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I started playing the trombone when I was seven years old, but I didn't pick up a guitar until my freshman year in college. I first learned to play classical guitar, and a little bit of flamenco. Flamenco music still is an influence for me, along with near and middle eastern traditional music. I have always loved psychedelic music, and the first album I bought was Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band when I was 10 years old.

I have struggled with clinical depression for all of my adult life, and this has affected my art. I believe that my music is about all of the struggles with mental illness, and about finally finding redemption after many years of bleak desolation.

I first formed The Light Gathering Lens in my mind in the early 1990's. I had been the guitar player in a band, (Weather Theater), since 1984, but I wanted to sing, and I had been interested in slower, experimental, and ambient sounding music for quite some time.

The experience with Weather Theater had me very discouraged and burned out, because of struggling with the music industry at that time. Seattle was in the midst of the grunge movement, and both my music and our music did not fit into that category. Also, the music industry was very centered around recording labels, and it seemed like the only way to become successful was to be discovered by a label. Things have changed recently because of the rise of social media.

The EP never happened, and I was caught up in pursuing a career as a scientific researcher. Twenty-four years after I recorded the EP, I discovered it again. I listened to it after so much time, and I decided to release and promote it. My research was stagnating due to the drying up of funds after the 2008 recession, and I had time to do things like create music. I had been a wildlife scientist and my research had been aimed at conserving gray wolves in the western U.S. I had spent much time alone in the wilderness tracking wolf movements, and analyzing their kill sites, and I think that this experience also inspires my art.

My next project will be to record and release a full-length album. Like the EP, it will feature my guitar and voice, with more of the slow, ambient, experimental pop.

Eric Burnham
Winter, 2017

Eric Burnham

CONTACT: thelightgatheringlens@gmail.com