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Craig Carrington... the "Dr. Strangelove" photo
Nights on Venus...
is Craig Carrington - keyboards, guitar, bass guitar, composer, producer & engineer
and Erin Foley - guitar, bass guitar, saxophone, flute
Nights on Venus began and grew out of a side solo project I had started working on in May of 2010 and coalesced into NoV during that summer at a week-long personal retreat at the Mandala Center in northeastern New Mexico. I decided early on that NoV would be an all-instrumental project and it has been for 11 years, 6 full-length albums, 3 EPs, and 4 singles.
Nights on Venus made its first appearance online in October, 2010, and eight months later, the debut album - simply entitled Nights on Venus - was released in early June, 2011. Atmospheric, hypnotic, smooth, ethereal, and "brain-wavin" are words that have been used to describe that album and the subsequent album, In 4 the Evening, that followed in 2012. The origin of the NoV sound can be traced back to around 1995, when I was working on a cross between surf music and all the ethereal electronic keyboard compositions I had been writing since the late 1970s.
Fast forward to 2021... The 'band', as such, is composed of me and my wife, Erin Foley, who appears on several songs, most notably on Our Alternate Lives on alto sax from the two-song single, The Wheels Are Coming Off (2018) and also on (A Higher) Perspective from the Perspective album (2014). The most recent album is the 6th full-length from NoV, entitled Late Night Meditations In Suburbia, released at the end of May, 2020.
The last release by Nights on Venus was Planetary Reset (I. Entropy II. Attrition III. The Disinformationists/Reset) in May, 2021. It is unofficially the first 'Craig Carrington' single, extended, as it clocks in just under 12 minutes. It cleared a path for my current musical direction. All releases can be found on the Music page.
Erin and I are currently based in Colorado Springs, Colorado with our two orange tabbies, Maxx and Cosmo, who are fed a steady musical/listening diet of Steely Dan, Thelonious Monk, Talking Heads, Bill Nelson, classical opera, and our musical noodlings on an almost daily basis.
Well, how did I get here?...
Here's the longer (chronologically) and somewhat condensed version of my personal bio - where I come from, my roots so to speak:
I was born in Asbury Park, New Jersey, in October, 1956; by 1960, the family had relocated west and south to Dallas, Texas. I grew up in a musical family - my dad was a church organist and choir director, my mom, a vocalist, soprano - and I was classically trained on piano and pipe organ (yes, really!), although I do remember that the first instrument I learned to play was the drums. My grandmother had given me a very basic drum set at Christmas one year, I might have been 6 at the time, and I played that for a while... up until the drum set disappeared under somewhat mysterious circumstances. After that, I was playing the piano.
I began writing original compositions around the age of 10, skipping Sunday school classes to play the piano in my dad's office, much to the chagrin and sometimes outrage of the church librarian who was right across the hallway. I learned pipe organ at the age of 13 and would go in and practice on the four-manual Möller pipe organ in the sanctuary of St. Michael's and All Angels Episcopal Church on Saturday afternoons that year, and if no one was around I'd play The Doors' "Light My Fire", Iron Butterfly's "In-a-Gadda-da-Vida", and Procol Harum's "Whiter Shade of Pale", all of which sounded... awesome! I played in a couple of bands in high school after that, keyboards of course, and sang lead and background vocals.
I am also a visual artist in painting and photography and hold degrees from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, and a Master’s of Fine Arts from University of North Texas in Denton, where I also taught drawing and figure drawing from 1987 through 1989. Some of my paintings can be found on the Artwork page. I moved around a lot and played in a number of bands after I graduated from Tech in 1979, obscure bands with such colorful names as Bobby Frost & the Modern Poets (L.A.), Sin Nombre (Santa Fe), Texans Without Cattle (Dallas), and Cathartic Tourists (Houston). In addition to keyboards, I began playing guitar and bass in the mid-1980s and learned recording and engineering techniques in the early 90s.
In 1992, I moved to the mountains of Colorado and established Excellent Sky Gallery in Kittredge, just outside Denver, eventually moving the gallery to the smaller, higher mountain town of Empire, while continuing to play in bands and writing original music. Over the course of my musical career, I've played in all styles from New Wave to Blues, to Classic Rock to Reggae and Jazz. Always keep listening, learning... always keep growing. Your best work is always in front of you.
Musical influences include, but are certainly not limited to: The Doors & Ray Manzarek, Velvet Underground & Lou Reed, Todd Rundgren, Love Tractor, Roxy Music, The Cars, The Church, Prince, Brian Eno, Dave Brubeck, Thelonious Monk, The Aqua Velvets and surf music in general, Alan Vega, and the composer John Barry. Those are the biggies for me but I think as creatives we're influenced by everything we listen to, see, read, take in and take to heart.