COLUMN: River City Sound Mark O’Cummings

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COLUMN: River City Sound Mark O’Cummings

Ariana Beedie

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Mark O’Cummings makes music for spiritual fulfillment. The 39-year-old musician creates electronic sounds using iMac and other mixing devices to maintain a positive spiritual outlook.

“I make music for my personal spirituality, personal healing and it makes me feel good,” he said.

O’Cummings, a New Harmony native, started playing the trumpet in third grade and was taught by his family members, who were also musicians.

“My mom was a pianist as well, and my grandfather played harmonica,” O’Cummings said. “Music is my background and in my life.”

He said that a major drive to make music is to inspire others.

“The reason why I like music is to encourage others to explore or learn something about themselves,” O’Cummings said. “I hope that people get something good from my music to find something about themselves.”

O’Cummings makes music on his computer by using professional DJ software programs and synthesizers to create an electronic sound.

“Mainly, my music is experimental,” he said. “I like to explore different areas and different flavors.”

To understand the music he creates on a deeper level, O’Cummings taught himself about music theory, music therapy and how sounds are made.

“Every atom in the universe has a space around it, which have space between them and they vibrate at different frequencies,” O’Cummings said. “The vibrations can affect our bodies, spirits and our minds.”

O’Cummings began using a computer as an instrument in 2007 when he wanted to record acoustic guitar using a professional recording program. Then he began to take interest in creating sounds and recording them on the program itself.

“I bought a program called Reason, which had a dual application which allowed me to have a professional recording studio,” he said. “It was also one of the biggest programs producers of electronic music use, so I started dabbling a little bit.”

The inspiration came from listening to emerging underground New Age music in the early 90s, and more recently dubstep.

“I got into electronic music when I was a teenager, and a lot of that stuff back then was pretty new,” O’Cummings said. “I also got into world music which helped me explore different rhythms and ideas.”

Listening to different kinds of music was the perfect escape, especially compared to what people were listening to locally, he said.

Recently, O’Cummings performed at an experimental open mic night at PG Cafe & Gallery, and wants to continue to play around town.

The set-up he uses includes a full computer, a keyboard and synthesizers along with other electronic equipment, which makes it difficult to play gigs. As a result, he learned to condense his equipment to take on the road.

“When I produce a song, sometimes I’ll put it on the iPad,  and I can DJ it on my iPad,” O’Cummings said. “These things are awesome for music producing.”

Another quirk about O’Cummings is that he uses Apple products strictly for his music.

“I used to work with Windows, and there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just that Apple does (a) better job with professional audio and video industry,” he said. “Their machines are set up very well for that. They run very smoothly with a minimal amount of problems.”

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