Rick Sparks (b. Nov 10, 1967) began performing music in elementary school as a member of his fifth-grade choir. He was a member of large group choirs throughout junior high and high school, participated in a smaller, jazz-oriented group for three years, and performed rock songs with various friends & acquaintances as part of all-school assemblies and concerts. He began playing keyboards and other instruments by ear while attending high school, displaying an affinity for programming & sequencing digital rhythm units and the use of synthesizers as well as the integration of computers and various sound mixing equipment.
Picking up the guitar in the mid-80s, Rick studied many forms of jazz, pop, and rock music. He formed the electronic industrial project SUTURE with his friend Tyson Townsend in 1994 in Anchorage, Alaska. The duo's first release received favorable reviews from magazines such as Sonic Boom and Industrial Nation. They played one live show in 1996 with on and off-stage help from their friends DJ Smutty and Bearded Jon Lang. 1998 saw the release of their "Symboljism" CD and in 2010 Rick compiled various work tracks for the CD “unfinished business.”
Throughout 1994 and 1995 Rick produced, wrote, and performed rock parody songs for the KWHL-FM Morning Show in Anchorage, Alaska.
An avid PC gamer, Rick joined an internet-based group in 1996 which produced a total conversion of the game "DOOM" based on the Sam Raimi movie "Army Of Darkness." He wrote nine original tracks for the game’s levels and adapted one piece from the film's score for use between levels.
In 2004 Rick released a collection of improvised jazz tunes inspired by Thelonious Monk's concept that all the feeling of a song only truly exists during the moments of creation and which he limited to no more than three instruments per tune.
After spending a few years upgrading his collection of digital & acoustic instruments, Rick recorded a CD titled "Music For A Dark Film (Which Hasn't Been Filmed Yet)" in 2005. The tracks used a wide array of instrumentation, from percussion of Middle Eastern origin to standard strings & horns to synthesizers and ambient sounds.
In 2008 Rick began to devote a serious amount of time toward the composition & production of music for film, television, and commercial projects. His first professional work was commissioned that summer by the producers of a television PSA.
Between 2008 and 2010 Rick created the scores for three student films, was paid to develop a contemporary theme for a reality show pilot, licensed four tracks for use by the
Discovery Channel, sold fifteen cues through the AudioMicro stock music service, wrote original
tracks for Humane Society PSAs, and was hired to produce three custom demos for a commercial project which cannot be named due to non-disclosure agreements.
Rick lives in Los Angeles with his longtime girlfriend, studies improv & stand-up comedy, performs freelance voice-over services, volunteers voice-work for The Braille Institute, is a budding writer, and has some acting experience.
August 2010 – Three spec commercial demos, client unnamed due to confidentiality agreements
August 2010 – Jazz / rock-orchestral hybrid score, “Blind Date” short feature written & directed by “Bearded Jon” Lang
August 2010 – Two contemporary commercial scores, “Humane Society of Tijuana” public service announcements
December 2009 – Short silent film score, “The Perils Of Technology,” 2nd Place Winner in the AIFF Film Festival “Quick Freeze” contest, written & directed by “Bearded Jon” Lang
November 2009 - Four original rock cues licensed for the Discovery Channel, commissioned by
publisher Jonathan Joseph Budd, PT Productions
June 2009 through September 2010 – Fifteen stock music licenses for various projects, multiple genres (rock / orchestral / novelty) via Audiomicro.com
September 2009 - "Fast Food" short film score, Instrumental Rock Song, 8-bit Nintendo style muzak, and orchestral horror cues – written & directed by “Bearded Jon” Lang
January 2009 - Reality show theme/cue, original contemporary track, bass/synthesizers/percussion, coordinated by The Composer Collective - Evan Evans, Team Leader
Summer 2008 - CHP Smart Start Commercial & PSA cues, adapted & original themes / orchestral & piano, commissioned by MWP Editorial- Gary La Vine, Producer
2010 Composer/Producer/Performer, “SUTURE – unfinished business” CD – Industrial electronic music
2005 Composer/Producer/Performer, "Rick Sparks - Music For A Dark Film (That Hasn't Been Filmed Yet)" - An eclectic mix of acoustic, orchestral, and electronic instrumentation
2004 Composer/Producer/Performer, "Rick Sparks Trio - Electric" - Improvisational jazz
1998 Composer/Producer/Performer, "SUTURE - Symboljism" CD – Experimental electric/industrial rock music
1996 Composer/Performer, "Army of Darkness DOOM Video Game Conversion (Fan Project) - Nine original themes and one adapted cue
1995 Composer/Producer/Performer, "SUTURE" 45-minute cassette – Experimental electric/industrial rock music