Given his musical background, there is a strong possibility you’ve heard the work of Alexander Adhami and didn’t even know it. Known professionally as Alex Plays, Alex Adhami has composed music for Harpo Productions, the Food Network, Warner Chappell’s Non-Stop Music, Universal’s Music Group and other media. His music is broadcasted on major networks like ABC, The Food Network, SABC and other European broadcasters.
He is also an accomplished instrumentalist and vocalist specializing in guitar and other stringed instruments. For many years, Alexander has been involved in the production of Cirque inspired World Music beginning with his music for Cirque EOS’ “Acrobats and Maniacs”.
Alex is literally a 1-man show and we had a chance to catch up with him to talk about the creativity behind his work, gear and where he draws inspiration.
SeagateCreative: What is your favorite piece of gear for sparking creativity?
Alex Adhami: I usually start with loading my samples and playing live instruments into my Ableton 9 Session on my Mac. I have terabytes worth of samples to get the right sound.
SeagateCreative: How do you use hard drives in your creative work? What Seagate products do you use?
AA: Some of my samples are running on my GoFlex USB drive. I look forward to getting faster results with the thunderbolt version.
SeagateCreative: What’s one piece of advice you’d give an aspiring artist to help them be creative or develop their ideas into art?
AA: Think of your digital audio workstation as a musical instrument. Just like a guitar, or a violin, you need to be able to play all the various articulations and dynamics in order to get the exact sound that you are looking for. Get deep into the MIDI side of things. There are so many ways to bring life to your creations so long as they breathe as they would if your were playing things live on an acoustic instrument.
SeagateCreative: How has your choice of gear evolved since you first started in music?
AA: I look for reliability with my gear choices. I need to know that things will not fail while I am performing. This is why I am always looking for the best gear. So far, Seagate drives are real workhorses. They can run for hours without any need for concern. They are especially good for me when I am doing live looping in my one-man show. I have never had any strange things happen with Seagate products. I can’t say the same thing for other drives that I have used in the past.
SeagateCreative: Since the hallmark of your current performances is the “one man show” element, how do you feel that this affects the creative process? Do you miss collaborating with others?
AA: I love to be able to create the whole musical experience myself. I am always doing a variety of genres. I would not do a jazz gig in a one-man show scenario. The musical results would not translate. What makes jazz special is the interaction between musicians. With live looping by means of hard disc recording, I am able to jam with many versions of myself. I create the best-imagined instrumentalist and like a method actor jam off of the different characters in my own mind and use the one-man framework to present it to the public.
SeagateCreative: What’s your process for taking an idea from concept to execution?
AA: When I am first coming up with an idea, it presents itself in a flash of inspiration. I might even record it on a smart phone or if I am lucky, My Ableton session will be ready to go. Some of my one-man show is deliberately designed to be spontaneously created. This means that I have some rudimentary sounds chosen; yet I create the melodies and rhythms on the spot with a pre-set pallet. This gives me the opportunity to interact with my audience. Then, on a whim, I will burst into a pre-recorded selection or song incorporating live programming and instrumentation. This is where electronic music meets improvisation.
To keep up with Alex, sure to follow him on these social channels: