John is originally from outside Chicago and pretty much ignored music up until the age of about 11 after repeated attempts by his parents to get him interested in piano lessons – likely because he was too interested in video games. However, after picking up the trombone in school, he quickly reversed course (as children do) and took up piano, guitar and singing in quick succession. At the same time, he also begin experimenting recording and writing music using a basic reel-to-reel 2 track recorder. He was fascinated with the piano and the way that it, unlike the trombone, could create lush arrangements all by itself and quickly devoured many of the songbooks in the house, library and school available to him. In doing so, he developed a quick ear and eye for improvisation and sight reading making him a frequent accompanist for fellow students who were singing, rehearsing for a musical theatre production or needing an accompanist for a solo instrument audition. As a senior in high school, he served as musical director for Godspell and wrote original music for the school’s jazz choir.
After graduating he attended the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. He began his studies as a double major in Music Education and Music Composition, but soon dropped the composition in favor of studying more instrumentation and conducting. Even though he was officially not “studying” composition, he still took classes in counterpoint and arranging for winds among others to further his skills. During his junior year he was awarded a School of Music scholarship for “Excellence and Innovation in Music Teaching”.
During his college years he continued to invest in a modest studio and teach himself the basics of MIDI technology and studio technique while recording original songs as well as recording fellow music majors’ performances. He also started to see that the face of music in games was changing and becoming an art form unto itself and he began to seek out game makers to score their projects.
During his last year as an undergrad, John formed the Serenade String Ensemblewhich consisted of largely non-music major string players. He also directed his second musical, Pippin for the Illini Union Board.
In early 2004, John got married and moved to Rolla, MO where his wife had begun graduate work in Electrical Engineering at the University of Missouri-Rolla.
In Rolla, he set up his first small studio, writing music and producing sound design for a selection of independent games including the award winning title “Wildlife Tycoon: Venture Africa.” He also was active as a music director for the local a capella group “Oak Savannah” who have been active in the Rolla area for the last decade. Over the next several years in Rolla, he directed 10 different theatrical productions between the University and a local equity theatre: The Ozark Actor’s Theatre.
In 2008, John moved to Lawrence, Kansas just outside Kansas City to establish a multi-room studio including state-of-the-art recording and mixing facilities. Since then, he has been part of numerous popular iOS and PC/Mac video game projects and films. He also blogs and posts youtube videos regularly about music technology, composition techniques and gear reviews. In addition to his own work, he also enjoys teaching composition, piano and studio production techniques.
He is a member of the Game Audio Network Guild (GANG), Association of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP), Nashville Composers Association and can be found regularly at the Game Developers Conferences in San Francisco and Austin. You can contact John by using the contact form here and follow him on twitter @seguinsound.com