Soft sounds of Sean
Musician Sean Dockery invites listeners into his dreamy, hypnotic world
One way to see the world is to join the military. Another is to go on tour with a band. Sean Dockery has done both. Dockery, 33, has lived all over the United States, writing and playing music. While primarily working with piano and synthesizer, he says he feels right at home with music of any sort.
“I can write anything,” he says, flashing a self-conscious smile.
On the phone the day before, when we arrange the meeting, he tells me to look for a guy with short dark hair, jeans and a black T-shirt. That should narrow it down. I told him to look for a guy with a busted hand and pajama pants. Amid the sea of college students in shorts, neither of us is exactly incognito.
A Gulf War veteran and former postal employee, Dockery is now a full-time student at Truckee Meadows Community College, studying local area network administration. Music is his real focus. He’s been playing the piano for 20 years, and he now plays and writes across a wide range of styles from techno/industrial to rock and from documentary soundtrack to videogame soundtracks.
His favorite style, the water to his duck, however, seems to be New Age, as evidenced on his most recent CD, Secret of the Yangtze. Released in 2001, Secret of the Yangtze has nine songs. That’s 43 minutes of instrumental arrangements, some stirring and refreshing, others melodic and hypnotic.
Performing on the Yangtze recording is pianist Dave Luevano, Dockery’s uncle and long-time musical inspiration. Luevano will also play on Dockery’s next CD project, due out sometime in early 2003.
“He’s incredible,” Dockery says. “I’m a good player, but he’s just so brilliant. I wish I was as half as good as he is.”
Dockery says he will use less technology and more acoustic instruments, like a cello, violin and piano on his upcoming CD. While Dockery has joined the computer revolution, editing and mixing entirely on a PC, he stresses that he does compose and play his own music; he doesn’t just push buttons and stand back.
“When someone hears the CD, I don’t want them to think this is someone who has been playing a few years and then bought a bunch of software to make it sound great,” he says.
Dockery’s talents lay not just in composing, but in performance as well. For about a year, he toured Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong with a Motown/rock/dance music cover band. He has also enjoyed performing his own work. Even knowing the difficulties posed when arranging live New Age music shows here, Dockery likes Reno and he’d like to contribute to the New Age music scene here. Originally hailing from southern California and northern Arizona, he moved here for about a year and a half, in 1995, and returned this past January.
“Yeah, I liked Reno so much, I had to come back," he says, laughing.