Biography

Charlie was born in Austria in 1968. He started out playing the recorder at the age of five. Soon after his first lessons on this instrument he inherited a piano from his grandfather, which quickly became more interesting. So he quit playing the recorder and studied classical piano for several years.

Over time, his interest in more modern styles of music grew. At the age of 12 he composed his first songs and spent hours at his piano each day. His homework had to wait until melody, chord progressions and patterns had been found.

As a teen Charlie loved to visit the „Music Village“, a part of the big annual trade show in Vienna. Electric organs, keyboards and synthesizers demoed by skillfull artists drew lots of his attention. Finally his parents got him an electric organ. Along with all this, he engaged in small jobs to earn enough money for buying his first synthesizer. His focus shifted to creating new sounds, programming sequences and, at the age of 15, he formed his first band together with friends from school.

Making music with friends was something Charlie enjoyed immensely: „When playing in a band there can be phases which are almost supernatural. One melts into a pulsating body of sound which can be felt by everyone, including the audience. For me, music is one of the greatest gifts given to man.“

Later on he joined a dance band „Take Five“ and after their first local gigs the band started to tour all over the place. They became well known for their rather unusual stage show, clothes and program and enjoyed a fair amount of popularity. While studying in Vienna, Charlie programmed and sold sounds for a while, mostly for Roland's renowned synthesizer D50.

In the 90's he left „Take Five“ and started studying jazz piano. Always interested in new technologies, he was amongst the first to be trained in digital recording and mixing at that time. He built up his own studio and continued to compose, record and play keyboards in several bands.

After the millenium Charlie decided to study composition and songwriting and went to various seminars in Germany and Austria. It was good experience reflecting the methods he'd grown used to and helping him to develop new approaches to making and writing music. He treated himself to a Korg Oasys, a unique music workstation, and updated his studio completely.

Having written and recorded lots of songs it was time to start working on an unusual project he has had on his mind for years: Would it be possible to make one of his favourite books "Winning Through Enlightenment" sing? In 2008 he turned the first chapters into songs. The author of the book, Ron Smothermon, loved Charlie's idea and decided to contribute additional lyrics to the project. In 2011 the album "Observe Your Mind" was launched.

Currently Charlie is working on his next album. Besides music he has studied at the Vienna University of Economics and Business and runs a family business together with his wife. He has been married since 1997 and is the proud father of two children.

"I love music – as listener and as songwriter. Music touches, moves and inspires. A world without music wouldn’t work. It is an unbelievable feeling when music pours out of you. Sometimes I sit at the piano and it flows out as if on its own and I ask myself, ‘Who is actually playing here?'"
(Charlie McLight, quoted from an interview in 2008)


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