"We're into the third generation of musical Horns'", Beth Horn states as little three year old Jonah climbs into her lap. "I think Jonah is going to be an engineer, because he loves to press buttons on his fathers equipment."
Humbly, Beth continues, "Currently, I teach electronic and MIDI keyboards, theory, composition, history, general music - the works - full time at a local Tucson, Arizona middle school." Prior to a career in music education, Beth spent many years working as a professional flautist recording with the orchestras of MGM and Universal Studios, Walt Disney, HBO Cable and CBS Television. As Jonah makes his way into her arms, Beth states "Jonah also plays the C scale perfectly on the piano and he loves the drums. Like father like son."
Father Robin Horn interjects, "I started on the drums when I was eight years old. My parents were experimenting with my brother and myself to see where our musical aptitude was. It seems I received about every instrument imaginable when one holiday I received a drum set. I sat down and just started playing it. The rest is history."
To date, Robin's history includes tours of Russia, China, Spain, Brazil and the USA with his father's band, The Paul Horn Band. Live and recording work includes sessions with Tommy Newsome, Ben Vereen, Aaron Neville, Linda Ronstatdt, Brian Bromberg and Andy Griffith. Robin released his first solo album, Fast Lane, in 1990 and is now in the process of working on demos for his second solo release. Robin is also currently an "Artist in Resident" at The University of Arizona, teaching Drum Set and Electronic Percussion. But, Andy Griffith, Robin? "Ummmm, we'll talk later," comes his reply, probably hoping I'll forget the question.
Although there is enough information about Beth, Robin and, especially, Jonah, to fill a book, The Horn hierarchy is incomplete without great mention to Robin's father, Paul Horn. Proficient on Saxophone, Clarinet and his main instrument, the flute, Paul has recorded almost forty solo albums since his first release in 1958. Paul has also performed and recorded with such legendary names as Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Chick Corea, Buddy Rich, Quincy Jones, Joni Mitchell, and Ravi Shankar.
Although Paul has always been revered as a jazz musician, he is also considered the founding father of "New Age Music". The public first embraced this relatively new musical genre in the late sixties when Horn released Inside, an album comprised of flute solos recorded inside the Taj Mahal in India. Inside has sold almost a million copies since its release in 1968 and has led Horn to explore the unique sounds and musical experiences of performing inside pyramids, cathedrals and other buildings of historical significance in Egypt, China, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Canada and America.
Questioned about what it's like to live with the moniker, 'The Founding Father of New Age Music', Paul states, "I'm so tired of that title. I would rather say, I play music for a new age, I don't play 'New Age Music.'
"Touring takes a little less time these days," replies Paul talking about future recording and touring schedules. "Maybe two to six months out of the year. As far as a new record is concerned, there is nothing planned. Although, when traveling, circumstances always come up and... there's an album," he states philosophically.
"Speaking of tours, my dad loaned me his first Mackie, a 1202. That got me hooked," Robin states.
Paul continues, "I got that board four years ago for a one month tour of New Zealand. My road manager suggested we bring our own portable PA system, since we didn't know what kind of sound systems we would be coming across while on tour. When the road manager showed up with this little 1202, I was very surprised, and concerned, since it was so small. My first question was, 'will it do the job?' The New Zealand shows were as small as 300 and as large as 1,000 people and the Mackie 1202 worked perfectly, every time. Years later, when I started recording digital, that little Mackie 1202 was incorporated into my studio applications and is still in use today."
Robin picks up the conversation, "I have a Mackie 1604 hooked up in the electronic percussion studio at the University of Arizona. It's used for all of my sequencing, MIDI and electronic percussion teaching applications. My other 1604 is in my home studio and is being used to mix down the demo for my second solo album. The Mackies' in our family are great. Clean, quiet, reliable... I'd recommend a Mackie to anyone."
But, Robin: Andy Griffith? "Let me put that one in perspective for you," Robin states with a laugh. "It was a small, impromptu recording session for an episode of Matlock. Andy had to play guitar and sing a song for the sound track and I was hired to play drums. Really! I was working for a music and soundtrack production house at the time. Honest."
Robin adamantly states for the record, he was not auditioning for the part of Barney Fife for another 'Return to Mayberry' television special.