William Paul

William Paul

Artist Biography

No one really knows exactly how long the horse has been a part of our human endeavor, as early pictorial images have been found to date thousands of years into the past. From ancient mythology to modern impressionism, mankind has envisioned these unique creatures in a myriad of portrayals, all expressing a profound fascination with their captivating presence. And although there are differing opinions as to when this relationship between the horse and man actually began, there may be something on which we can all agree. Without them, the quality of our lives would forever be missing something of great value.

The progress of civilization has been forever changed and certainly accelerated through the noble service of the horse. Many empires might never have been built within their time span nor even existed, as sizeable progress in agriculture, transportation, and military campaigns would not have been possible without an equine advantage. Throughout history, these significant and reliable servants to humanity have not only played an essential role in providing us with material wealth, but given us something of even greater value, an opportunity to gain a better perspective on ourselves as their caretakers.

My lifelong fervor for the equine world began as a child with toy horses, as I was charmed at an early age with their powerful and beautiful stature. Of course, this affection developed into something even more enchanting when the moving images of Trigger, Champion, Silver, and Fury started appearing on the screen. For those who are familiar with those episodes in the early age of American TV westerns, it was probably the creation of this genre that contributed most to my equine allurement. Even to this day, I cannot resist watching any show with horses, as they always take center stage.

Since my family did not own horses, during childhood my father would take me to various riding stables and would always use good judgment in selecting a mount suited for my skill. Then came the day when I convinced him that I needed a more spirited ride and ended up on a runaway stallion that did not stop until he was good and ready. That was the first time I really learned, that every horse truly has a will of its own and to have respect for individual temperament, the hard way.

My interest in horses eventually evolved into something quite different later in life, after I married and our daughter was born. My new family soon introduced me to a different kind of admiration for this magical entity through their tender sense of empathy, and drew me into their web of admiring horses for who they are, as well as, what they are. It was then I found “a horse of another color,” and it proved to be an enlightening one as I began to study the history, mythology and attributes of this astounding equine entity in a new light. Often misunderstood and underestimated because of its shy and flighty nature, in my humble opinion, the horse is surpassed in intelligence only by the elephant throughout the animal kingdom.

My wife, Jo, has been a tremendous inspiration to me in creating Horse Dreams. She was raised with horses all her life, and at the age of three for a short period, actually thought she was a horse in disguise . To the frustration of her family, she would not speak to anyone except in horse language for some time, and developed the most authentic horse whinny ever heard from a human. Even to this day, at the middle school where she teaches, her students and cohorts request her to annually perform her convincing, ever famous horse whinny, to everyone’s delight. Also, during her brief childhood episode of mistaken horse identity, she suffered a mild concussion while trying to fly as Pegasus, after watching Disney’s Fantasia. Jo once told me, “When God created the horse, the angles smiled.,” and that statement has forever changed the way I admire them.

Having been a musician for most of my life and written music with many varied themes, I began entertaining the thought of dedicating an album to the horse. I wanted to find a way to better express my admiration for them, and my skill served to be the perfect avenue. Horse Dreams flowed from me like nothing I had ever written, as the subject for each piece came to me almost effortlessly. It was also a special joy for me to create this work in my studio, as Jo would at times dance with an imaginary horse beside me, embellishing my vision.

Horse Dreams is a collection of thirteen songs in various musical genres ranging from new age to neoclassical, all with a different, dedicated theme, originated to illuminate a particular portrait of the horse. With selections such as "Dance of the Unicorn", "Pegasus Flight", and "Centaurs", I explore its ancient mythology, while, "For Bucephalus", "Asian Moon Mare", and "Andalusian Renewal" were more derived from history. For contemporary realism , I conceived "Arabians in the Desert", "Magic Ponies", and "Angel Foal", where as, "Dreams", "Lonely Horse Caravan", "Violet Spirit", and "Fallen Horse Tribute" convey a blend of imaginary and perceived reality.

Choosing the ideal cover art for Horse Dreams was quite a challenge since I wanted a rendering that would visually communicate my musical expressions. That is, until the day I discovered a painting of world renowned Canadian equine artist, Marti Adrian. Her masterpiece, Violet Spirit, was so beautiful, I dedicated a song on the album to it, which was titled after her astounding work of art. Marti’s creations are simply stunning and represent all that encompasses the enlightening aura of the horse in its entire splendor. When her daughter, an award winning dressage competitor, wanted to use my music for her next kur, I realized that Jo’s horse dancing was coming to fruition. After all, one would have difficulty finding more ideal music for freestyle dressage than that which was dedicated to the horse.

While Jo and I do occasionally ride horses, we mostly enjoy just hanging out with them, while our daughter, Jennifer, shows promise in the art of dressage on a champion Friesian/Arab named Cadence. Since being involved in her formal lessons, we are now learning to appreciate the great equine riding champions of the world, such as, Ludwig Beerbaum, Rodrigo Passoa, and Malin Bayard. These individuals represent the ultimate in what one may achieve in pursing an artful form of unity between mankind and the horse, within the context of a exacting event, textured with grace, marked with skill, and filled with athletic prowess.

My vision of Horse Dreams was to celebrate through music, the timeless majesty, splendid nature, and untold mystery of these stupendous creatures in all of their mythical and contemporary guises. Horses give us an inexplicable, intangible quality that lifts our spirit, captures our imagination, wins our hearts, and always brings us back to them. Horse Dreams was created as a tribute to this enigmatic, masterful, and glorious gift to the world.

-William Paul

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© 2005 William Paul