In the quaint corners of Mount Dora, Florida, a progressive rock luminary, Steve Hillier, orchestrates a melodic journey that transcends time and echoes through the intricate corridors of musical complexity. In a recent interview following his feature on the “Progstravaganza: Harmony in Complexity” digital compilation by Prog Sphere webzine, Hillier opens the door to his sonic universe, sharing insights into his musical odyssey.
Steve Hillier‘s musical tale commences in Connecticut, where, at the tender age of 13, he embraced the organ and commenced a lifelong love affair with the keys. His journey meandered through bands, piano studies, and life’s twists, ultimately finding its home in the vibrant landscape of south Florida.
The spotlight falls on the title track of his EP, “Moving Star,” a celestial escapade fueled by the exhilaration of happiness. Hillier shares, “Stepping outside now, you’re off on a ride, moving star,” encapsulating the liberating essence of joy. Inspired by the profound moments of sharing the evening sky with his daughter, the track blends a sense of wonder with musical finesse, drawing parallels to the early magic of Genesis.
Hillier unveils his creative process, a delicate dance between piano, synths, and lyrical musings. Whether crafting intricate instrumentals or weaving lyrics inspired by dreams, each composition is a testament to his multifaceted approach. “Good songwriting is a lot like good film scoring,” he reflects, emphasizing the symbiotic relationship between music and narrative.
Genesis, ELP, Yes, and a touch of Jazz Fusion shape Hillier’s sonic tapestry. As he molds his distinctive sound, the echoes of his influences reverberate, creating a harmonious convergence of the familiar and the avant-garde.
Entering the recording realm in his 60s, Hillier confronts the challenges of technology and financial commitments. Undeterred, he navigates the intricate web of digital creation, prioritizing authenticity over algorithmic shortcuts.
Hopeful for a renaissance in progressive and creative rock, Steve envisions a future where listeners rediscover the allure of genuine, musician-driven compositions. His role in this evolution lies in creating music that transcends the synthetic and champions the authentic.
The journey unfurls in vivid memories — the first paid gig, performances in drug rehabilitation centers, and opening for iconic artists like Mitch Ryder and Three Dog Night. Each note played weaves into the rich tapestry of Hillier’s musical legacy.
Among his compositions, “Wintertime” stands tall, a rhythmic homage reminiscent of Traffic‘s allure, adorned with organ, piano, and saxophone in unison.
With songs waiting in the wings, collaborations with international talents like Zamm Kenoby, Rafael Freitas, and Steve Giddings, Hillier promises more sonic tales in the form of a new EP. His commitment to genuine musical performances ensures a continued rendezvous with captivating compositions.
Being part of the “Progstravaganza: Harmony in Complexity” compilation marks a significant milestone for Hillier. Grateful for the opportunity, he embraces the chance to reach diverse audiences and share his musical world.
To those discovering his music through the compilation, Hillier extends gratitude and invites them to connect. He encourages questions, conversations, and offers exclusive glimpses into his musical realm through an engaging mailing list.
In the realm of dreams, Hillier envisions a collaboration with the legendary John Coltrane, a meeting of progressive and jazz realms.
Instrument of Choice:
A tenor saxophone beckons as the instrument of mastery in Hillier’s alternate musical universe.
Favorite Prog Album:
“The Yes Album” remains an eternal favorite, drawing Hillier back with its melodic brilliance and Tony Kaye‘s Hammond organ prowess.
Art, especially Frederick Morgan‘s painting “Over The Garden Wall,” and philosophical musings find their way into Hillier’s compositions, enriching them with depth and meaning.
In parting, Hillier leaves a profound reflection — hope is life’s most crucial element. Through dreams, one finds hope, and through music, Hillier crafts a vessel for dreams to flourish. The odyssey continues, harmonies unfolding, inviting all to join the voyage through the intricacies of progressive soundscapes.
For those eager to explore more of Steve Hillier’s musical universe, his website (www.stevehilliermusic.com) and Bandcamp page (https://stevehillier.bandcamp.com) serve as portals to a world where melody and meaning converge. Connect on Twitter (@stevehillierm) and Instagram (@stevehilliermusic) for real-time updates, and dive into his sonic explorations on SoundCloud (https://soundcloud.com/steve-hillier-820156701).