Musician Mark Freshwater waited until the demands of life lightened up to find his inner voice again.
A member of multiple rock bands in the 1970s, Freshwater set aside his music in favor of family and work concerns until recently, when he reunited with former band mates and embarked on solo projects.
Freshwater, who spends the cool months in SaddleBrooke and the warm ones in Ohio, drew upon his desert home, as well as Biosphere 2, as inspiration for his New Age instrumental album, “Biosphere,” which is available to download on iTunes and Amazon for less than $10.
The 64-year-old Freshwater, who lives with his wife, Debbie, spoke with the Star about his album.
Q: What inspired the album?
A: It was not just the Biosphere 2. It’s fascinating, and the grounds are fascinating, but the whole concept was Mother Earth and all of its elements being contained and explored by science. I find that pretty fascinating. I did not exactly have only the Biosphere project in mind. It had more to do with the mountains and climate — anything that affects the globe itself, and also the Southwest in particular.
I’ve been spending so much time here that some of the themes of the songs I wrote about have kind of a tie-in with nature. A few songs were inspired by weather — monsoons, for instance. I try to put music to those kinds of things and try to kind of make sense of what I’m hearing in my head.
Q: Has the release been rewarding?
A: I think it has been rewarding in that all of my prior musical experiences have involved performance more than creativity. I did have a period back in the ’70s, when I was with a rock ’n’ roll band, where we wrote and performed our own songs. For me, this was a very interesting process — something I had not really done creatively since 1975. Now I’m finding that performing solo is very exciting and enjoyable.
Q: What was the writing process like?
A: I would be in bed at night and have a melody in my head. I would have to go to the piano to play it as soon as I could before it evaporated into the ether.
Q: What are your favorite tracks from the album?
A: Some people like the very first track, “Aurora.” Aurora, of course, is dawning. I wanted to have the music appear to convey the message of an awakening; a birth. There is another track that’s quite striking. “Aurora” may be the dawning of time, and “Genesis” is about when the Earth was created and man became a part of the Earth.
Whether you believe in creation or evolution or scientific beliefs, I kept this non-religious. Those two songs kind of work as a pair. “Aurora” gets people’s senses dialed in for what the album is going to be like so they can listen to it, and “Genesis” is a song with impact. There’s a “boom” in it, right in the middle of the song, then it changes as man evolves.”
Q: How would you pitch the album to get them to check it out?
A: My pitch for “Biosphere” would be to put it on, listen and just think about Mother Earth as they are listening to it. It would be a thing I’d recommend to play in the background. People tell me they put it on and play it in the background with the volume low. Really, whatever anyone wants to glean out of it, they can.
Q: How do you describe your genre?
A: It’s got rock rhythms in it and classical elements in it. There are a few jazzy chords in some of the songs. It’s kind of got its own genre. It’s more of a New Age piece. It’s got a lot of melodies. It’s not just elevator music that’s droning on.