A multi-instrumentalist, J. Arif Verner has worked as a professional musician and composer for more than 20 years. He has performed as a soloist and with numerous ensembles in musical genres as diverse as standard jazz, pop fusion, contemporary avant-garde and impressionistic new age. In 1988 Verner’s debut recording, “Clear Colors,” was released to great critical acclaim. His projects since then have focused on the blending of acoustic and electronic music with MIDI guitar synthesis — a rather unusual and specialized form of digital instrumentation. On his Spotted Peccary Music debut, entitled “A Vision Beyond Light,” Verner uses the mesmerizing sound of aeolian wind harps and acoustic guitar in concert with MIDI guitar synthesis to create a singularly unique sound.
Verner views music as an evolutionary process — a reflection of his inner being in relation to the world. He realizes this process by approaching music as a composer, writer, and engineer. Verner is first and foremost a composer with a predilection towards atmospheric and impressionistic instrumental music. In addition to music composition, his position as a writer for numerous music magazines including MIDI Guitarist, Musician, Keyboard, MIDI Magazine, I/E Magazine, and Roland Users Group Magazine, allows him to stay current on technical innovation and trends in the music industry. The frequent opportunity to review new and exciting equipment from the industry’s leading manufacturers helps his ability to add more colors to the palette he uses to create musical texture. As an engineer, his recent accomplishments include contemporary minimalist David Borden’s Places &Times and Cayuga Night Music, urban jazz performer Karlton Hestor’s Musicism, and avant-garde composer Karta Iglesias’ Well Tempered Sequencer and Machines. These three aspects — composing, writing, and engineering — lend a sense of wholeness to his art.
Citing an extremely diverse list of musical influences which includes Edgar Varese, Mississippi John Hurt, Erik Satie, and The Ventures, Verner emerges with a highly ambient, yet at times still somewhat structured style of musical expression that carries the listener through the work from beginning to end. He programs and designs the vast majority of his synthesized, sampled, and electronic sounds himself, creating the completely original textures heard in his music. In addition, he also uses various acoustic instruments, such as guitars and percussion, to add a depth of aliveness, expressiveness, and intimacy to his work. This more abstract, stream-of-consciousness based approach makes Verner a significant contributor to the New American music movement and an excellent addition to the Spotted Peccary catalog.