David J. Finnamore



So who is this David Finnamore guy, anyway? He's a:

  • 40-something guy, married for over 21 years, no kids.
  • recording engineer with over 14 years of professional experience. A few years ago, I was hired full-time to do editing and audio restoration for Ligonier Ministries, host of my long-time favorite radio show, Renewing Your Mind, with R.C. Sproul. Prior to that my primary client was commercial music company Hummingbird Productions, who specialize in jingles and IMAX film scores. I was the audio engineer on several commercials for which Hummingbird received Addy awards for sound, such as the two shown below for Tony Romas and Famous Footwear.
    Nashville Addy Awards 2004
  • commercial music writer with credits including Kellogg's Pop Tarts, McDonald's, and Jeep Cherokee Sport

Recording engineer David Finnamore at work
In my native environment.

At Red SquareMy most fun job came in the fall of 1998 when I was part of a team recording the Russian National Philharmonic Orchestra in Tomck, Siberia. The photo to the right was taken in Red Square.

I always wanted to write and record my own music. Becoming a recording engineer seemed at first like only a step on the path; but I soon found that I enjoyed recording other people's music as much as my own.


The Finnamore family came to New Jersey in the 1700s, chose the Brit side in the American Revolution, and was shipped off to New Brunswick at the end of the war. A few generations later, my great-grandparents moved from Canada to the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and established a family which is there to this day. Seemingly, we're of English-via-Ireland descent, though it might be just English.

Considering all my grandparent's lines, I'm seemingly English-Swedish-Irish with generous dashes of Scottish and German stirred in for good measure, plus minor amounts of Dutch, French, and Danish, and bare traces of all other European stock. One of the lines on my mother's side, 14 generations back from me, intersects with European royalty via Count Johann "Crazy John" Wilhelm (1562-1609) of Altena in North-west Germany, and traces back through him to Charlemagne. Or, tracing back through the Scottish and Irish kings, all the way back to Adam and Eve. No kidding. See my genealogy site for more info.

The surname Finnamore probably derives from an English place name referring to a land of moors inhabitted by Finns or members of the clan of the legendary Celt named Finn.


USA -- born in Greenville, South Carolina. Currently residing near Orlando, Florida. Have also resided in North Carolina, Mississippi, and Minnesota, and Tennessee. Most of my closest relatives live in "MinneSNOWta."


Bachelor of Music degree in Church Music, piano proficiency, from Bob Jones University, class of 1987.

- - - Interests and Hobbies - - -


Tchaikovski score

I play or have played, with varying degrees of proficiency:

  • guitars - acoustic, electric, and bass
  • keyboards
  • drums and percussion
  • fipple/block flutes such as recorder and irish/tin/penny whistle as shown below
  • trumpet
  • lap harp
The Original Clarke whistle

I'd like to learn folk harp, lyre, psaltery, and similar instruments, cornetto, crumhorns, and medieval fiddle.



Most of Western Civilization has been stuck on the idea of 12 tone per octave equal temperament for about 100 years now. Guitars are tuned to it, and pianos generally have been since about Debussy's time. Few Western musicians are any longer aware that anything else exists, never mind that it has only been in regular use since the late 19th century, and (as we use it) only in the West fairly recently.

I love to explore tunings of many other kinds. My favorites are often subsets of just intonation, though more recently I've become fascinated with the unlimited possibilities of tunings based on the Golden Mean. If you want to explore tunings further, consider joining the definitive mailing list for it, the Alternate Tuning List at Yahoo Groups, and put on your thinking cap! :-)

kiln [Middle English kilne, from Old English cyln, from Latin culina, kitchen, stove. See pekw-.]**

No, not bugs, that's ENTOmology! My interest is in the history of words, and of English words in particular. I read the dictionary for fun; so sue me! Hey, I wonder what the word "sue" is related to...


Tengwar letter

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien: both his literature and his invented languages enthrall me. I sometimes say that I live in Middle-earth half the time. I've learned to use his Elvish letters a little. The big letter in the left column is a Tengwar "L." I have a set of pages devoted to his Middle-earth literature.
  • On my fourth reading of The Lord of the Rings I noticed that there were lots of really profound proverb-like sayings scattered throughout the story. So on the fifth reading I catalogued them, and posted them online.
  • On my sixth reading, I catalogued all references to music, then continued to catalogue all musical references in The Hobbit and The Silmarillion and The Lost Tales. I use the data as a study resource to insure that the music I compose for Middle-earth is as true to JRRT's concept as possible.

  • TV shows:
    The X-files

    It used to be that when "The X-files" came on, I turned off the phone: DO NOT DISTURB! Then Mulder left. Oh, well; there's always reruns.

    My favorite current show is Smallville. The production values aren't quite as high as the X-files, but the stories are often better. Themes are often related to salvation, self-sacrifice, true love, strong families, and the reality of the supernatural. It makes a presentation of good vs. evil that is clear and real without being corny. Usually.

    I also enjoy "Star Trek", "The Simpsons,", and Andy Griffith reruns. If I had the Sci-fi channel, I'd watch "Dark Shadows" reruns, too.



    DooM and Starcraft are my current favorites. Even though DooM is old technologically (1993), nothing else scares me like it does, and I LOVE being scared! I still enjoy building my own levels and playing other people's original .wads. Deus Vult II is the best one I've seen - so visually stunning, you keep forgetting to fight the monsters. I'm not a Quake-hater, but it just doesn't frighten me enough. Return to Castle Wolfenstein ain't too bad, though. DooM3 is very good; but while it is definitely more realistic, succeeds in acheiving the original vision of the game, has a great deal more complexity and depth of detail, and is more terrifying and horrifying, it still does not match the original DooM, in my opinion, in captivating the imagination, in providing the fun kind of fright, or in providing a meaningful modern myth.

    ** Excerpted from American Heritage Talking Dictionary, Copyright © 1997 The Learning Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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    Last updated June 2009.
    Lord only knows why anybody'd want to steal anything on this page, but what the heck: Copyright 1998-2009 by David J. Finnamore, except for the DOOM, Starcraft, and Clarke logos, which belong to their respective companies; and the X-files graphic which belongs to Fox. Duh! :-)