Springfield resident Barry Geldzahler has experiences in different areas, including space, traveling and living in various spots. Now he spends his time writing upbeat.songs for his group called Boys’N’Barry, delivering a positive message through music.
This includes his latest hit, “It’s Christmas Time,” that features a brass section, piano, guitar and background vocals, belting out lyrics like “the reason for you and me and family,” it goes.
“I like the feel-good stuff,” Geldzahler said, and there’s feel-good stuff happening every month in his songbook. A month ago, Christmas was hot, and in February it was a Valentine’s song, and it goes throughout the year like that. “I try to write music every day, I carry a composition notebook with me,” he said. One of his songs, “Reach for the Stars,” was featured in the National Space Symposium.
Geldzahler started out thinking scientifically and went into advanced education, got a degree in astrophysics which led to a career with NASA, which went on for years. Musically he was in a band in high school, he was in another band in college. Professionally, his NASA work was partially with MIT, he lived in Germany, and married his wife who has a doctorate in social psychology. They settled in Springfield in the early 1980s.
The upbeat outlook has lived on, and for inspiration, he looks to musicians like the Beatles, Smokey Robinson, the Beach Boys, Pink and Lady Gaga. At first these musicians might seem all over the place, but they do follow a common thread of being “very melodic,” he said, and it inspires his song writing. Another motivating sound was from the 1980s group REO Speedwagon that he crossed paths with at University of Illinois.
Technology is helping make it possible to live in Springfield, work with the various musicians in Boys’N’Barry over the internet, and send stuff to a single producer that pulls it all together. Members of the group live in Maryland, Los Angeles and Sweden. This works to an extent, but Geldzahler is planning on traveling to New York and Los Angeles in person soon to make some connections for future songs. Geldzahler likes to meet face to face, and see if there’s a connection and possible future for his music. After all, all the television shows and movies being produced need some kind of music, and meeting people may be a way to make that happen.
“There’s nothing like a personal connection,” he said. One song that’s getting a lot of airplay recently is called “Kisses on my Face,” which he wrote with a friend in Australia.
At home he bounces ideas off his wife and has a son living in North Potomac, jots down ideas and keeps the music flowing. Through the years, he’s won some awards with his lyrics and loves the work he’s doing with Boys’N’Barry and Midwest Songs Limited LLC.