I love the idea of perfecting your mistakes. Meaning to see the potential of your mistakes and take the maximum benefit from them, instead of throwing them away as the most disdainful act that you might have committed.
We talked to
Let’s hear from him about his passion, music, and the new album that he just released.
Q1. Tell us about your love for singing and how you picked the Piano too?
Singing is something that I’ve done since I was very very young and I’ve always loved just singing songs that were taught to me by my parents or Sunday school teachers or even making up songs while walking around. I used to walk back-and-forth to school every day and it was a short walk but I would always sing the whole way there and the whole way back and even while walking in the hallways at school. I’m singing almost all the time. I just really really enjoy it. There’s a certain satisfaction that comes with taking what I hear in my mind and making it a
Similarly, the piano has been a wonderful instrument for me for composing music and turning those melodies that I hear in my head into reality on the piano. Of course, the piano has a much bigger range than my voice does and I can play chords, so it’s almost like magic to me to compose a song and hear how it comes out on the piano. Initially, I started playing piano because we had a piano in the house and my mother was not only an excellent P
Q2. What inspires you most when it comes to writing songs?
OK, this isn’t going to sound very romantic or inspiring, but what inspires me the most in my composing is time. If I can just get a little bit a time to play the piano and compose something that is very inspiring to me. Time is also the hardest thing to come by, I have found. So when I do get a chance to compose, I really am inspired to make something up that I, hopefully, will like! The other thing that really inspires me is the sound with which I am composing. Even though I could compose a song using any piano or keyboard, I have found that the sound source definitely has an influence on the type of song that I compose. In fact, just within the last few weeks, I found a keyboard patch that I really like. I’ve written two songs on it now already and the songs I’ve composed are different from anything I’ve ever written before. I’m really enjoying it!
Q3. How different is singing from creating music?
To me, singing or performing is more about technique and the actual sound that’s coming out rather than the creativity of the piece. I thoroughly enjoy doing both the performing and the creating of music, but I think I enjoy the creating process more because it’s exciting and it doesn’t feel like I’m practicing. Once I’ve created a piece, whether a solo piano composition or a song with words, and once I have it perfected in terms of arrangement and melody/chords then it kind of goes to this place of just practice. Practice can be exciting, especially if I know I’m going to have to play and sing it for a bunch of people, and I start feeling more confident with the execution of it. But it’s also harder for me to get there because it’s not as initially exciting to me and is a whole lot of work!
If, however, you’re asking about creating songs that I sing as opposed to creating instrumental music, I find that writing songs with words is more difficult because there’s that added element of the lyric that I have to consider. However, with the addition of words, it does give much more room for expression of a concept and the idea that I’m trying to get across. In the end, both singing and playing instrumental songs are very satisfying to me and are both able to convey a message that I believe can help people. Sometimes they need a kind or encouraging word, and other times they need no words at all but just a calming soothing melody to give hope to their heart.
Q4. Tell us about your album ‘Waiting’s End.’ What was the inspiration behind it?
Well, the way “Waiting‘s End” got started, is that one day, while working in the studio, I started playing a melody on the piano that I really liked and I decided to turn it into a solo piano composition, which is exactly how I started composing for the piano in the first place when I was first taking lessons. When I made a mistake while practicing, if I liked the mistake, I would try to do it again and then make up a whole piece around that mistake. And that’s kind of what happened while I was writing a new vocal song in early fall of 2017. A few weeks later, after playing that composition over and over again, I used it as the basis for a second solo piano composition and, between those two pieces, found myself playing them almost every time I was working in my studio. I was scheduled to give a Thanksgiving concert at my home church in Wisconsin a few months later, but while I was there for the concert I got laryngitis and could not sing a note or even talk! Since I wanted to fulfill my commitment as best I could, I decided to play those two solo piano pieces that I had been playing so much! I also played a demo recording I had made of me singing one of my new songs that I had planned on singing for them, and also played several Thanksgiving hymns and had someone else lead the people in singing those hymns. So the concert was saved! And I got a really good response to the piano pieces that I played! A month later I shared the second piano composition on Facebook as well as a couple other solo piano songs that I had been working on, and the response was so encouraging that I knew I just had to do this solo piano album! The album grew to include 11 solo piano songs in total. The title piece, Waiting’s End, has that title because this particular album is the first album I’ve done in a number of years and is really the culmination of a long period of waiting for me. The waiting had finally come to an end!
Q5. You have created music for scriptures. Does it help when you look to create music for albums?
In a word, yes, it does! Usually, when I use Scripture as a basis for creating songs, I take a verse and start by putting a melody to the words. As I go along, then I look at the other verses around the verse that inspired me to write the song and either
With solo piano pieces, I usually will compose the song first and then listen to a demo recording of it over and over again to try to “hear“ what the song is trying to say. After coming up with the title, I’ll then listen to the song with that title in mind and try to think of a scripture that would match with it. If I can’t think of one right off hand, I’ll put the title into a Bible database and search for that word or words that describe the concept and try to find the verse that I think matches best to the music and the title.
Q6. What about the future—how soon are you looking to create more music?
Oh…as soon as possible!! I’ve been creating new music for the past several weeks that I’m very excited about, and am working on a bunch of new albums right now! There’s another solo piano project in the works, a felt piano project, a Christmas piano project, a Christmas vocal project, an inspirational vocal project, a hymns project and an album based on songs inspired by the fruits of the Spirit as found in the Bible. I have some songs and compositions written for all of those albums already and would love to be able to complete all those projects this year, but, realistically realize that I probably only have enough time to do maybe two or three of those projects. But I’m sure going to try to get them all done if I possibly can!
Q7. A message for our readers.
I would just encourage everyone to take the gifts and talents that you have, and we all have them to one degree or
But I’d also like to encourage people to allow themselves to take the time to relax and listen to calming soothing music. I was talking with a friend the other day and he was saying how he actually plays my “Waiting’s End” solo piano album on repeat in his house when he’s gone and it keeps his cats from clawing on the furniture and tearing up the place!! If it works for cats, I think it can work for anyone probably! Ha ha!