A multi-instrumentalist, Audio engineer and Composer, currently from the small town of Jennersdorf, Martin Werkovits is this month's ToneGym Hero!
Who are you?
Hi, I am Martin Werkovits, multi-instrumentalist, audio engineer and composer from the very south-east of Austria. The small town of Jennersdorf (some assert that this is the most northern town of Balkan) is my residence where I live with my wife Andrea, a professional musician, principal of a music school and singing teacher and our daughter Anna, an enthusiastic musician as well, working on her PhD in technical physics.
My musical education started in the age of six learning recorder, later violin, French horn, guitar, piano, bass guitar, drums, saxophone, and double bass. Besides that, I am singing in choirs or small vocal ensembles.
I own a degree in electronics/audio engineering from the University of Technology and the University of Music in Graz. In my first job as an audio electronic developer, I worked on high-end dynamic processors (analog signal path and digitally controlled). Now my bread-and-butter job is outside the music industry, where I am Head of Research and Development of a competence centre for LED light sources.
What is your favourite ToneGym feature?
As a certified SoundGym
member on the diamond ears level, I am already familiar with ToneGym's basic concept, which I really appreciate. In general, I like the approach of the tonecoins rewarding system and to be in competition with other musicians.
For me, this reinforces the motivation to improve my musical skills. My favourite game is 'Chordelius', since it is the most complex one from my point of view.
One music piece that inspired you to be a musician?
There is one masterpiece of my favourite band Toto called 'Better World', which incorporates a lot of musical components that are important for me. This fantastic composition is timeless and completely against the mainstream, combining virtuosity, polyrhythmic, an extraordinary form, a mixture of jazz and rock chord progressions, sophisticated instrumentation, a heartbreaking melody and is performed by excellent musicians.
Who or what is your biggest influence?
Over the last decade artists like Steve Lukather, Eddie Van Halen, but also some gypsy jazzmen like Django Reinhardt, Stochelo Rosenberg and Bireli Lagrene had a strong influence on me as a guitarist.
Diversity is another aspect that shapes my musical creativity. If you are experienced and familiar with different musical genres and styles, you can use ideas out of that toolbox and form your arrangements, your instrumental playing, or your compositions to sound more interesting adding that certain indefinable something.
Any habits that help you stay Inspired and Creative?
I see my musical activities as part of my work-life balance and as a strong counterpoint to my challenging job as an R&D manager.
One of my major sources of inspiration is the exchange and collaboration with other musicians. Curiosity and a strong impulse to learn something about me unknown areas of music were always essential parts of my musical carrier and stimulated my creativity.
Tell us a bit about your workflow when making music?
Mostly I develop my musical ideas on the piano, sometimes on the guitar. It happened also that I wrote a polyphonic cappella song for 6 voices without any instrument during a stay on a lonely beach in Greece. I chose very carefully appropriate instrumentations before I start the recordings, which I do for almost 25 years with Cubase.
My musical bandwidth is relatively large, therefore workflows are completely different, depending on the project and my role within.
The musical instrument you have special feelings for?
For me, this is clearly the guitar. It was the fourth instrument, which I began to learn as an autodidact at the age of 15, entering the world of rock music. Years later I got a professional education at the University of Music, mainly based on classical music.
After almost 40 years of being a guitarist, with more insight and knowledge about different musical styles and techniques, my playing is now more coloured and diverse, influenced by rock, gypsy jazz and classical music.
What does the future hold for Martin in the music industry?
I hope to be able to realize a variety of interesting, challenging projects. My next short term targets are to finish an almost completed studio album of my progressive rock project 'Snackbag Reloaded' and start to produce a new album of my daughter's gypsy jazz formation, where I will additionally join as guest musician with my double bass.
Hopefully, a positive development of the pandemic situation allows me to have a lot of life performances with my beloved Latin band project 'Uhudler Libre' this year's summertime, since it is still the most emotional and exciting interaction between musicians and audience.