bio - a texan in new york
Born in Austin, TX, Christopher North is a multi-instrumental composer and singer-songwriter based in New York City. As a composer his works have been performed at venues in Europe (London, Berlin and Edinburgh) and the US (Texas, California, Illinois, Ohio, Hawaii and New York) including collaborations with film makers (Tribeca, BIg Apple and SXSW Film Festivals), theater companies (including Workshop Theater, NY and Edinburgh Fringe), choreographers (Wave Hill, Joyce SOHO) and concerts including the 92nd Street Y. His children’s songs can be heard around the globe on the Disney channel and the Noggin Network (Oobi). As an genre-crossing musician, he has performed and recorded with an eclectic array of artists and ensembles. He has played bass with Quincy Jones, the Dixie Chicks, Rosanne Cash, various symphony orchestras as well on Broadway in HAIR, RENT, The Lion King and Spring Awakening. He has sung with the New York Philharmonic (including the 3 Grammy Award winning John Adams’ “On the Transmigration of Souls”) and for Stephen Sondheim ("Frogs" with Nathan Lane). He has performed at venues including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, CBGB’s and Madison Square Garden. He has performed on national TV (including Live with Regis and Kelly and Live at Lincoln Center), and been heard on the radio (NPR, WNYC) and commercials (including Visa and Tide). He has recorded and performed extensively as a mutli-instrumentalist (guitar, keyboards, harmonica, etc.) In 2002, he produced and released two albums, Opus Zero is classical: chamber music and art songs, and De La Sur is an eclectic rock/soul album on which he played most of the instruments (including guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, harmonica and even sitar, recorder, and glockenspiel). SInce then, he’s been focusing on collaborating – sound design/ music for “The Forever Waltz” by Glyn Maxwel, the score for Angelica Torn's "Lucky Days" and various projects with Writer/Director Matthew Miele, finishing the feature length film “Everything’s Jake” in 2006 and "Eavesdrop" in September 2007. All three of these features were picked up for distribution (Netflix, DVD, etc.) The score for "Everything's Jake", "Eavesdrop" as well as a compilation of his work for short films over the last two years: "(short) Film Music Volume One" is on itunes/cdbaby. His scores and albums feature world class NYC musicians (Eroica Trio, Ethel, Andy Middleton, Carol Emanuel.) Cn just completed short film Bemvindo by Alexandra Roxo with a Brazilian score, a feature documentary by Diana Quinones Rivera about Shua Group's site specific dance work at WInter Garden called "Giant Place Detail" and short film "Abidjan" by Alexander Etseyatse with Urban / Africa score. 2010 saw the release of several score soundtracks. 2011 will have 2 jazz albums, more scores AND, CN is still still still chipping away at another magnum opus, SPACE BAR - a collaborative double CD of new songs, grooves and sounds.
FEATURE FILM SCORES:
Giant Place Detail (2010) a documentary by Diana Q. Rivera follows a site specific performance for non-dancers at the Winter Garden NYC. Score features acoustic bass, cigar box & treated guitars, whistling, kazoo, kalimba, singing, percussion and vibraphone performed by composer. Currently off to Festivals. * Soundtrack on Itunes/CdBaby
Eavesdrop (2008) by Matthew Miele starring Chris Parnell, Tovah Feldshuh, Lynn Collins, Terence Mann, Alan Ruck, & Wendie Malick. Score features Grammy Noms Eroica Trio, Ethel String Quartet, Harp, Jazz Quintet. 82 minutes of music in 93 minute film. Distributed by Osiris Entertainment (DVD, OnDemand, Itunes, Netflix, etc.)* Soundtrack on Itunes/CdBaby
Lucky Days (2008) by actor/writer/director Angelica Torn, starring herself, Rip Torn, Will Patton & Federico Castelluccio. Score perf’d by composer (guitars, drums/percussion, bass, melodica.) Dist’d by Seminal Films (Art House Theatrical release June 2010 with DVD, OnDemand, etc.) Awards at USA FF (Dallas), Best at Coney Island FF, World Fest Houston, Houston Intl FF. VARIETY’S review: "should have a healthy, cultish afterlife" with "Christopher North's music a notable asset".* Soundtrack on Itunes/CdBaby
Everything’s Jake (2006) by Matthew Miele starring Ernie Hudson. Score perf’d by composer (guitar, bass, African percussion, drums, hammered dulcimer, harmonica, piano, ukelele,) with Ethel SQ & Saxophonist Andy Middleton. Best at Big Apple FF, Audience award at Santa Monica FF. Dist’d by Warner Brothers,* Soundtrack on Itunes/CdBaby
SHORT FILM SCORES RECENTLY COMPLETED (2011):
Werewolf by Matthew D'Abate, score for guitarviol, piano and strings perf’d by Composer, EP of “music for and inspired by the film” to be released in July 2011
SHORTS (2010) on Compilation album “(short) film music volume two”:
Bemvindo by Alexandra Roxo, Brazilian / Guitar score perf’d by Composer
Mary’s Journal: Episode 1, “Connected” by Nyle C. Garcia, Orchestral Score, VisionFest10 at Tribeca Cinema
Abidjan by Alexander Etseyatse, Shot in NYC & Ivory Coast, Urban/African score, Screened in 25+ Festivals all over the world (Cannes, Ivory Coast, L.A.)
