” I am learning that the really cool things are all around us, all the time. We just have to open and receptive to it.” @Sombramusic_1
GETTING TO KNOW GREENMAN
Peter Speciale (aka Greenman and Sombra)
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
Air Sweet Dear …
The inspiration of “Air Sweet Dear” (along with the name Greenman) came about while hiking the trails of the backwoods country. It made me think how just four elements craft and put together everything we know and see in our lives. These basic elements are Air, Fire, Water and Earth. I thought it would be cool to write songs of these forces. When I thought of the Air element, I thought how wonderful it was to breathe in the breath of life every day and is why I called it sweet
air. Then I combined it with an upbeat rock progression with screaming lead guitars. It turned out to be a really exciting song to write and record.
Also since the tune dealt with air, I decided to open the tune with one of my favorite American Indian flutes. The instrumentation on the album was written, produced and recorded by me in my own personal home studio in New York City.
A strange thing happened to me while I was in my studio recording the album. I was interrupted by a Jehovah witness who said “I needed to be saved”. After I closed the door on them, I returned to the studio and wrote a heavy rock tune called “I don’t need to be saved!” I opened it with a preachers voice like the one I heard at my door and basically just went with it. (Play song: https://www.reverbnation.com/greenmanmusic/song/4502521-air-sweet-dear) – “Air Sweet Dear ” https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/air-sweet-dear-single/id385013667
I have lots of favorite artists…
from the Beatles for excellent song writing to great guitarists such as Joe Satriani and all the great rock bands of the 80s. They all inspired me. I have met great Rock bands such as Guns n Roses at the L’Amour club in Brooklyn New York that really inspired me learn the electric guitar and adopt romantic messages for the hair-metal craze that became popular in the 1980s. While some of the songs on my album like “Don’t need to be saved” have a Metallica flavor of mixing acoustic and screaming electric guitars in succession, still other songs on the album have layered electric lead guitars inspired by the popular band Boston.
When writing guitar licks for the album, I wanted it to have many twists and turns to reflect the motions of these elemental forces and kept that in mind with my guitar solos. I was satisfied that the feelings and emotions I had in my head were actually transcribed just as I imagined. It was a very rewarding project.
Recently, I have a whole new genre of artists that have inspired me to play the flamenco guitar like Sabicas and Paco Pena and Paco de Lucia. The modern style has taken the flamenco guitar to newer heights never dreamed of by the earlier guitarists and Paco de lucia is largely responsible for that. One of my latest videos to be published very soon will be me performing a really great song called Barrio La Vina by Paco de Lucia. It is a very challenging piece to learn and a great accomplishment to be able to play it considering that I am a self taught flamenco guitarist.
For my new personal guitar solo pieces, I enjoy a mesmerizing melodic sound, directly from my soul. When you watch me play I think you’ll agree that I play with soul, passion and obvious pleasure. It took years of practice to get my melodic electric guitar lead into a harmonious neo-flamenco style that I call my own. This is another accomplishment that I am very proud of. One of the more traditional guitarists I absolutely love is Paco Pena. I spent the last few years learning his original compositions and this November I have front row seats to watch Paco Pena play some of the stuff I have been learning and enjoy so much to listen to. I also hope to meet him!
New York City…
I relocated to Eastern Connecticut from New York City for a new professional position to manage a Clinical Microbiology Laboratory. As a naturally solitary person, it was an amazing move since it’s very rural and quiet here and gives me an essence to write and further develop my music away from the big city distractions. While any song can and does come out suddenly, most songs take time to develop into colorful meaningful songs.
When I practice my guitar, I literally sit for hours at a time almost in another realm from my everyday life into a place where my creativity soars. It took years for this special transition to occur but now my playing has become a true form of expression within my deep being that has become a totally satisfying experience. The idea is to be patient with yourself and let your mind naturally absorb the material. This is one of the reasons why I fell in love with flamenco music. It is so demanding and challenging, I find it fun and rewarding to see myself making real progress over time.
When I am not playing my guitar or writing songs, I am out in the backwoods playing my flute and meditating to natures loving sounds. I was amazed recently while sitting in a local park, eating some Doritos, when a squirrel came up to me to literally take a chip out of my hand! I am learning that the really cool things are all around us, all the time. We just have to open and receptive to it.
I was born into a very musical family…
The closest musicians to me were my dad and uncle. I recall as a very young boy just lying on the bed and listening to my dad play his guitar for countless hours. He was fascinated with a gypsy jazz guitarist known as Django Reinhardt. He literally spent hours with the daunting task of holding the record with his finger to slow down the record and transcribe the music to his guitar. Of course the pitch would change too so he had to not only get the right note but then transcribe it to the correct pitch as well.
When I was 12 I asked my dad to buy me an electric guitar. He took me to a store named “Sam Goody” and he bought me a copy of a Van Halen guitar. It was amazing, I had an electric guitar! It was then I began my life long journey of music, learning the rudiments of music from my dad and copying great guitar licks from guitar greats like Jimi Hendrix. Then I met Nick Vandell and together we spent many years of writing and recording music.
I didn’t know it at the time, why my dad spent so much time with his guitar. Now I know it was because once you put in the time, the notes become like wings on a bird that take you anywhere you like to go. It’s all about arrangement in time. Whether you are in time with a game of sports or music, it’s the time factor that makes it wonderful. For sports it’s a ball, for music, it just 7 notes!
A man is successful if ..
he wakes up in the morning and gets to bed at night and in between he does all what he wants to do. I will be
successful if I do more of what I enjoy doing the most, playing my guitar and writing songs!
What’s ahead …
Lots more song writing, recording my new solo guitar pieces and producing cool videos with special effects! I also want to experiment mixing flamenco progressions with leading electric guitars. Then spin it even further with a pop flavor!