“Mark, is without a doubt a musical craftsman. Not only is he easy to work with but his diligent work saves me a ton of time. Mark is always professional in his approach toward transcribing.” – Steve Nixon (http://www.freejazzlessons.com)
“Mark has done work for us at a7records and his work is amazing. Truly talented person and diverse with his music. He can create anything you ask him.” – Amman Ahmed (a7records/roundwaves)
Exclusive Interview With Transcriber Mark Galang @ SteveStine.Com, November 30, 2012
- What is this site all about? This site is all about yours truly, my music, and all sorts of professional music services that I am offering. If you find a bit of craziness in the mix, well that just comes with the territory. ;-)
- What genres of music do you write and play? I write music in all genres. From a musicologist’s perspective, my personal preferences fall under categories such as jazz, progressive rock, contemporary classical, jazz-rock, fusion, some metal, some hard rock, avant garde, and RIO. I will write in any genre or style that would fit the project you have in mind.
- Who are your influences? It’s a very long list as I listen to all sorts of music. I could name you more than a dozen influences per genre and per instrument. In terms of the piano and keyboards, my heroes include Keith Emerson, all the Dream Theater keyboard players, Chick Corea, Oscar Peterson and Bobby Enriquez. My favorite guitarists I could name off the top of my head include Steve Vai, Allan Holdsworth, and Al di Meola. In terms of the bass, Stanley Clarke and Geddy Lee are at the top of my favorites list. Though I’m not much of a drummer, my favorites include Mike Portnoy, Neil Peart and Akira Jimbo. I like listening to Dream Theater, Yes, Rush, Casiopea, Return to Forever, Eraserheads, Claude Debussy, Metallica, Megadeth, J.S. Bach, Frederic Chopin, John Coltrane, Oscar Peterson, Gentle Giant, Cynthia Alexander, Jewel, Greg Howe, Bela Bartok, the Beatles, etc. It wouldn’t fit this page if I tell you all of them, but it’d be more interesting if you tell me who my influences are based on what you hear from my music.
- Why did you stop giving your music away for free? I used to have the altruistic vision that the gift of music given freely to mankind will create a better society. Nowadays, while I still plan on keeping most of my old works as free downloads, I realized that a lot of people take it for granted and don’t place a lot of value on it. People tend to think that if it’s something you’ve paid for monetarily, it has better value. I may sound like a sell out but I need to eat, pay the bills, and perform all of that necessary financial stuff.
- What instruments can you play? What instruments would you want to learn how to play? If you ask around, people will say I am primarily a pianist or a keyboard player. I can play most keyboard instruments with the exception of a harpsichord since I never had any access to one. I had some classical piano and guitar training growing up which served as a foundation for what I know now. With a working knowledge of music theory, I taught myself how to play electric guitar and bass, the drum kit, some unpitched percussion and recorders. I can also work my way through mandolin family instruments since one of my guitars is tuned from low C to high E like a five-string cello. I also play a soprano sax and am currently working on my trumpet skills.
- Where do you perform? I perform with Jose at Musika in various bars and restaurants around Metro Manila such as Saguijo, Mang Rudy’s Tuna Grill and Papaitan in Makati City, and Verdandi Bar. I also volunteer as a musician/composer at a church called UCCP – Makati Church of Christ Disciples. J.P. Rizal .
- What sorts of services can you offer? I provide music composition, arrangement, transcription and engraving services. I am also provide services as a session musician.
- I want to see and hear samples of your work first. If you want to see and hear my professional output, please go see my portfolio. If you want to listen to more personal, experimental, DIY-ish stuff from ages ago, go to Mark Galang Radio.
- You’re actually a licensed occupational therapist? Shouldn’t you be a doctor or something? I should have been but no. My love for music runs deep in my heart and soul. Even during my college years, I was always reading theory books and scores at the Music section of the University of Santo Tomas Main Library. I also spent a significant amount of time developing and practicing my chops on the piano at the old auditorium of UCCP-Ellinwood-Malate Church, much to the chagrin of the caretakers.
- How do I contact or hire you? Please visit the “Contact Mark”page.
- How much do you charge? Depends on the service but it’s usually around $30/hour. Given the highly variable nature of my services and the complex nature of music, it’s hard to put a fixed price for every service. As far as music transcription is concerned, lead sheets cost somewhere around $30 per song while piano and ensemble scores and parts would cost more, depending on instrumentation and the complexity of the music. I am flexible enough though to work on a variety of projects under different budgets so I think I can provide services at an affordable rate. I just need to see what the project is all about to give a good estimate.
- The way you play and write sounds like you went to a music conservatory. What school did you attend? I am currently working to complete M.A. in Music Education. I am currently specializing in composition. I am largely self-taught prior to attending the Philippine Women’s University School of Music. When I was about to enter college, my parents weren’t keen on the idea of me going to music school because the common perception is that I wouldn’t be able to make a decent living with music. This led me to getting educated as an occupational therapist with an aspiration to become a physician. Ever since that plan fell through, I ended up becoming a freelance composer and sound designer after spending some time in the corporate world and doing stuff like SEO writing, equipment reviews, etc. Was I able to pay the bills? Yes, but with some difficulty. Thankfully I’m part of a dual income family so it helps me keep my musical dreams alive. Although I’m a big believer in how Frank Zappa made it far without a music degree, if by any chance I can still go to a music conservatory while being able to pay the bills, then yes I would go. After all, knowledge is still knowledge and will always be useful.
- Is there anything else that I need to know? I’d like to invite you to listen to my music. Let me translate your ideas into music and sound by hiring me.