S&M by Matthew D'Abate, Hard Rock score perf’d by Composer
Case Closed by Kevin Stocklin (starring Geneva Carr), Orchestral score Big Apple FF * Soundtrack on Itunes/CdBaby
SHORTS (2008-2009) on Compilation album “(short) film music volume one”:
Break In by Deidre Britter, Meat by Kenji Oliveras, Brother's Reaction by Eddie Griffith, Nutmeg by Amy Benaroya, Heart by Hugh Plantin, Cut by Matthew D'Abate. * Soundtrack on Itunes/CdBaby
Addict (2005) by Steve Curley, ambient synth score. 2006 Berlin Intl FF
Skips (2004) by Steve Curley, Guitar & percussion score perf’d by composer. 2003 Tribeca FF
The Tip (1997) by Kahvan Mashayekh, multi-tracked double bass & piano perf’d by the composer. 1998 Indep. FF, SXSW FF, Houston Intl FF.
ALBUMS IN PROGRESS:
Two albums of Jazz as bassist/leader
Double album Space Bar of songs, sound pieces & chamber music
Album of solo piano & Album of Woodwind Quintet music
PAST/OTHER WORK- Chamber Music:
Opus Zero (2002) 13 track album, composer on double bass *
Renquist (2007) 15 track compilation of 1988-1998 works *
Recitals of Chamber music & Art song at 92nd St Y NYC in 2001 & 2008.
Music/Sound Design for Theater/Dance:
Saint Hollywood (2010) Off Broadway, Sound design
Trojan Women (2010) percussion/drums and treated Cigar box Guitar score with choral song, produced in NYC.
The Forever Waltz (2005) Score/Song & Sound Design for Glyn Maxwell’s Play produced in NYC, London & Edinburgh Fringe 2005. *
I take nights in the middle of my walk (1998) for double bass, guitar & percussion at Joyce Theater Soho, NYC
Seed (1995), Eve of EVE (1996) for violin, New Arts Collective, Dallas TX
A Wakening (1994) for Dancers with Handbells and bass by Composer, Dallas TX
Songs for Sesame Street Int’l, Disney & Noggin (Oobi) for Little Airplane Prod.
de la sur (2002), 17 eclectic rock songs *
blue skye band, yesterday's yesteryear blues (1994) 10 blues / funk songs *
2009, 2010 & 2011 Sundance Composers Lab Finalist, 2008 Composing for the Screen (BMI Workshop at ManhatPro by Rick Baitz with David Shire & Flux SQ)
EDUCATION: 1994 Bachelor of Music in Music Composition, SMU
Univ. of North Texas, 100+ hours credits as Music Major
Julliard School, NYC Bass Master class (Edgar Meyer, Eugene Levinson)
Conducting Lessons w/ John Yaffe, NYC (June 2003 to Present)
MUSICIAN (Broadway, TV, Grammy award winning recordings):
Bassist (HAIR, Lion King, Spring Awakening, RENT)
Guitarist, Vocalist, Conductor, Producer, Arranger/Orchestrator
Multi-instrumentalist (piano/keyboards, drums/percussion, harmonica, melodica, sitar, guitarviol, mandolin, banjo, ukelele, autoharp, hammered dulcimer, recorder, violin, harpejji, kalimba)
MUSIC TEACHER (Private lessons, classes) Bass, Guitar, Songwriting
• 92nd Street Y, New York NY (1997-Present)
• Private Lessons in Student’s Home, UES & UWS, New York NY (1997-Present)
• American Music Studio, New York NY (October 1999 – January 2002)
• Sam Ash Music Center, New York NY (February 1998-March 1999)
• Various Music Programs in Schools around Dallas, Texas (1993-1997)
CHILD ACTOR/MODEL (Film, TV, Theater) Credits upon request
* denotes Album on Itunes/CdBaby, 12 albums as of April 1, 2011 with 5 more slated for this year.
800+ track one stop music licensing website in development
(long) bio - just in case you REALLY wanted the WHOLE story
Born in Austin, Texas, Christopher North is a multi-instrumental singer-songwriter and composer based in New York City. He began his life in music with piano at age 7, singing in church choirs at 8, picking up guitar and bass at 13, writing songs soon after. As the “son of a preacher man” and an actress/drama teacher growing up in Dallas, he spent some time in the spotlight as a child actor/model, appearing on stage and screen, as well as an athlete on the football field. Around 14, he got out of theater for good and - following his true calling - creating music on every instrument he could get his hands on (bass, guitar, drums, piano and violin) and recording his compositions on his Tascam 4 track. Tearing his ACL nipped his athletic pursuits and allowed him to further focus on music (honors choir, more formal lessons). Along with his brother Jon, a drummer, he recorded and released his first studio recording, Lost Cause's "Of Sentimental Value" at 15 and selling the homegrown tapes in the lunchroom cafeteria. Lost Cause, expanding to a power trio (with his brother Jon and childhood friend Tom Shoptaw) played live on KNON, selling a 7 song cassette of the live performance. In his junior year of high school, an honors Acoustics project - within a supervised research physics class - focused on sound waves from electric guitars (comparing single coil and humbucker), placed at state competitons and won a substantial honorarium. This and his job at a video store were further funding for another release ("Hey Kid's ... it's Lost Cause") by the trio, hailed "young songwriting lions" by the Dallas Observer, that sold 1,000 copies and received local airplay. They played "Underground Music" (as it was called at the time) in the burgeoning Deep Ellum music scene opening for the New Bohemians, the Descendents, the Lyres, and Soul Asylum. By 18, he focused most of his practice time in the classical music realm studying double bass and voice as a Music Compostion Major at University of North Texas jazz school in Denton, Texas. After three years, he eventually grew tired of the small town and relocated back to Dallas to be a freelance musician. That was the plan, anyway. But after working at Whole Foods on Greenvillle Avenue (his last non-music related job and the best place to meet musicians during the day and steadily decreasing from 5 days to 2 days a week,) he achieved his goal. Still, he got restless again and decided to return to college recieving his Bachelor of Music from Southern Methodist University. Throughout his late teens and twenties, he continued extensive study with lessons and masterclasses in jazz on guitar and electric bass, as well as classical guitar, all the while satisfying his curiousities with supplemental courses in jazz and classical piano, saxophone, modern dance, photography, chaos theory, ethno-musicology / percussion and conducting with enough credits for several degrees. (He didn't sleep much- these were dues paying times.) He had some success in his home state with his bands - the fishes, the everlasting gobstoppers, M street quartet and blue skye - culminating with the later's "Yesterday's Yesteryear Blues" album, a 10 track self-released cd on his Schizophonic Music label in 1994 that recieved local airplay and sold many copies. Despite thriving in Dallas in various ensembles (jazz, salsa, western swing, rock, and folk/acoustic), creating music for and dancing in the New Arts Collective (a multi-disciplinary modern dance group), singing every Sunday in a long standing church choir soloist position and as a freelance musician (including stints with the Dixie Chicks, members of New Bohemians, Turtle Creek Chorale, Musicals at Theater Three, various orchestras including Garland / Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra), his itchiness got the best of him again and found the call to "The City" unavoidable, moving to Manhattan in June 1997. He has gone on to perform at the city’s most prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, CBGB’s, Lincoln Center, Arlene Grocery, Bitter End, Joe’s Pub, and Central Park's Summerstage as well as record at the Hit Factory. After being in town for a only a few months, he played Carnegie Hall and CGBG's for the first time within a week in October 1997. He's even been on stage at Lincoln Center and Arlene Grocery in the same night. He has made solo appearances as a singer-songwriter/guitarist in acoustic venues (Living Room, Sidewalk Cafe, Bitter End). As a freelance instrumentalist, he has performed/recorded with an eclectic array of artists/ensembles including: playing bass with – Quincy Jones, Rosanne Cash, Joss Stone and with various symphony orchestras (including the New England Symphonic Ensemble, Pan American Orchestra) and chamber groups (including the Cassatt String quartet), on Broadway in the