Born, raised, and still living in far-Northern California, Craig Padilla has become an internationally celebrated electronic music artist. After nearly two decades of playing live shows in the region, his style reflects the classic electronic music (EM) artists of the past, while finding new sound and music styles that are unique.
Craig has long used the traditional (now considered vintage) instruments of the genre like the Arp 2500/2600 and Sequential Circuits Pro One. Those instruments lend themselves to the full bodied analog sound so sought after by today’s EM aficionados. He also uses custom designed analog synths that are one of a kind, and has modified many of his instruments. Lately, Craig has been using the latest in virtual synths like Reason to good effect. Those virtual instruments can be thin and artificial sounding in the hands of less skilled and unpracticed artists, but Craig has developed the ability to couple these new tools to the old ones in groundbreaking and innovative ways. In the process, he has created new sonic worlds of ambience and subtlety that combine the best of the old with the finest of the new.
By far the most compelling reason I am such a fan of Craig’s music is that he retains a great melodic sensibility while using these instruments. Synthesizers can make nearly any sound. It is easy to make bad electronic music, but difficult to capture the essence of humanity with these instruments, of humans making music. Craig never lets the technology overcome the humanity, as is evident in any of his romantic works, but also in his more ambient compositions. It is his grasp of this need, and his unceasing reaching to grab this elusive brass ring of EM that keeps us coming back for more. His finest works are wordless evocations of grandeur and timelessness.
You may not have an opportunity to attend one of Craig’s live performances in Northern California, but when you audition one of his live CDs, you will be easily transported to the sonic space that took place. His many studio recordings are also very special transport devices. Craig has always endeavored to paint musical landscapes with a rich palette of infinite timbral complexity, guaranteeing to take you to a different place on each listen, making every disc a recording that you will come to treasure and replay.