Not long ago, when originality reigned over formula, before sensation had become a goal in itself and pop/rock composers metamorphosed into generic categories, music listeners looked to recording artists as a means to expand their consciousness, explore new ideas, escape the ordinary, learn how to dress, talk, behave, and seek an identity. Behold the music of Arden Reign, which takes the listener on an artistic journey back to a time when music was celebrated for it's uniqueness, ambition, theatricality and literacy. Through lush, immaculate production and subtle textures encompassing pop, alternative rock, rock, jazz and classical influences, New York native Mark Gallo is an explorer through time, crafting melodic, anthemic pop songs and wrapping them in atmospheric soundscapes. He writes, records, and produces all of his own material. Conceived by Mark himself, the name Arden Reign is 'a universal concept that all can embrace. The word 'Arden' is actually an Old English name meaning 'fiery' or 'passionate' derived from the Latin word ardens bearing the same meaning. The modern word is 'ardent'. I always believed that Arden Reign was the name that best defined my music and my overall artistic direction. For it is our very passions that manifest our talents and gifts from God that we all have', states Mark. For many years Mark carefully studied and absorbed a myriad of influences. "I studied classical out of my love for the music and my fascination with how such beautiful, complex compositions were written. Then I briefly moved on to theory and jazz guitar. I concentrated on the various chord inversions and harmonies to fortify my overall knowledge. And of course, I also studied the music of the Beatles, which is a perfect marriage between just about every genre in the pantheon of popular music. I'm very inspired by the great rock artists from the 1960's to the present day. My goal is to write what I feel and develop it into a marketable song." In his lyrics, Mark conveys his thoughts and ideals with a distinct clarity that melds into the melodic framework of each track. "My ideas and images emerge as I'm playing. It all depends on my mood and the melody. The lyrical content centers on how I view the world around me and the feelings the music brings out. Often, the words will just pop into my head and I'll develop it into a song. The text is rarely written first.' Presenting his music to the world is another endeavor Mark relishes. He's just as comfortable on stage as he is in the studio. "Yes, I am a stickler for sound" Mark emphasizes. "I know the medium for expression is not like it was a hundred years ago: the grand staff !" After several attempts to convey to engineers the sounds he was hearing in his head, Mark submerged himself into the science of recording. "I grew frustrated when engineers could not capture what I was hearing. My ideology is simple: the better your songs sound, the better your chances are of being heard. The technology is here, so I dived in head first. Over the years, I educated myself, but as much as you think you know, there's always someone else who knows more. So I poured over trade magazines and contacted audio experts any chance I could." "I love playing live. My band Arden Reign is exceptional. They're powerful, tasteful, and lock into what I'm doing with precision. I can feel the audience pick up our vibe the minute we hit the stage. We're all about serving the song, and that's where the magic is. We're only four guys up there, but we create an enormous sound." Mark's emotive vocal delivery was borne of experience. Singing in various bands and playing in numerous clubs allowed Mark to develop a style of communicating with an audience that is soulful, impassioned, and soars above the music. Mark's first release under Arden Reign was the EP entitled 'All You Want' in July of 2004 consisting of five songs. Mark then went on to add those five songs to a full album entitled 'Night Worlds' released in August, 2005. With the exception of the song 'Mountain', the only musician that appears on every track besides Mark is drummer Brad Lewis. All of the instruments (except drums) on the 'Pictures of Sister', 'Two Hearts in Paradise' and 'If You Reap What You Sow' of the album were performed entirely by Mark himself. The album cover artwork was also created by Mark through digital rendering, who many hale as the next new art form. 'Digital rendering was a hobby I took up over some time in late 2004. I became fascinated with science fiction/fantasy artwork of the screen savers found throughout the web as well as the computer animation we see in movies and wanted to create my own renders. I was surprised to see how good they came out and decided to use one as my album cover. In this technological age that allows us complete musical and artistic independence, it just made sense to combine the two art forms.' Although producing other artists is a long term possibility, right now Mark's focus is on his own songs and conveying them in a live setting.
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