After moving from Chicago to California at the age of ten, he was involved in various high school bands playing guitars and keyboards, whilst also playing baseball in his spare time. He studied music in college and started a progressive rock band named after himself, but he soon discovered the music of Kitaro and was heavily influenced by it. Arkenstone was influenced by writers such as J. R. R. Tolkien and Ian Fleming, and grew up listening to bands likeEmerson, Lake & Palmer, Deep Purple and Yes, as well as listening to classical music.
Arkenstone went solo and found his own sound in New Age music. Arkenstone says that has been greatly aided by technology: "Technology has produced some wonderful tools for making music. The computer allows me to fully orchestrate my pieces and really fine tune them."His music is primarily instrumental. His albums, often fantasy themed, often come packaged with literature and art. He worked with science fiction writer Mercedes Lackey on a few of his albums.Arkenstone and his ex-wife, Diane, created their own record label called Neo Pacifica. In addition to releasing their own music on the label, they have included other bands such as Earth Trybe, Enaid, and the Marquis Ensemble.
He has also composed music for television; channels such as the History Channel, the Discovery Channel and NBC Sports include his music. He has also written music for trailers and some of his works were used as film soundtracks. His music also features on computer games such as World of Warcraft, Lands of Lore 2 and 3, Blade Runner and Emperor: Battle for Dune; he also features on 20 Years of Narada Piano. Additionally, he wrote the original score for the independent film PRISM.
Arkenstone earned three Grammy nominations for his work: In the Wake of the Wind in 1992, Citizen of the World in 2000, and Atlantis in 2004.
Arkenstone has learned to play a large variety of musical instruments including the bouzouki, mandolin, guitar, bass guitar, harp, cello, flute, electronickeyboards, piano, Turkish saz, pennywhistle, melodica and pan pipes. He also plays drums and percussion and has performed some vocalizations on his albums.
Arkenstone is also involved in the band Troika; their sound is similar to his solo work. The band members like to remain anonymous, although the compositions are credited to Arkenstone.
His theme "The Journey Begins / Kyla's Ride" was used for the FIFA World Cup France '98.
He recently signed with Domo Records and re-released the album"Echoes Of Light And Shadow" in 2010.
Arkenstone was a member of the composing team who developed the music forBlizzard Activision's World of Warcraft videogame's Cataclysm expansion. Along with Arkenstone, the team consists of Derek Duke, Glenn Stafford, andNeal Acree.
"During the recent 2011Rose Bowl Parade, David Arkenstone's music was played on the float for Downey, CA. This float “A Stroll Down Memory Lane”
won the Lathrop K. Leishman Trophy for most beautiful entry from a noncommercial sponsor! READ MORE
Sample some of David's music on: