What is Refractive Music?

 Refractive Music was set up by Andrew and Nancy Morriss in 2005 in their own home in Rolleston New Zealand, just outside of Christchurch, as an independent record label to promote and sell Andrew’s music online as well as offline, making use of modern technology and the Internet to record, publicise and distribute his music. Refractive Music is also an umbrella name for Andrew’s other activities including live performance, guitar teaching and artwork.

Why start a record label?

 I started Refractive Music after I released my first CD “Just Believe”. An American record company contacted me showing  interest in signing me to a development deal, but after a few months of talking to them I decided to turn them down. I didn’t want to end up like so many other  people in the music business, being told what to play, how to sound, what to wear. I wanted to maintain my independence and to have the freedom to make the music I wanted to make, I wanted control over what I do and who I am.  I saw the potential of promoting and distributing music through the Internet and I wanted to take full advantage of it, it’s that flexibility that gives me the ability to get things done.

Why call it Refractive Music?

 Refraction occurs when a light or sound wave travels through a medium (a prism, a pain of glass etc.) and a change of direction and velocity occurs. The best example is when sun light and rain combine to make a rainbow.  I chose the name Refractive Music because I liked the thought of the music and ideas I have shining through me and being refracted into different colours. In a way songwriting is taking the things you see and experience and changing their direction and velocity to create something new from it.

What kind of music is it?

 A lot of what I do is in the acoustic singer/songwriter style, although I’m not adverse to writing music on a piano or picking up an electric guitar  throwing in some drums and having a bit of fun. I’ve always liked music by artists like Mark Knopfler,  lindsey buckingham and John Michael Talbot, and I think that shows through in what I do. I enjoy a lot of different styles of music and I don’t mind incorporating them into my own music, whether it’s a classically inspired piece, folk, the blues or a straight out rocker. I tend to write songs with  lyrics that mean something to me, I like to base them on personal experience  and I hope that they connect with people, whether they can help them through the harder times, or just raise a smile and say “yeah, I know what that’s like.”

How will it benefit me?

 What you see is what you get. It’s a more direct connection to the artist and the music. What you hear is the music as it’s intended to be heard without it having to be poked, prodded and manipulated by record company executives who’s only interest is increasing their quarterly profits. The CDs are priced lower than a major label release and are available for purchase online or through mail order. The web site gives you the ability to hear the songs before you buy, and even download a couple of tracks for free in mp3 format.

Where’s it going, how do you see it growing?

 In addition to continuing to record and release my own music, in the future I’d like to be able to offer music books of my own songs as well as guitar tablature of easy finger picking pieces for students. I can see the record label growing to include other artists as well, not just my own recordings. I’d also like to explore the idea of promoting some of my own artwork. The sky is the limit, there’s plenty of room for growth and new ideas to be included.