TV SPORTS, GAMING AND MULTI-MEDIA COMPOSER STEVE WHEELER SETS THE STAGE FOR HIS EPIC DEBUT ALBUM ‘STORMSEEKER’
AN ECLECTIC, SYMPHONIC COLLECTION DRAWING ON HIS PASSIONS FOR CLASSICAL, HEAVY METAL AND MANY OTHER GENRES
Even before you delve into the latest batch of epic symphonic tracks that multi-talented composer Steve Wheeler is releasing before the drop of his full length debut Stormseeker, it’s likely that you’ve already heard him weave his multi-faceted musical magic. As a prolific music for media composer/producer on staff with renowned music production house Unified Sounds, his eclectic vibes have been a major part of the soundtrack for CBS Sports – including The PGA Tour, NCAA March Madness, NFL and SEC College Football. His projects for Sony include the hit virtual reality game Farpoint.
Stormseeker is the fulfillment of Wheeler’s desire to expand his musical horizons, work with a richer sonic palette than ever before and essentially have more fun than being a studio “hired gun” generally allows. You’ve probably never heard an instrumental artist equally inspired on a single project by both Samuel Barber’s “ Adagio For Strings,” metal legends Megadeth, Metallica and Faith No More and jazz icons like Dave Brubeck and drummer Billy Cobham. Those are just some of the influences that the Cape Cod bred, Orlando based studio powerhouse draws from as he carves out his dynamic niche in the realm of 21st Century classical/symphonic epic music. He laid the foundation for the full length album a few months ago with the release of the three track teaser EP Terminal Velocity.
In 2009 and 2010, Wheeler was awarded the ASCAP Foundation Henry Mancini Music Fellowship, which allowed him the opportunity to study at the University of Miami in their Master of Music program for Media Writing and Production. He worked on projects such as being a score reader for “Jazz Roots: An Evening with Dave Grusin,” and an orchestrator for “Lanza!,” a musical produced by the Frost School of Music and Phil Ramone. After receiving his Master of Music in Media Writing and Production, he became an educator, teaching privately on drums and as a lab instructor at the University of Miami’s Media Writing and Production. He is currently the Course Director for Music Production for Media for the Music Production Bachelor of Science program at Full Sail University.
Amazingly in light of the bold, booming and occasionally brassy textures he fashions, the multi-instrumentalist creates his rich sonic landscapes using only a Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 MK2 keybed, electric guitars, a mini-amp and a drum controller. The seven songs Wheeler is currently releasing ahead of the full Stormseeker album perfectly reflect the freewheeling, eclectic range of genres he explores. Highlighted by a blistering sax solo by Adam Donahue, the booming, percussive title track “Stormseeker” blends lively orchestral grandeur, jazz, EDM, dubstep and high intensity rock. Wheeler says, “It’s five minutes where I see how many genres I can fit into a single track.”
Another new highlight is the 10 and a half minute, Barber inspired strings only piece “Until the Light Leaves Their Eyes,” which incorporates emotional highs and lows that connect to a vision Wheeler had of people leaving their home on a boat, sailing off and ultimately not seeing the light on shore anymore. “By the Fire” is the cool outlier on the album, a lyrical, moody, percussive and hypnotic exercise in medieval music complete with ancient strings and flute sounds. “Unearthly Mover” is only a few minutes long but offers a master class in heavily textured sound design and powerful, sweeping vocal textures.
“These pieces, like those on the Terminal Velocity EP stand alone from the other work I do for media,” Wheeler says. “I have always composed pieces on my own, but I feel like I finally have the tools and knowledge to actually say something that might be worth hearing apart from the sports and video game worlds. I feel like with these tracks, there are no restrictions in terms of what I can do with them, and in that sense, it’s very creatively freeing. They’re about pushing boundaries and enjoying the opportunity to stray from my usual compositional comfort zone.”
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