Spotlight on Kirk Loudon – The Beat Goes On

Spotlight on Kirk Loudon – The Beat Goes On

by Eulalia Cecava

I had the fortuitous opportunity to meet with Kirk Loudon, talented musician, recording artist and filmmaker at The Chronicle News. He seems to do it all – from creating unique music to being cast as his own “monster” in his Trinidad horror film, Diggerz: Black Lung Rises. This epic horror film is soon to be released in Korea, of all places.

My guess is not many know about Kirk’s musical background, so I’d like to take the opportunity to share some useful information. Hailing from Vermont, Kirk got thrown into the fascinating world of music as an infant. His father was a phenomenal keyboardist who played in big bands with horns and the works. He also toured the west coast and has a Masters in Music. One night on a typical rehearsal, the drummer didn’t show up for some reason. Young Kirk, only 13, was thrown onto the kit and nailed the beat.  He has been playing ever since and continues to progress. Well, except at age 16, when he almost threw in the towel. Apparently, Kirk’s father took him to see Bernard “Buddy” Rich, famous jazz drummer and bandleader, and the disappointed teen thought to himself, “How can I ever accomplish that?”

Kirk hit the bricks and eventually was living the ultimate dream as a drummer in several bands, ranging from “new wave” to punk. Eventually, he dove into the dense world of progressive rock, recreating the explosive polyrhythms prevalent in groups like Genesis and King Crimson. Also, we discussed how rare it is for a percussionist to sing lead vocals and play kit at the same time. Even Mr. Collins from Genesis has someone filling in and typically only hammers it out for his popular hits. This octopus-like ability takes some intense brain work. Each of your arms and legs are doing something different simultaneously. Now, let’s add distinctive vocals on top and cross your fingers you’ll avoid an aneurysm. Serious drummers like Kirk never cease to amaze me.

How can drummers fare to sing and play at the same time? How can one contain, utilize, and execute all that information and make it not sound like a bunch of gobbledygook?

Kirk gives us a piece of advice, “You need to disconnect, completely disconnect. Because if you don’t, you’re going to be following what you’re playing.”

We laughed as he reminisced about a shaky performance when the lead vocalist began way off key. Everyone had to jostle around quickly to correct the mistake. Curveballs can definitely get thrown into the mix when you are working with musicians on stage.

After picking himself back up after Buddy Rich, Kirk started to focus on his individuality as a percussionist. His first band, The Cutz, an 80’s punk band had the right sound, but they weren’t really soaring to new heights. Eventually making his way out to Boston, he toured with another group for a while, gaining more experience. After those projects ran their prospective courses, Kirk wound himself up in a huge production with 63 members, 63 lights, and costumes that got changed after every set. They were a prestigious R&B cover band that toured the New England Circuit in the 80’s, along with dancing vocalists and all. He hustled and bustled with this band for two years, which was a nice adrenaline rush while it lasted.

I asked Kirk if there were any epic live concerts/performances that impacted him along his musical journey. “I got to see Queen. It was phenomenal, just phenomenal. Freddy’s a hero.”

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Kirk, being a huge fan, mentioned an interesting tidbit. According to a scientific study, Freddie Mercury has the most perfect singing voice known to man. Scientists put his vocal tracks together and as he switched notes, his vocal vibrations were so tight they created an effect called “phasing”. Kirk and I then proceeded to discuss the interesting world of vibration and frequency. Apparently, certain frequencies have the ability to make people even feel sick, with effects ranging from nausea to literally passing out. This perfectly explains why I’ve avoided listening to the Top 40 for the last 15 years. I knew the feeling of needing to spew whilst watching MTV wasn’t all in my head.

So, how do we go from punk and R&B groups to film scoring? The next pit stop in Kirk’s career was to hit the books at the Art Institute of Houston and earn himself a degree in Visual Communications. This is where the magic happens, marrying music and film together into a dynamic harmonious union. He hooked up with Texas A&M University when they needed a commercial guy. He valiantly stepped in with crew and equipment, offered a better deal, and completely blew everyone’s socks off. Kirk, being a commercial virgin at this point, got thrown in once again, and swam as fluidly as decades before.  He then used his commercial skills for many local businesses and Fortune 500 companies.

“I thought, hey, I can do the music for this as well…I got lucky, very lucky,” say Kirk.  At this point in time, Kirk has approximately 1,000 commercials under his belt.

I want to briefly mention Kirk’s work with his son, Casey Loudon, talented guitarist and filmmaker, following his father’s footsteps. He has filmed several music videos for his only son, which can be seen online. Casey, from Los Angeles, has also created and developed remarkable musical scores for commercials and feature films. Together they make a dynamic and vivacious team. “It’s really cool when you see your kid.. as far as a certain skill, pass you, in as far as ability.”

In closing, I would like to mention a few of Kirk Loudon’s original songs, which are available for your listening pleasure on BandMix.com. They are called, Clair de Lunacy and Human. These songs are haunting and distinct in my opinion and really capture Kirk’s vocal range. They have piano driven intros and bring in some real nostalgia. The harmony is tight, the changes are well executed, and the chord progressions are unique. I can listen to these pensive songs on repeat, especially Clair.

Are you a musical artist looking to get into the studio or possibly even record a music video? Don’t let the dream die! Contact Kirk Loudon, the music and film guy. He has the vision, expertise, and commitment to really showcase your abilities and help you learn how to fly. YourCreativeNow! is the name of his marketing and advertising company, and he can be reached at (281) 381-8912. Expect lots of thrilling surprises to come out of Kirk and his crew in the near future. More filming coming soon, perhaps? Pinpointing Trinidad, Colorado on the map in the music, film, and entertainment field appears to be his forte.

 


From Page 59 of our Fall 2018/Winter 2019 Issue.

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