Forrest’s Musical Background
A heavy metal rocker from the start, Forrest teethed on KISS, Judas Priest, ACDC, and the like. He wanted to grow up to be a rock star, but, born into poverty in a remote logging village in North Idaho, the best he got was playing trumpet in the school band. He learned to read music and blow whole notes — ‘footballs’ as he calls them.
Gifted his first guitar in his mid teens, Forrest found in it an instrument for which he had a natural affinity. Lesson one, and his first and only guitar teacher asked if he already played guitar …and didn’t believe him when he said ‘no’. The only instructor in town, that man abruptly left with no warning after Forrest’s second lesson, and that was the end of any ‘formal’ guitar training. Forrest turned to Guitar Player magazine and trial and error.
Inspired by the likes of Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Frank Zappa, and Al Di Meola, he worked the fingerboard. He read everything he could find, listened to records and tapes — yes, vinyl, 8-track, cassette, and CD — and worked things out with a drummer friend. And got good — very good. Then, he turned to studying theory and, ultimately, to studying the old masters, analyzing the scores and notation, from Bach and Mozart to Mahler and Stravinsky.
Meticulous hands mark his technique, his fretting impeccable, his picking delicately accurate. Then there’s his ear with nigh on perfect pitch. Couple it all with an uncanny grasp of music that bespeaks old mastery, and it’s like he was born already knowing the theory, the harmonies, the constructs that makes music ‘happen’.
—D. L. Keur
Forrest’s Instruments and Gear
- Yamaha A3R-TBL Limited Edition guitar
- D’Addario EXP16 strings
- Dunlop Primetone Standard 1.5mm Sculpted Plectra (Smooth)
- Digitech RP1000 effects unit with Electro-Harmonix POG2 through stomp loop
- Backun Beta clarinet in his ‘off time’
Dawn’s Musical Background
Dawn started playing piano at age eight, flute at age eleven.
At age thirteen, she was playing first chair flute in the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and also was picked to attend the Summer Music Institute at Western Illinois University.
Also at age thirteen, she was invited to train under scholarship in both piano and flute at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, IL, where she was privileged to private tutelage under the conservatory’s premier instructors in both flute and in piano.
Subsequently, studying for years under Richard Hahn, the top world-ranked flutist, second only to Rampal, she was invited to play in Europe. She was also selected to sit in on a two-week stint of improv- sessions with Carlos Santana and his group.
Dawn’s played with small and medium-sized symphonies in New York and elsewhere, as well as playing in chamber groups that featured the first chair string, woodwind, and horn players from the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Philharmonic, and other notable symphonies. She was soloist at two Bach Festivals with top harpsichordists, played with a much-revered concert pianist, and was invited to play at a World Expo. She also performed with several summer groups that toured, including both woodwind and woodwind/horn ensembles, quartets, quintets, and chamber orchestras.
Throughout, Dawn taught select students, passing on the extraordinary Richard Hahn’s techniques and knowledge, but she stopped playing professionally, and, in fact, stopped playing for several decades.
Now, Dawn performs exclusively with her husband, Forrest, playing amplified, digitally-enhanced, electrified flute, often in styles that challenge her traditionally-trained boundaries.
Dawn’s Instruments and Gear
She uses an AKG C555L headset microphone, usually plugged in with a MPAVL Micro Mic Phantom Adapter for 9-52 Volt, also from AKG, rather than with the wireless transceiver, unless they’re playing out somewhere.
For headphones, it’s the Forrest-recommended Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone.