Mark Farago

Mark Farago is a composer who writes, records, and puts to video songs for causes such as Autism, Cancer, Down Syndrome, and moreas a way of contribution to society. His hope is that the material serves as inspiration to those who may be affected by circumstance.

 Tell us a little about yourself.

“My name is Mark Farago. I was born and raised in the Bronx, N.Y. I graduated Manhattan College in 1973 with a degree in Mathematics. I later received a Master’s Degree in Business Statistics (1976), and an Advanced Degree in Management Science from C.U.N.Y. (1979). I worked for Western Electric Co. for 12 years achieving the rank of Chief Financial Officer/ Comptroller of the Research Division before leaving to pursue a career in music as a composer.

I began my musical journey in the ‘60‘s by playing in cover bands throughout my teenage years living in The Bronx, N.Y. This journey took me through venues of: grammar schools, high schools, colleges, clubs, and bars to N.Y./N.J. hot spots like ‘The World’ in New Rochelle, Freedomland, Palisades Park, and ‘The Electric Circus.’ I pursued a more technical approach to music by studying both writing and playing, privately and in the college/university environment. I took private lessons for guitar, which included Jazz, and piano in the Classical style. Private lessons were expanded into musical composition, orchestration, and arranging at the New School for Social Research in New York City (where I also learned Music Engineering), William Paterson University Jazz Program in New Jersey, and the Juilliard School of Music ( Evening Division for 6 years). My musical education was rounded out by private study in Film Scoring with the Head of Film Composition at the NYU School for Film.

In the year 2000, I built my own home tape/midi recording studio which then served as impetus in starting up my own music writing/recording company, Pamark Productions. This business provided musical scores to local advertising as well as the scoring for Independent movies. Other songs and recordings centered around providing original music and the recording of aspiring singers/bands.

In 2010, I decided to move away from artists/bands and dedicate myself more towards the self writing and recording of original works for causes such as Cancer, Autism, Peace, Abuse, Alzheimer’s… on a donation basis. I would provide, solo, the material as well as the recording and engineering of all material. I then combined music to video for affording use on the internet via you-tube and Facebook for publication. I also decided to address turbulent current events along with the causes such as 9/11, social unrest, school shootings, pandemics in my songs/recordings/videos which were also made available to the general public via you-tube and Facebook.

Writing/recording/and putting music to video for causes such as Cancer, Autism, Down Syndrome, Addictions, as well as addressing trying current events such as 9/11, school shootings takes up a major part of my time. Through these songs/videos, I attempt to provide inspiration and hope to individuals and/or society to help them in fighting through or coping with life’s hardships/struggles.”

Tell us about the music that you write. 

“I try to write songs which might serve as inspiration and hope to individuals or society who may need encouragement to cope with disorders such as Cancer, Addiction, Anxiety; parenting a child with Autism, Down Syndrome and also for individuals coping with Societal circumstances such as 9/11, bullying, rioting, school shootings, pandemics. I was inspired to start writing this style of music in response to my own true life experiences of seeking comfort to cope with a chronic anxiety/panic disorder. In my songs I try to convey the strength and power of the human spirit in overcoming any of life’s obstacles. Due to the lack of outlets for airing original music, I decided to fuse music with video for use on you-tube and Facebook to reach an audience. I originated my own you-tube site (@pamark6) for my material, and joined groups of special causes/interests on Facebook with whom I share my songs/videos.”

What is something that has surprised you about writing the music?

“In all of the years I attempted to write/record songs which might be commercially acceptable, I never created anything of which I was most proud. The songs never seemed to speak to my inner soul. When I looked for an alternative way to write I started to search deeper within myself (often by means of meditation and religious, scriptural readings) to find circumstances which directly affected me personally. At the same time, I noticed that my feelings and issues were also very common to others; so I tried to put myself in the shoes of others and write what they might be feeling or the needs they might have. Having suffered through anxiety and panic for most of my life I began to feel empathy for others whether they were battling Cancer, Addiction, parenting an Autistic or Down Syndrome child. What surprised me the most was the multitude of positive, thankful, and appreciative responses I received (over 60,000) from individuals of these support groups on Facebook over the years. I was always of the opinion that success was measured by commercial popularity,awards, and radio air play, but what really matters is the positive effect songs generate in people’s lives who may need it most.”

How did you get involved in the special needs community?

“I got my first taste of the special needs community when my wife was the Director of Events for the American Cancer Society. She was in charge of events such as the ‘Relay for Life’ and ‘The Survivor’s Fashion Show.’ Noticing the selfless efforts of the ACS, I wondered if there was anything I could’ve done to contribute to them with my musical talents. I was asked if I would write songs for both the ACS Fashion Show and Relay for Life. I gladly accepted both challenges, and within a few months the songs, “Look At Me, and “Share The Light, were written and recorded. “Share The Light” became the background music for the Luminaria potion of the Relay for Life ceremonies; while “Look At Me” became the lead song for the Survivor’s Fashion Show.”

What have you learned from your experience in the special needs community?

“I think what I’ve learned most from my experience in the special needs community is the unique relationships of individuals within the specialized support group communities. An example of this would be what I encountered in my dealings with the Down Syndrome support groups. I found that a Down Syndrome child’s relationship with its parents was unparalleled in lovingness and preciousness to any other I had ever witnessed. The smiles of these children can melt any heart; while the love of the parent for the child is unmatched in our society. Observing these relationships is what inspired me to write the song, “Joy, which highlights the joy brought to the parents by their child with Down Syndrome. (Note: the song uses ‘Joy’ as the child’s name; and is also a metaphor for the feeling of joy). To witness the interaction of these parents and children transcends any relationship I’ve ever experienced in my lifetime. I felt truly blessed to be a part of something so special.”

What do you hope people take away from your music?

“In writing music, i always attempt to convey a sense of hope, and the promise of a better way to any situation one may find themselves in life. The ‘Human Spirit’ is a basic part of the fabric of us all in this life. We are all confronted with obstacles which at times seem to be overwhelming. It is in these times that we are asked to search deep inside ourselves to find the strength and courage to overcome our adversities. A recent example of this type of situation may be found in the battle of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). To address this situation, I wrote/recorded/put to video the song, “Rise to encourage all of Humanity to rise together to fight the ravages of this Coronavirus. The Human Spirit can outlast anything the real world has to offer by way of obstacles.”

Do you have anything new/exciting that you have coming out soon?

“Hopefully, there will be many things in the way of meaningful music that I may soon share. By continuing on my journey to a more selfless sense of purpose through meditation and scriptural readings/studies, I hope that a continual spiritual growth will lead me to a limitless ability to create inspiring music addressing the inner needs of fellow humanity. On the artistic front, I would like to expand my musical styles to new horizons to create a timeless measure of beauty in music. This new music as it originates, along with existing recordings, may be accessed by subscribing to pamark6 on youtube.”

You can find Mark’s Youtube videos here

Emma Benner

Emma Benner

Social Media Intern

Emma is a graduate student at Purdue University. She has been involved in the special needs community for many years as a coach with Special Olympics Minnesota, and as a personal care assistant/respite sitter. She has worked in media, marketing, and journalism with various organizations. When Emma has some free time, she enjoys riding horses (she grew up doing barrel racing), baking doughnuts and cake pops (yum!), pursuing her new art interest (wood burning, painting, or drawing), or going for a long run in sunny weather (her favorite!).