tv, and www.christmastimeishereagain.com.  Additionally, www.stillwatersound.com will be updated with eighteen new recordings he has produced (see above).  He is releasing twenty albums of new original music in a variety of genres and he will be actively promoting and marketing his catalogue with concerts, radio interviews, regular YouTube updates and film screenings. He has composed two musicals, Y.B. Dupe’d and Love Is Awake. Selected songs from each musical are available on CD Baby. Colin attended the ASCAP Musical Theater workshop in New York City with Stephen Swartz in April 2010. Upon completion of these new works, he will be circulating them around the theater community for a possible reading and production in 2011 -2012.

While in New York City, Colin was invited to record a solo piano album at Klavierhaus on a Fazioli 9’ foot concert grand piano. He completed Intimate Concord in one afternoon and recorded George Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue which will be included on an all Gershwin album and released in 2011.

Also while in New York, Colin recorded a jazz piano trio album of five new original songs and five instrumental compositions with singer Rose Chapman that will be released later this year entitled Irelan. Next year, Canyon records will release Coyote Jump, with symphonic strings, organic grooves and cedar flute featuring John-Carlos Perea and Glen Velez together with Colin on piano and guitar. Also being released next year are No Destination, a meditative soundscape with throat singers from Tuva and Receive, a rejuvenating and restful journey into the sacred with sound healer and singer Rachel Bagby. Together with Jon Felix of Digits, Colin has created numerous music videos from his latest releases that can be viewed here and are available for sale on CD Baby and Amazon.

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 pre-production.  For more information and to view samples please visit, www.soundinsight.tv.