Anton Mizerak's extended biography
Anton was born in the Los Angeles area in 1951. His mother, of German descent, was a very creative person, making ceramics, counseling fashion clients, designing clothes and the three houses that she lived her adult life in, and teaching opera. Anton's father, of Hungarian descent, was a conscious objector during WW2, a printer for one of Los Angeles' large newspapers and played violin. At an early age Anton began playing piano, mostly by ear as he does not read music as well as he hears music. In high school Anton played piano and harmonica with bands that opend up for Canned Heat and Chicago Transit Authority.
Anton attended UCLA from 1970-1976 earning a BA in History and an MA in History of Religions. He primarily studied with Kees Bolle atteneding short graduate symposiums with Mircea Elliade and Joseph Campbell. He studied Sanskrit with Hanns-Peter Schmidt and Hartmut Scharfe. Other history teachers included Kenneth Chen (Chinese Buddhism), Gustave von Grunebaum (Islamic Studies), Ken Morrison (Native American History) and Giorgio Buccelatti (ancient Near Eastern History).
In 1976 he moved to Mount Shasta where he built his own house and recording studios. He worked for a decade in the construction trades as a mason supplimenting his income teaching history at College of the Siskiyous and playing in Rock and Roll and Country and Western bands.
In 1986 he opened Shastasong Recoring Studios with Michel Genest where he recorded such artists as Aeoliah, Erik Berglund, Matisha, Stephen Baird, The Invincible Blazing Lotusheads, Gary Cooper, David Akash and Manose. Anton and Michel released a joint CD "Riddle of the Sphinx" with Narada Records. They also collaborated on Harmonic 33 and Angels in Our Midst for Narada Records. These and Anton's solo Narada project Mystic Journey are currently (2010) out of print.
In 1992 Anton started his own label "Shastasong" under which he has released his subsequent recordings: Pacific Rim, Unwind, Desert Bloom, When Angels Dream, When Angels Dream 2 and Harmonica Sunset.
Since 1985 Anton has travelled to Nepal many times, studying tabla first with Huttraj Sharma and later with Homnath Upadhyaya. In 1998 he met Manose Singh, a wonderful bansuri (bamboo flute) player. Anton and Manose toured extensively together for six years stating in 1999, sometimes adding Natalie or Kim Lorene with whom Anton still frequently tours. Manose is featured on Anton's new Harmonica Sunset CD.
In 2003 Anton began collaborating with Olof Soderback, a Swedish violin and acordian player rom Ashland, Oregon. Anton and Olof still play whenever they can at Three Rivers Indian Restuarant in Ashland, Oregon. Olof is also, featured on Anton's Harmonica Sunset CD.
Anton has been collaborating with Richard Hardy since 1997, recording and playing festivals together. Richard is also featured on Anton's new Harmonica Sunset CD.
In 2005 Anton and Michael Mandrell began touring together extensively. Michael is featured on Anton's new Harmonica Sunset CD.
Anton played for many years at the Mount Shasta Wesak celebration with musicians such as Matisha, Richard Hardy, Kathy Zavada, Erik Berglund, Manose, Natalie, Gary Cooper and Kim Lorene.
In 1998 Anton began playing at Unity, Unitarian and Centers for Spiritual Living. Anton has performed at over 225 of these centers including Agape, Mile High Center for Spiritual Living and Seattle Center for Spiritual Living. In 2001 Anton began playing at their annual Asilomar gatherings providing meditation music (including a live three hour meditation) and playing harmonica. In 2009 Anton received the Hazel Holmes award for furthering the Asilomar experince. During this period Anton has performed with Keren Drucker, David Ault, Daniel Nahmod, Rickey Beyers Beckwith, Jami Lula, Michael Gott, Lisa Ferraro, Marianne Heime and Eddie Watkins.
Besides his own recorings, Anton is featured on CDs by Gary Cooper, Stephen Baird, Eddie Watkins and the Human Revolution.
Anton occasionally speaks at church services for both Unity and Centers for Spiritual Living and gives talks at other venues, drawing on experiences from his extensive travels and his academic studies in the History of Religions. He also leads chanting workshops at yoga studios and at the 2009 and 2010 CSL Asilomar gatherings.
Anton's recordings include (chronologically) Riddle of the Sphinx, Mystic Journey, Pacific Rim, Unwind, Desert Bloom, When Angels Dream, When Angels Dream 2, and Harmonica Sunset. Anton also appears on recordings by Erik Berglund, Matisha, Eddie Watkins Jr and the Human Revolution.