The Grand Finale: A Standing Ovation

I met Patrick Wright in an unlikely way. I was working at my day job and he, an alumni of the place, came in to visit and reminisce. Upon talking he discovered I write for a music magazine and I discovered he makes music. We exchanged information – aka his cd, and I was introduced to a spellbinding, satisfying sensation of sounds.

Listening to his cd was like reliving all the things I liked about music – it was exciting. It was like I was back in band when instruments were fun and I had a good time, whether I was playing the triangle, the trumpet, or a trash can! The Grand Finale consists of Patrick and his laptop, but it is so much more than the sum of its pioneering
parts. Self described as a musical “amoeba,” The Grand Finale branches out and beautifully blends together brands of music and beats without being overbearing. It’s diverse without being distracting!

The music is florid and fresh – each song is a smooth, surprising, sophisticated sundry of sounds, from piano to percussion. Both modern and mature, it’s catchy, but not in a profit-making, packaged way. It’s subversively successful and reflectively refreshing. It’s like both sunshine and stars, blue skies and a breeze, a field of flowers
you can fall asleep in, a delightful rain to dance in, a perfect pillow to put your head on. Patrick can be vulnerable without playing the victim and beaming without being boastful.

Sara Fincham: Exactly how many bands have you been in or are currently in!?

Patrick Wright: I have been in a total of 3 bands: In high school I was in a pop-punk band called The Failers. We were pretty terrible, like most high school bands. In college, I was in a group called As Patient Stars Align. This band was pretty successful. We played with some bigger acts like Mae, Boys Night Out, and opened for Motion City Soundtrack. The singer was amazing. His new group is called Meow vs. Meow. I’m surprised a record label hasn’t picked them up yet. I also played in the Derrick Mckee band for about a year. I’m currently a solo artist, so I can’t really say I’m in a band per see. But I release all my music under the name The Grand Finale.

SF: You do so many types of music – was it hard for you to realize that that was okay, that you didn’t have to narrow yourself down, or was it never an issue?

PW: I’ve always been interested in lots of genres because my friends have different tastes. I think that influences my effort to write and produce different tracks. I ultimately just want to write some tracks that my friends will enjoy. I am biased, I enjoy all of them, but most of all enjoy the process of creating something new?

SF: It seems like you’re still in the growing stages, of trying to find a sound that works for you, but until then – how patient are you with trying new things? It works for you! And have you ever recorded something that was too far from what you were intending – that just WASN’T you!

PW: I’ve been playing music with other people for a long time, so I never realized how challenging it was to do everything yourself. I can tell that every new track I finish, I am becoming more polished and more prepared for future endeavors. I’m always interested in trying new things. Recently, I’ve been asking a fellow musician, Katherine Moss, for opinions and direction. She’s able to add more structure to my somewhat haphazard
arrangements. I don’t think I have ever recorded something that wasn’t me because I tend
to enjoy all wavelengths of the spectrum. SF: How hard is it – I mean every new person can’t escape the comparisons to those who came before them – to be new and innovative, and do you mind comparisons?

PW: Everyone sounds like someone. I don’t mind comparisons, I welcome them because it gives me a better perspective of listeners’ perceptions. The underlying mathematical progression of chords and melodies into music is shared. I would be more worried if I didn’t remind someone of some other artist, because then I would probably
just be making random noises and supporting fuzzy math.

SF: When you play out, what types of events/places do you play?

PW: When I play out now I just do an acoustic set. I feel like it is a more honest representation of an artist. It’s terrifying, but I enjoy the challenge. I play at small venues here and there when I have a break from school.
SF: Is it reassuring that you have full control of the music that you make – that all you need is your laptop and you don’t have to rely on anybody else’s talents or opinions, and do you seek opinions from others when you’re making music?

PW: I do like having total control of my music. In a group situation, everyone usually has good ideas and you are usually forced to pick the best one. This puts lots of your ideas on hold. It’s nice to unleash them and see where they end up. I’m hoping to start a new group once I find the right people. I value others opinions, but I don’t ask for them very often. I usually have a good idea of what I would like things to sound like.

SF: When did you start playing, why did you start playing, and what makes you continue to do so?

PW: I first started playing piano and taking voice lessons when I was around 7 years old. Most of my family played instruments and sang so it was simply passed on. I picked up the guitar when I was in the 8th grade. I have always liked to spend a lot of time alone, so I fill that time with music. There’s nothing more satisfying to me than writing a new song. It reminds me that everything only gets better from here. That’s why I continue to write.

The Grand Finale

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