I grew up in Brooklyn, playing jam sessions with my brother and friends — music heavily influenced by early jazz-rock artists Miles Davis, John McLaughlin, Weather Report, Herbie Hancock and then there was James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, The Who and many, many others.
My father, Paul Maynard was a harpsichordist and organist in the field of early music. He was one of the founding members of Pro Musica. There was always classical music at home, either on the turntable, radio or him practicing on the harpsichord. But he also had Leadbelly and Swingle Singers records.
And of course there is just New York, where there is music of all kinds and styles, people of all kinds, looks and smells, and all the music that came with that. It was really a wonderful mix of everything and anything. I did not realize how exceptional that was at the time, it was just my normal.
For whatever reason I never was that interested in playing covers or standards or other people’s music even though I was influenced by so many things. I was always looking to use my own voice. I prefer simple themes that offer the freedom to improvise, where creativity and the collective ability of the whole group to listen and interact bring something to life that exists only at that moment.
It’s about expressing something personal, with give and take, where the group is greater than the sum of its parts. That only happens with a collective attitude, whether conscious or not. By its very nature this kind of music can be difficult to reproduce. Until recently I was strictly an ear musician. But I have been learning some basic theory and increasing my chordal range. I’ve always played improvised music, mistakes and all, which also can make for some magical things that would never happen by playing it safe “like the record”.
My latest CD “Dream”, has all my original compositions, played on 12-string guitar and beautifully complimented with Peggy Leiby on concertina and recorder.
I really appreciate Peggy working with me on this project. This was somewhat different for her and I think she did very well with it. As with my previous “Duo’s” and “PATH” releases, this music defines its own space and works with its own sensibilities.
Phil Maynard -October, 2019
My 3rd CD “Duo’s, Spring 2018” is pulled from a half dozen sessions I played with Andre Maranhao on piano and myself on 12-string guitar. Andre brings an ability to both listen and put forth his own ideas. We each made space for each other and that shows in many ways from trading the focus to letting the beautiful sounds of our instruments work together as a unit. All the compositions are written by myself and Andre and they are roughly 50:50 improvisations vs working on setting up song arrangements for idea’s we each had. There are some beautiful musical interactions here.
Phil Maynard -June 26, 2018
My 2nd CD titled “PATH“, was a somewhat experimental trio format and my first attempt as a band leader. Interesting and wonderful music was played by all. Christine Hopkins’s eloquent artist statement on behalf of the band is as follows:
Round Angle Sound creates unexpected, semi-improvised, new landscapes of original, acoustic, world, jazz-blues. This trio of 12-string guitar, winds and percussion offers a groove-not groove that is post-modern and spacious. Their innovative, jazz-inspired music conveys varied moods from lively to hypnotic. Phil Maynard on 12-string guitar is the originator and sound engineer. Allan Kleban plays silver flute, harmonicas, soprano recorder and ocarina. Christine Hopkins plays eclectic percussion on dununs, djembe, bells, pouring water and beyond, both on and off the beats. A feeling of tender coolness prevails in the slower songs. Uptempo, counter-rhythms surprise in the livelier tunes. Spacious and unexpected, mostly smooth and delicate, this uniquely unusual, new music refreshes with skillful originality. It offers listeners an organic, new aesthetic that feels both post-modern and natural.
– Christine Hopkins
On my first CD titled “What I See“, I play all of the parts. Starting with real drums, I then added and layered on electric bass, rhythm and solo instruments with the help of a guitar synthesizer. I was a kid in a candy store having decent multi-track equipment for the first time and playing for an audience of one but ultimately tired of being the only “voice” in the band – but some great Jazz-Rock was made along the way.
– Phil Maynard