Moab Happenings Archive
Return to home

Artist of the Month - December 2006

Roy Gonzales
by Jeff Richards

Roy Gonzales
Roy Gonzales

From the nuances of purposefully destroyed office equipment to the garbled voice emanating from the intercom at a drive-thru restaurant, Roy Gonzalez enjoys capturing everyday sounds and transforming them into something entirely different to be used in a musical way.

This concept, combined with Gonzalez’s desire and love for acoustical instruments and the deep basses of synthesizers (some of which are created by Gonzalez himself), results in a mind-altering experience for the ears.

“I love re-synthesizing and tweaking organic tones to create original sounds to be used in the production of my next project,” says Gonzalez.

“The process of creating these new “timbre-etically” inclined wonders can be somewhat like taking a block of clay, folding it over and pounding it, and folding and pounding, over and over again,” he says, jokingly adding, “On the other hand, it can be as delicate a procedure as a self-lobotomy without any anesthesia.”

The Moab Happenings December Artist of the Month, 20-year-old Gonzalez defies convention and categorization as he strives to express his creative urges using not only music, but a variety of media, including video, photography, painting, drawing, and animation.

One of Gonzalez’s favorite (and funny) homemade video clips includes an image of Gonzalez’s fingers walking around and kicking things, while a roll of toilet paper takes over the scene by flying in and chasing off his fingers.

“This,” says Gonzalez, “was just an experiment on testing my sound design skills. I designed sounds for the finger’s footsteps, impact noises, and the roll of toilet paper (which was jokingly made to sound like a space ship landing) all with the basic knowledge of a synthesis and arranged the video with good ol’ Adobe Premiere Pro.”

Stored on Gonzalez’s hard drive are plenty of digital video clips he has shot, many of which are “time-lapses,” such as ice melting and Moab’s morning sunrise. There are also many other curious videos that he has created, including animations and random footage synced to his own original music.

“Arranging video is very similar to arranging audio,” says Gonzalez, “and so much easier than composing.”
In some of his video clips, the images are synchronized to the accompanying music, creating an interesting and highly evocative effect. One clip in particular starts out with a surreal montage of various images -- some are related, many are not. The mood shifts from relaxing to intense as the rhythm beats harder and faster. “It just depends on the mood I’m in at the time,” notes Gonzalez.

Gonzalez’s versatility and talents have enabled him to help other musicians sound better. “It really makes jam sessions better if you know how to ‘EQ’ and what other sound(s) you need to integrate in order to create so-called ‘ear candy,’” he explains.

Gonzalez has played guitar since he was a freshman in high school. He also plays the bass and whatever else he can get his hands on. With his laptop computer, he can replicate the sound of virtually any musical instrument imaginable, and record anywhere.

“It’s like having an entire recording studio with you all the time,” he says.
He takes his acoustic guitar (or the “Strat”) and laptop with him just about everywhere he goes, and will often pick up the guitar and play something interesting, such as a song he made up or a catchy riff that just popped into his head.

A native of North Carolina, Gonzalez moved to Moab with his family when he was in 1st grade. During his sophomore year at Grand County High School, he dropped out, moved to Texas, got his GED, and started studying music. Since moving back to Moab, he has tried to make a niche for himself, working with the local film commission and video producers, and taking sound design classes to further hone his skills. Gonzalez currently holds two certificates from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, labeling him a “Professional Sound Designer” and a “Master Producer.”

Although mostly self-taught, Gonzalez realizes that there is always room for improvement. Earlier this summer, he visited technical schools in New York and Boston, to see what programs they had to offer. After flying back east, he drove back, by way of Texas, amassing 28 hours of drive time with very few stops. He is still deciding what path to pursue, but for now he remains in Moab, where he’s currently working on a website, another demo DVD, and various other multimedia projects. He may be contacted via e-mail at
Gonzalez says his dream job is “to get paid to make music, and to entertain people with music and/or visual images.”

“I also try to touch another person’s mind, and change the way that people think,” he adds.

He may be contacted via e-mail at, and his web site can be found at

Return to Archive Index
return to home
Return to home