I was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
My family owned and operated a music store and school in Edmonton. I was immersed in the wonderful world of music from an early age and I learned to sing, play drums, accordion, vibes, and even took tap. In my teens I sold percussion instruments and drums at the store and taught drums at the music school. I performed on television and in concert with our family band "The Taitums", sang tenor with the Highlands United church choir and and became a percussionist with the Edmonton youth orchestra. I definitely had a great and enjoyable musical youth.
It was my fascination and love for poly rhythms that led to the study of advanced techniques for the modern drummer called coordinated independence. Mastering this technique allowed me to play more than one rhythm at once. These skills in combination with an innate ability and desire to focus and complete my own form of musical expression would later become an asset in which I could evolve and complete my own unique form of musical endeavors and ideas.
When the music store was sold I was out of a job and of a place to practise. My desire to learn new ideas on the drums and vibes was so intense that I got permission to live in an abandoned building in downtown Edmonton where I could practice and woodshed. A year later I continued my studies by renting a parking stall in Old Strathcona and practised and lived in an orange Ford cube van. In solitude I could nurture my love for rhythm and melody.
I supported myself by drumming and singing with a local Edmonton band called Good Tymes Review doing weekend cabaret gigs. Within a year I had created a new band called "Strait" with myself on drums, my brother Richard on guitar and my sister Catherine on bass. It was a really good power trio with all three of us singing' and rocking' out. At the suggestion of Richard I started playing the keyboards and drums together to fill out the sound of the band. Again, this was a way to use and practice coordinated independence and pursue some new musical ideas.
That fun gig lasted for about a year and then my sister Cat and I moved to Vancouver with a new guitarist Ron Ulrich. I ended up playing in several West Coast rock bands as a drummer vocalist and performed my first solo gig as a vibes player and singer. I re-formed "Strait" as a five-piece band, and as members gradually left, I took over their musical parts by singing and playing drums and keyboards at the same time. When the band was down to just two members, myself and guitarist-cellist Corby Keep, it was renamed "Meet Men Not Machines" in keeping with the duo's live music philosophy and ideal.
Into the Future
Finally, I decided to continue my music career alone, combining my passion for live music performance and technology to create an innovative and unique instrumentation that would enable me to perform all the sounds of a musical composition live. No machines, no tapes and no sequencers, totally live music!
The instrumentation has evolved over the years. Going completely wireless was a big step in freeing up my performance. When I first started using piezo sensors on the shoes I had to always perform on a hard metal surface. Now after much experimentation I use a bendable piezo sensor that allows me to perform on various densities of surfaces. One of the biggest changes and advances I made was switching out the mini piano keyboards for a pragmatic and innovative wearable midi controller , the Starr Labs Zb6. They are a wearable 6X24 matrix of force sensitive keys offset by a fourth and believe me they are an incredible and responsive instrument to perform with. I have tried to improve the sound of my show and this lead me to using Mainstage and Logic Audio in my show and for recording. Because I perform alone I now use the Max/Jitter program to interact in real time with video projections to create a more interesting and live visual environment on stage. The recent addition of the Exo-midi controller to my instrumentation completed the sound possibilities of my electronic instrumentation and also created a totally unique live electronic look and style.
I have performed as a solo performer for the last 30 years. Over these years my concept for performing and recording live music has steadily improved and evolved. Learning new techniques, skills and abilities as a musician along with the application of new technologies created new opportunities for my original musical ideas.
I have performed as "McRorie-Live Electronic" at clubs, colleges, fairs and festivals all across Canada and into the U.S. and appeared on several national television shows. Over time I have forged a unique musical identity by drawing from influences across the musical spectrum. It is this passion for live music combined with determination, commitment, skill and innovation that has allowed me to create and develop my own unique musical instrumentation and style.