Beginning to Never End
Piano, saxophone, trumpet, drum-kit, bass, ukulele, and didgeridoo: all these instruments have at one time or another found their way into the hands of Greg Arenz. But it wasn't until an acoustic guitar was handed to him in 1992 that Greg found his musical mate. While Greg still plays most any instrument he can get his hands on, his songwriting and vocals most strongly mesh with the acoustic guitar - a fact that is most evident on his 2002 debut c.d. 'beginning to never end'. Acoustic guitar and vocals were the only voicing used for 'beginning to never end' and often Greg will still approach songwriting in this fashion. 'For me, songs can grow from the basic guitar and vocal tracks into full productions if need be, but sometimes I find that they don't need to grow much at all - kind of like how I find as much beauty in the bonsai tree as I do the sequoia.' Sometimes, as with 'beginning to never end', Greg takes the acoustic guitar and combines the melodic ideas of instruments like the saxophone and trumpet with the rhythmic ideas of the drum-kit, piano and bass to form 'full' song structures as the base for his lyrics. 'Starting with a melodic idea and working chords around that idea is definitely one way that I like to begin the writing process, and other times I have a lyric idea or phrase in mind and the words suggest the chords.' Lyrically, Greg infuses his songs with ideas about responsibility, trust, and the lifelong learning process and his songs illustrate how all these ideas are encapsulated by the true meaning of life: love and the quest thereof. 'Everything comes back to the heart for me. Not that every song has to be about love but if I don't feel it deep down then I'm not doing it right; it's a real gauge for me.' Mid-year in 2004 Greg setup his own recording studio and opened shop as GSA Music Company and has since begun writing and recording tracks for the follow up to 'beginning to never end'. 'Instead of the bonsai approach I'm branching out a little more for this next album. The song structures are still built with an acoustic guitar and voice, but I'm employing more backing instruments and tracks. I'm definitely feeling it, and hopefully soon everyone else will to.'