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About

Geoff Hall

 

Born in Virginia, Hall moved frequently as a child, but spent the majority of his developmental years in Memphis, Tennessee. His earliest memories of music are of listening to his parents play John Denver records at home and of the orchestral concert performances on the Fourth of July. At age 12 he began playing guitar when a friend introduced him to the rock‘n’roll music of Rush and taught him some basic chords. “In those days I was influenced by a wide range of guitar players -- Alex Lifeson of Rush, Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen, Trevor Rabin of Yes, David Gilmore of Pink Floyd, and Andy Summers of the Police among others.” 

Throughout his teens and early twenties Hall performed in a local rock band and as a solo act. Hall continued to study music and music theory throughout his teen and college years. At 21, “I was introduced to acoustic fingerstyle music and heard Will Ackerman for the first time.  For a long time after that, I left the electric guitar behind and immersed myself in that solo acoustic playing style. As I discovered other players in that vein, my emphasis really shifted from electric to acoustic, both steel-string and nylon-string. I started listening to Alex de Grassi, Franco Morone, Don Ross, Michael Hedges, Andrew York, Ottmar Liebert, and other great players in that solo guitar space. After a few years, I was hooked, and my electric guitars rarely made it out of their cases.”

Hall spent the first half of his music career performing on guitar and the latter half studying piano/keyboards/synthesizers, composing, orchestrating, arranging, and producing - while managing to continue playing guitar along the way. He has studied and performed electric, acoustic fingerstyle, and classical guitar across numerous genres that include solo guitar, classical, folk, rock, and heavy metal. Hall is especially grateful for the guitar instruction he received over the years from legendary players such as Shawn Lane, Alex de Grassi, and Franco Morone.  

The next musical evolution for Hall encompassed his passion for film scores. “When I was a teenager I had occasional opportunities to take guitar lessons from Shawn Lane. I soon realized he was a huge fan of film scoring and an accomplished pianist – in addition to being a phenomenal guitarist. Shawn actually helped me to expand my awareness of film scores because it made a huge impression on me that this incredible guitar player found a lot of his inspiration from the works of John Williams and other famous composers.  As I started to hear the scores for  films like GladiatorBraveheart, the Spielberg movies, and way too many others to try to list here, I developed an immediate interest in the impact and complexity of orchestral and hybrid music.” The works of John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Harry Gregson-Williams, James Horner, and others have inspired Hall, and the styles of these composers echo in Hall’s film score compositions, (some of which can currently be heard on SoundCloud).  Hall’s study program at Berklee College focused on “Orchestration and Scoring for Film and Television.”

Following a long run with the guitar, Hall’s first steps into multi-instrument composing began in the early 2000s when he purchased his first keyboard, built his own studio, and began to explore the possibilities of creating orchestrated works using a combination of live musicians and modern technologies. “When composing I will often begin by sitting down at our piano; I have always found it easier to visualize concepts on the piano as opposed to the guitar,” explains Hall. “I often start with piano to begin ‘sketching’ an initial idea which could be melody lines, harmonies, and/or progressions. Then I move those ideas to my studio and begin orchestrating and arranging them. From that point, I’ll continue to develop ideas until the final orchestration and arrangement fall into place.”

 

 

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