Sunday, March 15, 2009

Clavier-ism

Keyboard always has been one of the most important instruments in rock bands, specially in progressive rock bands. I remember a voting in Progarchives website, topic of the voting was about most important instrument in progressive rock, Keyboard had most of the votes even more than guitar. it shows that keyboard players have considerable role in bands.
Since 70's years many keyboardists have had significant roles but each of them have their own style, super technical keybordists like Keith Emerson, Jordan Rudess, Rick Wakeman or musicians like Richard Wright, Richard Barbieri (from Porcupine Tree), Kjartan Sveinsson (from Sigur Ros), Ian McDonald (early King Crimson) who are expert in creating unique atmosphere, but something is similar between most of them, they are proficient pianists, it's obvious from Keith Emerson and JordanRudess or even Kevin Moore however he often doesn't play very technical.
Kevin Moore did study classical music, he states that his educational background didn’t only come from the classroom, “I studied, but only for a year, most of my musical education has come from the outside, growing up in high school, practicing classical stuff, and playing in bands." says Moore, now referring to his evolution as a musician, which has involved many stages, “I think in the beginning I was interested more in the technique, trying to get my fingers to play whatever was thrown at them, the whole practicing ordeal, but now I am more focused on the songwriting, well, I actually am focused producing I guess, not that I have spent much time doing that right now, but I do a lot of work getting sounds together and getting to work on my songs."
Kevin moore always has been one of my favorite musicians, he has proved that is really creative in making cinematic atmosphere in his albums, specially in Graveyard Mountain Home.
“I enjoyed the process of writing for film, ” says Moore referring to Okul, for which he started writing the soundtrack for it as soon as he got to Istanbul. Moore also stated : “I thought it would be cool to do the next Chroma Key CD in that way; find an old film I could use, which was really the main inspiration for the record.” And he created Graveyard Mountain Home in a bizzare mood.
Keith Emerson is an idol for many rock musicians but he has created music and play keyborad in a different way, he plays piano technically and acoustic piano is a principal factor of his music. Emerson grew up in the seaside resort of Worthing, West Sussex England. As a child, he learned western classical music, from which he derived a lot of inspiration to create his own style, combining classical music, jazz, and rock themes. Emerson has performed several notable rock arrangements of classical compositions, ranging from J.S.Bach and Modest Mussorgsky to 20th century composers such as Bela Bartok, Aaron Copland, Leos Janacek and Alberto Ginastera.
On first album by Emerson, Lake and Palmer, "The Barbarian" is heavily influenced by Allegro barbaro by Bartok and "Knife Edge" is virtually a note-for-note restatement of "Sinfonietta" by Janacek.
Jordan Rudess is an important keyboardist in progressive rock history indubitable, and he's also one of my favorite too. In last ten years he has altered Dream Theater and proved that he's best one for this superb band, he practiced classical too and if you listen to "An Evening With John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess" you'll find out that he's a skillful pianist and has extreme musical knowledge from classical to jazz. Rudess is interested in technology too, While many keyboard players in progressive rock tend towards bringing numerous keyboards on stage, Rudess took full advantage of the possibilities offered by the Kurzweil K2600xs during his usage from the 1990s to 2004. Often sampling sounds from other keyboards. Rudess switched keyboard endorsements from Kurzweil to Korg's new flagship Korg Oasys workstation (which supports up to 2 GB of sample memory).
However it's not all of story, other music genres use keyboard widely but in a different way. Keyboard is main instrument for musicians in Ambient music, or in styles like progressive electronic, Techno-Tribal and others.
Steve Roach is a composer who creates music mostly with keyboards and synthesizers, his music is atmospheric, somber, ethereal and eerie.
All of these show importance of keyboardists role in different genres and styles, so they should learn music in depth and a good keyboardist insures success of the band.

4 comments:

  1. Greetings from New York City! Thanks for the pleasant surprise email. I love Kevin Moore, and while Jordan Rudess is easily the most technical of any keyboard player I've seen, I think Kevin's solos were more melodic. I miss his songwriting presence in Dream Theater. I also don't like Jordan's tones - although maybe switching to Korg he might get some better sounds (I loved Derek Sherinian's Korg sounds).

    And I just picked up Keith Emerson's new CD with Marc Bonilla. Good stuff.

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  2. Jordan Rudess is one of the greatest, if not eh greatest keyboardist of all time!

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  3. Hi Hamid,

    your blogger is very interesting! Thanks for the link. I will back!!

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  4. Thank you, Hamid. I love Steve Roach. Great blog. Thank you for the invitation!

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