Garrett Schwarz was working as a business consultant for IBM when he'd finally had enough. He was no longer interested in corporate business, since the repetitive routine wasn't creative enough for this musician in the making. He had a hidden agenda and Balligomingo was it. Schwarz grew up in the Chicago suburb of Romeoville, later moving to Minneapolis during his senior year of high school. He was already fond of the electronic sounds of Jean Michel Jarre and Pink Floyd thanks to his father's interests.
Schwarz grew up in the Chicago suburb of Romeoville, later moving to Minneapolis during his senior year of high school. He was already fond of the electronic sounds of Jean Michel Jarre and Pink Floyd thanks to his father's interests. Still, music wasn't a tangible idea, let alone a sensible career move. He graduated from Arizona State University with a business degree, later earning additional graduate credits in business. Having a typical nine-to-five job in Los Angeles was secure for awhile, but Schwarz wasn't satisfied. He was too enthralled by the musical beauty of Enya, Massive Attack, Sunscreem, and mesmerized by the intensity of Nine Inch Nails and the Prodigy. By the late '90s, he threw caution to the wind and began making music on his computer. After talking with Delerium's Kristy Thirsk, he left for Vancouver, BC, to work with programmer Vic Levak. There, the exotic sounds of Balligomingo were born.
In 1999, Schwarz scored a deal with RCA Victor. He, Levak, and Delerium's Bill Leeb and Chris Peterson honed Balligomingo's atmospheric instrumentals for the next year.
Seven female vocalists from the U.S. and Canada were also brought in to capture Balligomingo's artistic expression and emotion. He made his first introduction with "Lost" being included on the ambient techno compilation Elevation, Vol. 3, while "Heat" appeared on Under Water, Vol. 1. Balligomingo's lush soundscapes were finally spooled into a daydream trip for a debut album. In June 2002, Beneath the Surface was released worldwide.