Brenda Warren

Composer and pianist

Author

About

Composer/Pianist Brenda Warren's music goes straight to the heart with her beautifully expressive piano pieces. Joyful as well as introspective moods with a melodic core capture the listener. The deeply reflective quality of her solo piano music is enhanced on occasion with strings and other instrumentation.

Music has been a lifetime passion for Brenda Warren. At an early age she began studying classical piano at the Detroit Conservatory of Music. It was at San Francisco State University where she earned a Bachelor's Degree in music composition. Her senior thesis was the writing of a musical which was completed after graduation. “Breakfast in Marin” premiered in San Francisco and was nominated for a prestigious Cable Car Award. Brenda signed a record deal with Los Angeles label “Priority Records” and released her first solo piano album of original music, “Childhood Dreams”.

Many of the pieces from this collection were featured in television and documentary films and received worldwide airplay. A second album release recorded at Warner Brothers Eastwood Scoring Stage, “As Years Go By” received rave reviews and features the Los Angeles based "The Section Quartet". Some of these pieces are featured in documentary films. Brenda scored part of "The Spirit in Architecture", a film made about legendary architect John Lautner which premiered at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

BEAUTIFUL JOURNEY is Brenda's third album and is produced by Grammy award winning producer and Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman. Several outstanding musicians add their talents to many of these twelve new compositions. Will Ackerman best describes Brenda's music as “an utterly unique artistic voice and a pianist with stunning compositional talent and technique to match. Her work is deeply heartfelt and stunningly emotional...a glimpse into her artistic soul”.

BEAUTIFUL JOURNEY embraces the heart and soul. These new pieces are inspired by overcoming hardship, loss and finding appreciation and a deeper understanding of life. Hope, renewal, forgiveness and beauty in nature are the underlying themes in this new collection. Brenda hopes listening to this music will uplift, inspire and heal the heart.

Videos

Sheets

Interview

What does music mean to you personally?

Music has been part of my life from a very early age. The first time I heard my kindergarten teacher play the piano I ran home and began playing what she played. I learned that I could play by ear and was fascinated with the sounds I was creating. Personally for me music is the best way for me to express my emotions and to use my imagination. Music has always been the central focus of my life in one way or another. For as long as I can remember it's been my true passion.

If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?

I used to be a dancer and would have loved to pursue that more. My other choice was to be a comedy writer. The idea of making people laugh and coming up with funny story ideas sounded like a fun life. I did write a musical comedy actually.

Do you think that the musician today needs to be more creative? What is the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

Yes I do. There so much music out in the world now that I think it's important to be as creative and original as possible. Each piece I compose I think of as an expression of myself, or an image I want to create. Some pieces are more about feelings I want to express, others are more from my imagination and I can visualize like a painting. Creativity is the main role in composing for me. I enjoy finding new ways to combine notes, chords, and making up patterns. The piano is like a blank canvas, where I paint with notes.

Tell us about your creative process. What is your favorite piece (written by you) and how did you start working on it?

My creative process is very simple. In most cases I sit down at the piano and start improvising. If there's a theme I've come up with I like, I write it down or record it and build a new piece from that main idea. Sometimes I have an idea of something specific that I want to write about, for instance, cherry blossoms on my new album, so I work with those pictures in my mind. “Beneath Cherry Blosdoms” is one of my favorite pieces on BEAUTIFUL JOURNEY” because I think it captures the image very well. From an emotional point of view, I feel strongly about “Open Heart” as it really comes directly from my heart. These two pieces are perfect examples of what I've been talking about, writing from my imagination or writing from an emotional place.

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

Im working on videos for some of the pieces on my new album. Also just beginning to compose new music and I will be releasing a single next. I do like to experiment on new projects and I did on my current album by adding more instrumentation than my previous projects. Wind synth, fretless bass, soprano sax, were new to my music. Cello is my favorite second instrument and it's featured on three pieces on “Beautiful Journey” with the great cellist Eugene Friesen.