The piano has always been an efficient vehicle of rhythm and melody across the genres. However, in a lot of contemporary pop and rock music of the past decade, the guitar has been at the focal point and often somewhat overshadowed the piano as a leading instrument. In recent years, though, the commercial success of piano-based acts like Keane, Coldplay, The Fray and Gavin DeGraw has lead to a massive resurgence of hit songs where the piano is the undisputed star and melodic propellant.
This collection of EZkeys MIDI was inspired by the wealth of today’s piano-pop and is targeted at those who want to write songs where the piano is at the center of attention. Expect rhythmic foundations, creative chord progressions, melodic ideas and an overall burst of creative fuel for your next batch of piano-driven pop songs.
Name: Martin Hall
When and how did you discover your passion for music?
– Pretty early… Perhaps when I started to hammer the upright piano we had at home at the age five or six. That’s some kind of passion I guess! :). I think a turning point, passion-wise, was when I started playing different stuff than the classical piano that my mom wanted me to play. When I started playing in bands and such, 14-15 years old there about.
How come you ended up playing the keyboard?
– I had a piano at home, growing up. Mom taught me at first.
You have recorded several titles of MIDI for EZkeys by now. Explain a little about the process of recording one of these packs.
– I usually start by listening a lot to a playlist of songs. Get a feel of the genre. A vibe. Then usually a couple of ideas tend to emerge quite early. I switch a lot from the different songs/sessions I’m working on in the beginning. Like, if I’m recording a Stevie Wonder-kind-of-thing variation number 3, and suddenly feel like I have the Ray Charles take on this, I instantly open a new session and record the new idea. I find it easier and more fun to work this way – to never stop the creative process. To go with it. Instead of the well-I-really-should-be-doing-this-right-now-approach. And force it. There´s always time to edit/erase/change things up and record variations at a later stage. That’s a different kind of creation I think, like what to add, what to remove, more of this and that, or doing a very sparse take.
What was some of the inspiration behind this collection?
– I listened to a lot in preparation. Coldplay, Keane, some Oasis, Daniel Powter, Eleanor Dunlop among others.
Name five awesome songs of any genre or era where the piano is at the center of attention!
– OK. I just grab the ones that pop up first – there are so many…
“Tiny Dancer” – Elton John
“Let it Be” – The Beatles
“Pyramid Song” – Radiohead
“The Art Teacher” – Rufus Wainwright
“Blue” – Joni Mitchell
Name: Martin Hall
Here are a few moden pop songs where the piano stars in the leading role.
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