By Gary Thomas
Having lived in both Cape Town and Durban, the South African musician Gary Thomas has a wide range of musical influences. Gary was classically trained in school and later studied jazz at university. His unique style blends rich, moody song writing with a vast array of alternative guitar techniques and precision multi-tasking. Music isn’t his only artistic talent nor his only inspiration, as we can see in his stunning work below, Gary has always had a strong connection to the ocean and has a talent of photographically capturing its beauty.
It’s something he needs to do regularly out of a sense of urgency, because he feels like life can be quite fleeting. There aren’t many things that can soothe your perspective quite like the way the sea does. As a musician, there are super relevant connections between music and the ocean for him, the most obvious one being that they both deal in the movement and manipulation of waves. After spending enough time in the water, you start to see this functional connection in the hills and mountains around you too. And ultimately, he is reminded that everything is in constant motion.
The thrill he feels when capturing a moment of water is similar to that of learning and landing something new in music. Some days the sea delivers a regular, clean and even tempo set. That’s like a great chord progression. Other days it’s full free jazz, pulling off these epic moments that are so unpredictable and so fleeting.
Ultimately it all feels like art, the thrill of the hunt and the joy of the capture. A daily necessity.
Gary is currently releasing 4 track EP’s as Moodship and working on film scores in his home studio, where he creates sound design and writes music for documentary, television, film and theatre. And, if you needed even more of a reason to explore his music, he has been described as a “virtuoso display of left-field indie-folk mastery” by Rolling Stone, and the Cape Argus promises he is capable of “manipulating guitar strings so that they converse in a new language”.