David Ray - Music

My father, Don Ray, a well known film composer, orchestra conductor and music educator, was likely responsible for jump-starting my music interests. I began piano at age 4, guitar at age 10, and was a child performer in classical music, guided by my parents at the time. During later youth I decided not to pursue music as a career and instead pursue interests in physics and astronomy, eventually gaining a degree in Physical Sciences from UC Berkeley. Ths was followed by several years of space science research for NASA and ESA, and more recently, data systems architect work for manufacturing, banking, television and software companies.

I originally intended for music to be a hobby on the side of a fulltime career in space research, but over the years my music experience and skills led to pursuing a few projects which grew to be professional and marketable and in some cases award-winning.

These included sound engineering, music CD production, multimedia systems for theater, and live performances as guitarist and singer in various solo and band lineups.

For a period in the 90s, I was developing multimedia systems for theater that used cutting-edge technology (at the time) to permit music and dance performers to trigger sound, music and lighting with body and hand gestures. The systems were showcased at MacWorld SF, The Exploratorium, San Francisco theater groups, and in the Paul Allen-funded Electric Carnaval which toured along side the Lollapalooza Festival.

In 2002 and 2005 I released my own studio music CDs showcasing my guitar and mandolin instrumental playing and musical arrangements. These were well-received, but I was only able to give a few live performances while continuing my other work.

In 2008 I engineered, mixed and co-produced a music CD that won "Best Old-Time Music CD of the Year" by the Rural Roots Society of the International Bluegrass Music Assiciation (IBMA) in 2010. This was "The Kettle is On" by the West County Professional Tea Sippers.

In recent years I have been focusing my music efforts on developing a unique style of instrumental playing and music arrangement that I can call my own, primarily for guitar fingerstyle and vocal techniques. I'm hoping to record another CD in the near future with the latest material.

My current work integrates selections from various genres, namely traditional North American folk, Newgrass, Latin Jazz, some Venezuelan folklore, even some contemporary rock music rearranged, all with a common thread of guitar arrangements and vocal style in a presentation for a modern audience. I hope that these offer an enjoyable and interesting new perspective.

The following are reviews of my last music CD Agradecido:

"David [has a] well-studied mastery of South American musical territory... a romantic's ear for melody... with aggressive and passionate picking."
        -- Monterey Coast Weekly

"David Ray is an exciting, thoughtful player who brings great craft and insight to his music... He immediately steps into the foremost ranks of jazz and Latin-based mandolinists."
        -- Mandolin Magazine

"Many people have recorded my song 'Misturada' throughout the last thirty years, but I am happy to tell you that your recording is one of the most unique and 'happening' that I have heard. Your entire CD is a pleasure to listen to. Flora and I have been enjoying everything, specially the chorinhos."
        -- Airto Moreira