Doug Sparling - Musician/Composer

April 19, 2014

doug sparling


After leaving the rock band scene, Doug has focused primarily on composing and recording his own music. Interested in many styles, Doug's music includes Celtic/Irish, solo piano, solo acoustic guitar, and ambient guitar and lap steel.

After hearing David Nevue late one night on the Music Choice Soundscapes channel, Doug was inspired to return to composing his own music. Doug is currently finishing a full-length studio CD of original and traditional Celtic music, featuring a new recording of his previously released tune "The Old Stone Bridge," which in 2005 was selected for a McDonald's web site benefitting the Ronald McDonald House.

Using a host of altered tunings, ebow, and various effects, Doug's atmospheric guitar playing has lead him in new directions as he seeks new sounds and textures. He has also begun experimenting with "prepared" guitar, physically altering his instrument to achieve new sounds. While guitarists Alex DeGrassi and William Ackerman first got Doug interested in altered tunings and composing for guitar, it was guitarist Jeff Pearce who opened Doug's ears to a new approach at guitar playing and composing.

No stranger to Celtic music, Doug's love of traditional music began nearly 20 years ago after seeing the Scottish band Ossian. He became friends with members of local Irish band, Scartaglen, and was mentored in traditional music by Kirk Lynch, Roger Landes, and Mike Dugger. Later Doug played penny whistle with Dublin-born Irish singer Eddie Delahunt and he also played on two CDs by the Irish rock band The Elders.

Doug's influences are wide and varied and include David Nevue, Alex DeGrassi, William Ackerman, Brian Eno, Jeff Pearce, Patrick O'Hearn, David and Dianne Arkenstone, The Bothy Band, Enya, Clannad, Seamus Egan, and Joanie Madden. He also enjoys 20th century composers such as Frederick Delius, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Claude Debussy, as well as contemporary film composers Yann Tiersen, Vladimir Cosma, and Zbigniew Preisner.