Where It All Began
Orion has been building a reputation as a true visionary in the music scene. Starting out as a classically trained musician then progressing into the electronic dance scene, Orion has built a devoted fan-base. Moving dance floors and opening minds ever since, this solo artist draws crowds from far and wide, and continues to spread musical light in every new destination. Get in touch to learn more about this shining talent and upcoming gigs.
Born in August of 1982 in Truckee, a little town nestled in the beautiful Lake Tahoe region of California, I'm a Leo.
I spent the first few years of life traveling around in the backseat of my mom's car, camping in the luscious redwood forests of northern California. I still remember sitting inside the massive trees, looking up. When possible, we'd spend our time driving up and down the coastline via the Big Sur Coast Highway, all to attend every Grateful Dead concert my mom could manage. At age 5, after going to their 1987 concert at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, we settled down. We stayed there in Ventura CA for the next 8 years. That fairground concert would be the last Grateful Dead event I would attend.
A big change, at age 13 my legal guardianship was switched over to my grandmother. This was a turbulent time in my life. But, ultimately the change would mean moving back up to the Tahoe area. I'd spend the remainder of my childhood there, in Squaw Valley at the family A-frame cabin; where I learned to ski/snowboard alongside my high school friends. Some of these friends, such as Julia Mancuso, would go on to find their own success. Julia would personally go on to win several Olympic medals herself.... I still have fond memories of playing in the creek that ran between our two houses. A fun fact, or so my grandmother told me, was that Julia's house was previously owned by the lawyer for Gerry Garcia. That's why my mom was such a fan of the Grateful Dead.
It was while attending Lake Tahoe High School that I would join the school's prestigious Symphonic & Jazz band, as a bass clarinet player. It was in this program that my musical development, as a musician, flourished. I was continually challenged and rewarded... we would frequently win regional awards. To this day they are the first band to be a “Command Performance” group for over 25 years.
It was at this school that I'd make another childhood friend, Matt Axton. He's carrying on quite the family legacy of his own - his grandmother was a co-writer of "Heartbreak Hotel" and his dad Hoyt Axton made "Joy to the World" "The Pusher" and more. I remember watching, as a boy, the movie The Black Stallion. When I found out it was Matt's dad that was the father in the movie.. I was awestruck. Little did I know, at that time, how well known the man was for his music.
Tahoe seemed to be a playground for the rich and famous. Often us kids would get to go skiing with lots of famous actors, people like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito. Robbin williams would sometimes make an appearance; my mother was always quick to point out that she had went to high school with him as a kid, back in Marin County.
After high school, I would go off to attend Humboldt State University in the pursuit of Theoretical Mathematics & Computer Science. It was while attending my freshman year of academia that I signed up for an elective class, to learn to play piano. It ended up being my favorite class from that year. It was that professor of the piano class, a previous piano player for the New York Philharmonic, that laid out the foundation of what would come in my musical studies.
It was while pursuing an internship in the field of computer science, after moving back closer to home... just as I was settling into what I thought would be a long career in programming, that tragedy struck. My grandmother, my legal guardian, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. That was a blow that shattered me, emotionally & introspectively. It was during her last few months alive that she encouraged me to find something that I really loved and to peruse it. So, with her encouragement, I drove out to Colorado.
There I enrolled with a local school, AIMS Community College, and enlisted in their Music Theory & Composition program. It was two years of musical focused studies, and I ate up every bit of it. It devoured my attention, and kept me from dwelling on the solitude of my recent loss. Once again I was in a school's jazz band. Music was my comfort.
When I wasn't busy studying, or listening to music, I'd be sneaking into the 'piano rooms' at the adjacent main college of the town. There in those small rooms, at the University of Northern Colorado, I'd play the hours away on those pianos dreaming of making my own music.
A local radio station would once a week air an event called 'E-leven'.. a full hour between 11pm and midnight that was hosted by Paul Oakenfold as he mixed 'Electronic' music. It was like nothing I was familiar with, and I loved it. It was a weekly anticipation to my schedule and I'd often stay up much too late just to catch it.
During this time, of sneaking over to the other school... a friend recognized my passion, and offered to let me join him on a road trip to Nashville, Tennessee. He was planning on attending the seminary school there, and welcomed the company. I still remember walking through that city, awestruck by the atmosphere, the fireflies, and the humidity. But more importantly, it was an entire city engulfed in the music industry.
That was it, I knew that once I got home to Colorado that it was time to leave towards a big city of my own. Upon returning to that small town of Greeley, I made preparations. Down to Denver I moved.
