Where to begin.....

Presently the AURAL is a one man project created by Mark S. Lewis circa 2007. My involvement in music began in the early/mid 1980's in Los Angeles. I had been involved in a few bands and various projects by individuals and groups (bands). During my early years I didn't feel confident enough to work independently, however I was essentially working as a producer for some of the groups I had been involved with. I provided the music or various resources. Eventually I moved away from this role as it became exhaustive. There seems to be an inherent problem with some musicians with reliability or self destructive behaviors. It became difficult, if not impossible, to complete many projects often initiated by the other musicians themselves! At this point I decided to try my luck with releasing my own music. This has been a journey of many years in feeling confident enough to do so and understanding the "market ". I don't like to think of music as merely a product, however in some ways it is, but also a personal work.

I often find myself in the role of "sound designer " because I am very interested in the sounds of a song as well as the content. Many of the sounds I use in my songs are sounds I created and sometimes I do use a few factory or preset sounds that are included with a synthesizer. In my early teens I was greatly inspired by the group Soft Cell. They were two guys making music with just synthesizers and using sounds never before heard. I found this very appealing as using the same approach I could compose my own songs without being dependent upon others to complete the songs. I was equally amazed by the unique and limitless sound capabilities of synthesizers. The unique, engulfing sound I heard just amazed me. It was the beginning of a new era and a new way of thinking for me.

I must admit I am partial to real analog synthesizers for their warm and full sound. I have owned many synthesizers (most were not true analogs) and they all seemed to have their own character and unique (but good) flaws as well. My first synthesizer was a Korg Poly-800 which my mother bought new for me and my brother in November 1983. It was to be our Christmas present. We were very excited at the thought of owning a professional synthesizer. I used the Poly-800 until recently as it stopped working in mid 2007. It was a budget synthesizer but holds a special place in my heart. During the 1980's my brother and I acquired a few other synths and drum machines including a Roland JX-3P, Roland Juno-106, Yamaha RX-15 and an Oberheim DX Stretch. As I began to purchase synths independent of my brother I bought an Ensoniq ESQ-1, Roland R8 drum machine and a used Moog Prodigy from a friend of mine. The R8 is one of my all time favorite drum machines. I still have it but use the R8m instead because the R8 is showing signs of its age. There are some limitations in using a module, something I hope to remedy after I purchased the Dave Smith Instruments/Sequential Tempest Drum Machine and perhaps an electronic drum kit. I eventually upgraded from the ESQ-1 to the Ensoniq SQ80 when it was released (circa 1988-1990), It is my main synthesizer and is heard on almost all of my songs. Additionally, I also use the following synthesizers: Dave Smith Instruments Evolver Desktop and Poly Evolver keyboard, Alesis ION, Kawai K5 (may soon be substituted by a K5m), Yamaha CS6x, Yamaha DX200 and an Akai Z4 (24bits/96KHz) sampler. Upon the sale of some other music equipment I am considering the addition of the Moog Music Sub Phatty or Sub 37 and the Dave Smith Instruments/Tom Oberheim - OB6 or the module/table-top versions of these synthesizers.

I suppose my desire is for my music to be liked by someone... ANYONE :-) I don't want (nor expect) to become a superstar as I don't want to be so far removed from the general population. I would like to be a moderately successful artist, to be able to walk down the streets of my city and still be able to blend into the general population. I think my music is perhaps too far removed from the mainstream to become such a success but it would be an excellent thing to be able to make a good living doing the things a person likes doing (in my case making music that I want to make). I must admit, as my music becomes more known I am amazed that there many people that like my music and have even requested more! I try to be modest as I don't think of myself as being a great musician and I wish to continually improve. I am often very critical of my own work.

I hope that as you browse these web pages that you find some pleasure/enjoyment of my music. Feel free to email me with your comments at: mark(at)theaural.com

I wish you the best of luck in your future and in your endeavors!

Mark S. Lewis aka [The] Aural/Aural Noir