The following is an interview I did with New Age pianist Solomon Keal. I asked him 5 questions I wish I had the answers too when I first started playing piano in the New Age style. Enjoy!
Edward: How Did You Get Started Playing New Age Piano?
Solomon: I took piano lessons as a child for 6 years. This laid a nice foundation of basic music theory and technique. While I enjoyed classical music, I wasn't really interested in playing it. I loved the compositions of George Winston, as well as film composers. So I started teaching myself some of my favorite pieces by ear. Eventually I started composing my own pieces. Since my compositions were not classical, blues or jazz, they fit nicely into the category of New Age.
Edward: What Inspires and Informs Your Music?
Solomon: My compositions are very emotionally inspired. In college, I would often sit down at the piano to release emotions that I didn't otherwise know what to do with. So I tried to then name the finished compositions after something related to the emotion I was feeling during it's composition.
Edward: What Is Your Method for Composing a Piano Piece?
Solomon: Many of my compositions came about without actually trying to compose. I would sit down at the piano, and my fingers would play with the keys, while expressing my emotions. Having a background in piano theory and technique allowed that expression to come forth sometimes effortlessly. Usually a composition starts with a certain theme. I will then play around with this theme, exploring all the options for it.
I will then try to make sure that I can create a form for this theme to live in, and so I will come up with an introduction, verses, chorus, bridge, ending, etc. I will figure out what is the chord progression that fits with my melody, or in some cases...
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