A half a year later, after living on the south side of the city, I finally was able to find a place downtown. It was while living in this premier high-rise building on Denver's 16th mall, that I was finally starting to feel like I could let lose. I had made friends with a sociable group of guys. They had an 'in' at some of the local clubs... where we would spend time regularly. I got to know the door guys at The Church, Beta Nightclub, and few of the other popular places to party. It was while attending one of these after parties that were often hosted by the 'door guys' for their friends that I got invited to tag along to a private house party. It turned out to be unusually dead; yet it had something most such parties didn't. Josh Gabriel, from the duo Grabriel & Dresden! He was looking for someplace quiet to hangout after his event. I spent that night, picking Josh's brain. I wanted to know how he made his songs, and to my surprise... Josh showed me. I 'd studied the theory behind music... but this was the real thing. This was the 'magic sauce.'
It was during this time, going from club to club, seeing some of the best EDM artists play their sets, that I felt what music could do. I was a fan. Not just of one; but of the entirety. I vividly remember getting a demos from Dave Audé... hearing music, that he hadn't published; but was handing out to his fans. I wanted more. I went to every festival I could. I finally understood why my mother was dragging me around to attend those concerts, as a young kid. The culture had absorbed me. I loved every bit of it.
It was during those years, that I got to go to one festival that particularly stood out, EDC; Electric Daisy Carnival. EDC claim was that it was 'created with the purpose of utilizing music and art to inspire individuals.' And it did. I got to watch the mega stars of the EDM industry, big names like Paul Van Dyk, Above & Beyond, Infected Mushroom, Benny Benossi, Kaskade and others, as they put on shows that were elevated even further by the atmosphere that the festival provided. But I didn't just want to be a fan.
That year, I'd follow that instinct. I bought my first turntable mixer from one of my clubbing friends, he was upgrading and needed something better. Part of the deal was that he'd show me how to use it. After I had the gear, I posted an add for lessons... I needed somebody to show me more. Fortunately a local DJ, Greg Eversoul, took me up on the offer. We spent a lot of time together those weeks, as he showed me the secrets of beat-matching, and how he'd prep for shows.
I would continue to learn how to DJ while working my way through an internship at A Music plus, a local DJ company that would do all sorts of gigs. Many of them weddings, or corporate parties... my passion was starting to wain. That wasn't what I was looking for from this. I didn't want to play someone else's music. I needed to find my own sound again. That's not to say it wasn't useful, I learned how to apply my music theory background into my DJ sets, mixing in Key utilizing the circle of fifths as a I progressed from song to song throughout a set. I learned how to get people to dance.
Even though I was good at it, it didn't hold me... I felt drained. Playing for weddings wasn't my passion. Somehow I'd stepped off of my pursuits and fallen for the money.
So, I stopped.
Yet a glimmer inside me held. I still wanted more. I still had a passion for the music. I'd still go to concerts. I fondly remember attending a Lindsey Sterling Concert in a small venue, before she became a sensation; where she played her violin with so much passion. She was doing what I dreamed about doing. She had found her sound. So, I persisted. I enlisted in a Masterclass by Deadmau5. It was more educational than I had expected.
Actually, it was amazing, Joel Zimmerman broke down the music in a way that I'd not seen before, at least not since that night of talking to Josh Gabriel. Once again, I was seeing the 'magic sauce'. I'd go on to take other Masterclasses too from other notable artists, such as Armin Van Buuren and Timbaland. I was investing in myself. I wanted to produce my own music. And I knew I'd have to learn more from those that had succeeded before me in doing just that.
It was while attending a Tom Petty Concert in 2017, I was so impressed with that venue... that I set myself a goal. I want to play my music there at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, someday. I've yet to do that, but I've started making my own music. That was a big step. It took me a while to be happy enough with what I was making, to want to release it, but:
In 2019 I began compiling, and by the start of 2020 I released my debut album, entitled MATHEMAGI.
This first album was a tribute to my days studying math, and though it wasn't ultimately what I wanted to do with my life, many of those concepts stuck with me.
Later, in the year in August, I would release my second album, entitled MOVEMENT THERAPY.
This album was conceptualized while attending school for learning to become a massage therapist, at Denver Integrative Massage School.
I intend to continue with my musical career, but learning about the human body and the effects of massage has become a big part of my life. It's inevitable that it'll end up effecting my music.
As some extra fun, with my latest album: I've been making a few of them into music videos. I enjoy that creative outlet.