pit for The Lion King, RENT and Spring Awakening and for jingles (including Tide and MasterCard). As bassist for the Young People’s Chorus of NYC, he has appeared on Regional Television (UNICEF Snowflake), National Television (Live with Regis and Kelly) and Radio (NPR). As a freelance vocalist, he has performed/recorded with the New York Philharmonic (including a 2002 performance / recording of John Adam’s On the Transmigration of Souls that won 3 Grammy’s), the Los Angeles Philharmonic and for Stephen Sondheim’s “The Frogs” on Nonesuch Records with Davis Gaines and Nathan Lane. As a vocalist in the New York Choral Artists, he has worked with all the great conductors / directors of our time (Masur, Maazel, Thomas, Jarvi, Davis, Muti, Barenboim, Salonen, Gemignani, Flummerfelt.) As multi-instrumentalist, he has played guitar, keyboards, harmonica, bass and sitar with members of Modern English, 10,000 Maniacs and Living Colour. He even jammed in a blues harmonica duel with Jim Belushi. He has performed with various ensembles opening for James Brown, Itzhak Perlman, Jessye Norman, India.Arie, Wyclef Jean, Youssou N'Dour, Omar Faruk, Yo-Yo Ma, Shirley Cesar, Wynton Marsalis, The Wildflowers, Los Lobos, Midge Ure, Tears for Fears and Jesus Jones, as well as appearing on the same bill/stage as Oprah Winfrey, Sarah Jessica Parker, Vanessa Redgrave, Mia Farrow, Alec Baldwin, Paul Sorvino, Roger Moore, Ted Koppel, Katie Couric and Donald Trump. He has performed for a long list of V.I.P's including Barbara Walters, Billy Joel, David Bowie, Ron Howard, Sydney Pollack, Dustin Hoffman, George Plimpton, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Sen. John Kerry and First Lady Laura Bush. As a children's performer, he has peformed solo in Carnegie Hall, as pre-concert sing along actvity, opening for Robert Lithgow / Fort Worth Symphony. He has worked as a songwriter, bassist, vocalist, guitarist, keyboardist, harmonica player, sitarist and arranger/producer for Walt Disney International, Nonesuch Records, Scholastic Books, Koch International, Sony Records, Mi5 Recordings, Quixotic Endeavors and Sesame Street International. As a composer his works have been performed at venues in the United States (Texas, California, Illinois, Ohio, Hawaii and New York) and Europe (London, Edinburgh and Berlin) including collaborations with film makers (screenings at Tribeca, Big Apple Film Festivals and awards at SXSW and Houston International), dancer/choreographers (including presentations at Wave Hill and Joyce Soho) and theater companies (On, Off and Off-Off Broadway presentations, including New York International Fringe Festival, Edinburgh Fringe and commissions by Meet the Composer). Several of his songs for children can be heard around the world on the Noggin Network (including 3 songs on OOBI Season Two - "Clean Room", "Uma Trip" sung by Stephanie D'Abruzzo of Avenue Q and "Rockabye Lullaby" sung by Kevin Klash aka Elmo), Sesame Street and the Disney Channel (where his song “Try Again” was recorded by Leon Redbone.) He produced Ivan Ulz's song "Fire Truck" on Scholastic which has sold nearly 40,000 copies. All of these experiences as a freelancer and collaborator continue to take his abilities to new levels, but for the first few years of the millennium, his primary focus was producing his own music. The result being two albums he composed and produced in 2002, one is an eclectic oriented rock album on which he played most of the instruments, and the other is modern chamber music. Both are available on Itunes and Cd Baby. Around 2005 he was back to collaborating - highlights include music/sound design for the Glyn Maxwell play The Forever Waltz, a score for Angelica Torn's Lucky Days and the scores for “Everything’s Jake”, a Matthew Miele Film starring Ernie Hudson and more recently a feature called "Eavesdrop." In 2007, he compiled and released a decade of previously unreleased tracks (1988 to 1998) - 74 minutes of music/sound design for dance, chamber music and rock songs (his fifth Schizophonic Music cd). Recently, he released the soundtrack to "Everything's Jake" and soon put a compilation of his music for short films out into the world. Other plans include writing and recording more songs (a multi-collaborative double album SPACE BAR is in the works), finishing his symphony # 0, landing a Broadway “singing bassist” role and playing more acoustic jazz. He teaches bass, guitar and songwriting to students of all ages at his studio and at the 92nd st Y. Three of his former students in the band The Strokes graced the cover of Rolling Stone, played on Saturday Night Live and opened for the Rolling Stones. Since being in NYC, he has continued studies on bass with Chris Mathers and Orin O'brien (of NY Phiharmonic and Julliard) - inlcuding a master class with Edgar Meyer, conducting lessons with John Yaffé as well as vocal studies with Nanette Natal. He is currrently working on a guitar / songwriting method book.