Garnett learned the recorder for two years and the clarinet for a year at ages 8 and 9 while at private school in London, but returned to a music-light US public school system. He sang tenor in the 8th grade school choir for awhile after being picked out of class. The music teacher mentioned to Garnett's mother that her son had perfect pitch, which apparently comes in handy with music-related stuff.
In high school the artist chased the Grateful Dead around, selling his tee shirts and posters in the parking lots of concerts to pay for his adventures. At university Garnett wrote 50 songs while making art for bands and production companies, which was his full time job outside of school when not attending classes. He started practicing basic rhythm acoustic to accompany his melodies and lyrics. His senior year he rehearsed with a band as lead singer for a month, working on some of his own material, but the band lost its space to rehearse and never played out.
After college Garnett rented his parents' garage for two years to build his fine art studio, continuing his work with the music industry, teaching himself graphic design, painting and writing. His first show afforded him a studio in the South End of Stamford, a factory space the artist kept for ten years before buying two spaces in South Norwalk, CT, 45 minutes from Houston Street in New York City. The artist painted for every penny of his career, so he opted for cheap space outside of NYC and dedicated his life to achieving fluency in a number of creative mediums to pay the bills.
While at the Stamford Loft, Garnett's friend Phil loaned him a 4-track to record cursory song concepts. Garnett waited for consumer grade technology that would allow him to build songs on his own, music remaining a sidebar project like the books he wanted to write.
Around the time Garnett moved to his South Norwalk studios, Apple Computer came out with Garageband, a consumer grade music recording program, which Garnett recorded the majority of his first single on (Busted Wing). Apple's professional grade recording software Logic began to compete with industry standard Pro Tools as itunes took on traditional music industry practices. Garnett completed Busted Wing with the limited version of Apple Logic in his home studio, recording with an M-57 mic and an M-Audio interface into his Apple desktop. He released Busted Wing on itunes in the fall of 2008, which was picked up by Teton Gravity Research for one of their short films.
Garnett's only rule was to play all the tracks on his first 10 songs, doing all the recording, editing, mixing and publishing as a crash course in studio production. He swapped his M-Audio for a Focusrite Saffire and picked up a Robbie pre-amp, moving his music station (an imac) off the grid to function only as a recording 'studio.' He traded in his beach guitar for a mid-range Yamaha FGX720SCA, he picked up a cursory M-Audio USB keyboard, an acceptable baby blue Fender Squire studio bass, and his friend Danny loaned him a black Fender Strat. He spent a lot of time tinkering, writing lyrics to work with melody, learning digital sound, instrumentation, and studying music that inspired him.
'When you are putting together a song sound by yourself, you have to think more like a composer than anything else, which suits the artist and writer in me. There is not another person who will step in to finish a picture or a book. If I was going to get some music out, I wanted to learn every facet of the big picture, even if this meant learning small snippets of each instrument. I am more interested in how counterpoint instrument lines move with a center vocal (paired with left and right choruses) to make a song work. There is no way that I will ever achieve mastery with one musical instrument, but if I can put songs together and publish them on my own, when I am ready to engage friends of mine who are professional musicians, I will be able to understand where they are coming from and how to communicate with them so they can illuminate a particular passage or composition. Busted Wing has 32 tracks on it, and I was responsible for building all of them. I had to make a band sound out of thin air, learn how instruments work, how they work together, how to record them, how to mix them. That song is mixed well, still not mastered properly, but I pulled off a good first song. It is equal parts research, composition, art, vibe, tech, small business. This is a good way to learn for me.'
On the heels of his studio upgrade and positive reviews coming from art fans who were not aware Garnett had a musical fiber in his body, the artist began to record snippets of the growing catalogue of riffs, melodies and lyrics that had accumulated over the years. In the fall of 2011 he released his first 5 song EP on Bandcamp after being heckled by music friends to get some more material out there. In 2013 he added two short songs to his first EP itunes release.
Garnett is currently working on his first LP, which is coming along slowly but surely. He has released passages of upcoming songs attached to videos of his Stamford Train Station Lighting project. The artist would first like to bring in female vocals, then bring in a host of musicians he has made art for in his past on future recordings.
Garnett's influences are large in range. His parents (who have very nice voices and taught him to love music), The Grateful Dead, Beethoven, Bach, David Brubeck, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Traffic, Yes, Genesis (old), Steve Winwood, Peter Gabriel, Roger Waters, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Who, The Allman Brothers, Cream, The Doors, Van Morrison, David Bowie, Rush, Jimi Hendrix, Credence, CSN, Joni Mitchell, Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, Frank Sinatra, The Band, Frank Zappa, The Guess Who, Blues Traveler (Garnett's homebase band he made art for), The Samples, Soul Coughing, Phish, Beck, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Gomez, Radiohead, Bjork, Sigur Ros, Wilco, Cake, Johnny Cash, Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers, AC/DC, Kiss (Garnett's first album), The Berardo Brothers, and 500 other talented bands and musicians the artist paints to every day.