Change your thoughts, change your world...
Hey there, and welcome to my site! I'm Derek Joel. You can learn more about my virtual self by perusing through the website. Simply click on the tabs to view whats inside.
For a long while, music was the primary focus of my life. I took piano lessons from kindergarden all the way to highschool, then studied music at Santa Rosa Junior College, and started Serenity Music Studio in Portland, Oregon, where I taught piano lessons for kids and adults. During that time, I posted 90 songs in 90 on soundcloud - Framing Music.
Then, my life took a very dramatic turn from music. I heard the call to travel and I packed up and sold off stuff and just went, taking a one-way flight to Costa Rica. I settled in Pedregosito, from January to June 2012. I studied bamboo, sustainable living, spanish, permaculture, medicinal plants, and many other fascinating lessons in life.
I came home to Lower Lake and put the pack on my bike and pedaled all the way from Portland, Oregon, to Boulder, Colorado. You can read more about the story in the article, Finding stillness in motion, written by Peyton Clarkston for the Lake County Record Bee. Read about the whole journey on the journal I kept on tumblr - bikeandthrive.tumblr.com. It's not the best level of journalism, but hey, have to start somewhere right?
I came back to Lower Lake, worked to raise funds to keep traveling, and set off again, this time in a pack. I hooked up with Steve and Chad, two guys from Ohio I had met in Missoula, Montana, several months prior on the way to colorado. We road down the California coast and kept right on going. We road all the way down to baja together. Chad went back north and Steve and I kept heading south.
We zig-zagged through 14 states of Mexico. I got news in Guadalajara that my little sister was having a baby! Re-direct - We road down to Guadalajara. I packed up the bike and got on a plane and Steve kept on. Ironically, he road to Pedregosito, Costa Rica, where I had lived in 2012, and connected with the same community. I road back home from the San Francisco airport. I had the privaledge of being an uncle. Eden Makana Clark is such a strong, healthy baby boy.
I have been working and preparing to get back on the road. This last stop has been a wonderful break from traveling. I took a spiritual turn, completely submiting my ego, my will, to God, following Jesus Christ, and dedicating my life to serving others.
I am publishing the good works of faithful stewards, the caretkers of God's creation, at nakedroots.net. This is a special project for me. It reflects how we are all to grow - sustainably and unselfishly.
Also, I collect email addresses from those I meet along my journey and send out personal letters. If you would like to be added to the mailing list, just send me an email at < receive the letters I send out,
A little about me...
I enjoy playing the banjo, keyboard, and any other instrument I can get my hands on. I am learning and exploring the knowledge and love around me and do my best to share my lessons with others as soon as possible.
I breathe music. Life and Music, LifeMusic. I love playing any and all instruments, but especially the kind with keys. I love learning music as it relates to recording, capturing, enhancing, blending, and polishing songs. In the states, I ran a successful studio, Serenity Music Studio and taught lessons privately and with an afterschool program.
Raised in Lower Lake, CA, I have lived in SE Portland, Oregon, with my lovely sister, Michaela, Lower Lake, Santa Rosa, and Sacramento, California. I am a musician, producer, teacher, romantic, traveler, writer, and entrepreneur.
I am continually learning and experiencing the beauty and depths of knowledge, wisdom, music, philosophy, nature, love, psycology, and life. Forever finding my footing in the loose, discovering the balance in every sunrise, and breathing blessings and renewal of spirit.
quote of the moment: "We'll never be ready. So we might as well now."
Framing Music was a song-a-day music journal. I played snippets, covers, recordings, productions, finished songs, ditties and oddities - whatever the daily source of musical inspiration may have been.
Check out the links to the right to follow, like, subscribe, share, listen, and enjoy.
Depending on where I am in the world, I teach piano lessons to young and old, beginner and intermediate. I believe everyone should share what they love with others. I love music and the keyboard and do my best to share and inspire others. One way is to teach piano lessons.
Please visit my piano website here at www.derekjoel.com/pianolessons for more info.
nakedroots.net is a network of travelers who publish the incredible stories of God's stewards, the caretakers of this little planet and all its creatures. The stories share the 'Serendipity of the Spirit', the inter-connection of all created things - the invisible strings between us all.
