"Music is a universal language. It transcends all boundaries and is the catharsis for humanity. We become one through music. Rhythms, harmonies and melodies become the celebration of creativity, the great passion for one another, and the unbounded exploration of this infinite Universe." - Bongo John
Studio now located in Cary, NC
Recent write-up in Voyage Raleigh Magazine!
Bongo John is an audio-video veteran. He is an innovator, an enlightened soul, and an explorer of aural-visual ideas and dreams.
Bongo John has over 20 years of experience as a recording engineer (Studio 313 & Bongo John Studio) in lieu of his 44 years drumming. He is a prolific composer & musician with a substantial collection of original works.
Recording engineering is his mainstay and is the place where he feels most at home. Having worked professionally at Studio 313 in Morrisville, NC full-time for almost four years, additional experience was gained doing part-time work for various local studios including session work as a drummer & percussionist. Bongo has recorded over 70 artists/bands in the past 12 years collectively at both studios.
John makes every effort in appeasing the vision of any given artist - not only basing mixes on reference material, but also by engaging the artist on a production level that maximizes creativity; to not only listen critically, but also to hear out what an artist has to say on all levels throughout the recording & mixing process.
With extensive experience in ProTools, Cubase 12 Pro, Logic Pro X and Sonar Platinum digital audio workstations, maximizing the creativity and minimizing the rigors of technology is key.
As a percussionist, Bongo John has an eclectic and unorthodox approach to creating rhythms, often exploring unique configurations of percussion - from traditional Afro-Cuban and West Indian instrumentation to utilizing sample triggering technology to create an acoustic-electric pseudo-organic sound.
Drumming for 44 years and counting, Bongo has been given favorable write-ups in Modern Drummer Magazine (March 2005 issue - 'On The Move' column) as well as Drum! Magazine (May 2010 issue - 'New Blood' column).
In 2015, he released his drum book 'The Bongo Method' with a corresponding 45 minute video tutorial. The Bongo Method is a an open-ended approach in exploring coordination in poly-rhythms explained in layman's terms. John is often fascinated by poly-rhythmic coordination in rhythm (i.e. 4-way independence).
John's distinct percussive style is the fruition of many years exploring his own concepts in rhythm. His main focus is complimenting & interacting with other musicians in a jam, band, or through-composed scenario.
"To connect with an audience is paramount. To have fluidity in one's own artistic expression while actively listening is to communicate naturally and to have a better feel of a given arrangement. The purpose of keeping time is not to exercise or demonstrate technique. It is to seek what emanates from the heart and soul. That's the objective I am always striving for."
John began tickling the ivories in his formative years, tinkering around on an old Chickering console piano. Little did he know that this creative process would lead him to develop his own unique voice as a keyboardist, not only with the piano, but also with synthesis.
Finding unique avenues, such as with exploring synthesis & electronics to create organic yet other-worldly noises, is also an area of exploration for the 54 year-old composer/recording engineer/musician. Synthesis is one of the mainstays of sonic textures that he explores, as evidenced by his progressive-pop albums 'Havana Sunrise' and 'Savannah Sunset'. He has delved into synthesis in the past several years sampling with dedicated keyboards as well as experimenting with Native Instruments-based VST's.
According to Bongo, "Technology should remain transparent by understanding thoroughly the technology at hand. In this light, creative ideas can be realized more readily. Creativity, intuition, and playing with passion will take an artist's vision to a new level. We have the wherewithal to create transparency for any technology utilized to capture any given idea. It was out of necessity that I became a recording engineer in order to capture my own musical ideas, and by doing so, I have developed a skill-set to help others in making permanent their cherished creations..."