Last.fm is one of my favorite online radio stations. I actually pay for the monthly subscription ($3), which comes with a bunch of cool feature (including no commercial interruptions). Check out my library. It's connected to my iTunes library and shows my listening patterns over the last year or so.
Last.fm username: calm_bomb
Pandora is ok. They aren't as good as they once were in my opinion. True story: my friend Michael actually listened to Pandora so much that one of their admins emailed him and told him that he was required to pay the subscription fees or else they would block him from the site — no joke. They sold out in my opinion, but still I will try them out once in a while. My Pandora userpage click here
I like using Jango. It is friendly to the unsigned artist. Lets anyone add their music to the site. It also has great features for an online radio site. Check out my profile — here.
I love this site for their progressive approach. It is 100 percent copyleft music! Nuf said. I know major labels and the RIAA are burning in their seats seeing sites like this. It means they can't dig their hooks and rip off their peice. Anyway, I highly suggest it. Check me out here.
Background and Influences
I believe that everyone has a 'voice', a means by which to express their inner emotions outwardly. Whether it be art, music, acting, writing, or dancing, everyone has the potential to employ their voice. For me, I play the piano, keyboard, organ, melodica, harmonica, guitar, bass, percussions, drums, bongos, and anything that can be utilized as music.
I enjoy listening to literally every type, style, and genre of music (and no, I'm not just saying it to be cool or enhance the chances of you liking me more). I believe I can connect with any genre as long as it has a basis for musical talent, emotional connection with the listener (me), or other interesting, influential elements.
The musicians, bands, or groups I find inspiration are rather diverse. The main ones are as follows:
- Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) — Trent is one of the main influences to starting Naked Roots. He exposed me to the major label enslavement tactics and got me asking the question: Why? He also has several songs that inspire me, and his production work is just as amazing.
- Oscar Peterson — One of the first performers I was in utter awe listening to. My dearest piano instructor / mentor, Easy Andrews, introduced me to what is the magnificence known commonly as Oscar Peterson. I think I fell in–love with the piano when listening his performance of 'Tenderly' - his genuine joy while playing is infectious. Check out this vid - greatest piano solo ever.
- The Mars Volta — Omar Rodriguez-Lopez's guitar, production, and song-writing skills are truly amazing. Ikey Owens is a mastermind on the keyboards (he also played for Sublime btw).
- Red Hot Chili Peppers — Though they don't have a permanent keyboardist, this band has been my long-standing favorite. They live through music. I try to incorporate that everyday.
- B.B. King — Don't need to play guitar to know the KING! I had the pleasure of watching his performance at Konocti Harbor Inn and Resort at the age of 81. If you have blues in your blood, have to love the King.
- Fear the Fiasco — Though this band is not renowned as the others, they are the first artists I helped promote. "This is one of the best bands I have ever watched. Why aren't they crazy popular?" I thought being one of six people in the crowd. Another inspiration to start Naked Roots.
- Spoon — I love that Spoon has never compromised. Their latest album — Transference — was self-produced by the band (very rare for a popular band these days). They even have a couple songs that were written in resentment to one of their former Producers. Check out The Agony of Laffitte on youTube, written about his devient producer.
- Others — Tony Banks (Keyboardist, Genesis), Richard Wright (Keyboardist, Pink Floyd), Rick Wakeman (Keyboardist, Yes), Rage Against the Machine, The Fall of Troy.
I enjoying playing a number of syles, methods, and genres. Classical, Contemporary, Gospel, Experimental, Progressive, Jazz, Funk, Blues, Folk, Math Rock / Indie, Indie, and so on.
* All references and links to wikipedia.org
The resumes on the right are downloadable in .PDF format. If you wish to view them in any other format please contact me.
Personal Resume — an overall summary of my work history and accomplishments.
Piano Resume — my history, training, goals, and approach with music and the piano.
Recording Resume — my education, training, experience, and aspiritions with recording, producing, and engineering music.
Volunteer Resume — Listing of my volunteer work.