Gerald Wilhelm Braden

Musician and composer

Author

About

My family is from Vienna, Austria, and eventually moved to the United States. I was introduced to music as a boy, and was recognized for showing talent and promise, and began studies on the Bass and Cello with members of the Cleveland Orchestra when I was young. When I was 13, I began playing Electric Bass, Piano, and Guitar, and started playing music with a few local bands. By the time I was 16, I was playing professionally 3-4 times a week, and decided to leave my Classical Music training to play Bass Guitar with Rock, Pop, and R&B bands for a living.

I switched from Bass to Guitar when I was 20, and entered music school to earn my BA in music. From the age of 20-40, I earned my living as a local musician, as well as a studio and touring musician playing Guitar and Keyboards for a few well known national acts. During this time period, I also earned a degree in Sound Engineering, and built and owned 3 Recording Studios, and started a Sound System rental company. My Recording Studios were known mainly for the radio and television commercials I composed music for, as well as my music arranging, engineering, and production.

When I was in my 40’s, I was hired full time for 10 years to work as a Music Director, Keyboardist, Guitarist, Bassist, and Vocalist for a band at a large Resort in Florida. During this time, I decided to return to school to further my musical education, and earn my Masters degree in music theory and orchestration. Once again, I switched instruments to Piano and Keyboards. While in school, I began my love affair with Classical Music again. I began composing for the Piano, and then some Chamber Music, and eventually Orchestral music.

Today, I no longer have my Recording Studios, and I use my Sound System and Lighting rental company (The Music Shoppe) for my income. I utilize any spare time possible to compose my Classical Music, strictly for the sake of art. My “musical mission” is to create music that is tonal, that evokes emotion and is pleasant for listeners to enjoy, and to hopefully have my music performed and enjoyed by professional Chamber Groups and Orchestras.

Music Schools where I have studied:

- Willoughby School of Fine Arts - Lakeland Community College - Cleveland Institute of Music - St Petersburg College - University of Southern Florida

If you have any questions, you can reach me at the phone number below, Mon-Thur 12-8 PM, EST.

Gerald W. Braden 100 E. Dartmore Ave. Akron, OH, 44301 USA

(330) 773-3030

Videos

Sheets

Interview

What does music mean to you personally?

When I was younger, music was a natural fascination, and I was drawn to melody, harmony, and rhythm at a very young age. As I grew older, studied, and began to compose, music was a way for me to express my inner feelings about the things in life that truly move me, such as nature, my family and friends, and love.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Not entirely, though I believe fantasy is a part of music, just as in literature, dance, opera, live theatre, and other mediums of artistic expression.

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

It’s safe to say that I would have still been some type of artist. I was quite a good painter and sketch artist when I was younger, and actually won a full scholarship to art college when I was in the 9th grade. I also had a book of my poems published when I was a teenager. Though I started my music training when I was about 8 years old, and music became a stronger and stronger influence in my life. By the time I was in the 10th grade, I decided to spend my life as a musician.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?

A little, though I am also getting older. The main thing I worry about, is the terrible “noise” that so many young people listen to today, that to me, is devoid of melody, harmony, counterpoint, and any true emotion. When humans do the same thing over and over, it can easily become a habi, good or bad. I believe many younger people today have been “brain washed” by media giants and advertising, to believe that their new music is good and relevant.

What do you envision the role of classical music to be in the 21 century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

Since the beginning of recorded history, just about everything good that occurs in art and society, eventually comes around again, through some type of renaissance. The past few years, I have noticed some very talented young musicians and composers that are actually returning to melody again. I am hoping for the best!

When I say that classical music is searching for new ways or that the classical music is getting a new face, what would come to your mind?

I believe this new generation of musicians and composers that are scoring music for some video games and music, show much promise for the future. Though I’m concerned that the music is taking a secondary role to the video games and films. This can be a slippery slope, because many young people may never learn to just sit patiently and thoughtfully to enjoy good music, and to become emotionally involved, without all the drama and action of the actual video game or film they are watching as well.

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

It depends on the role of any musician. If they are also composers, I would say yes. If their role is to perform the works of others, and play with ensembles, I believe their actual task of reading and playing well, understanding music well, and taking directions from a conductor is more important. The “role” of creativity to me, is basically anything that inspires me to sit at my piano, and transform my thoughts, ideas, and life experiences into notes and music.

Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generation into the classical music concerts? How will you proceed?

I believe the most important thing we can all do, is to make sure our children have good educations, that are filled with teaching children about art, music, and culture, not just a mediocre school curriculum and sports. Here in the US, the schools are terrible about exposing children to the arts, and sports is much more important. In many European countries, the school systems are far better than in the US, and the children learn much more about the arts and literature. Education is enlightenment, and above all!

Tell us about your creative process. Do you have your favorite piece (written by you) How did you start working on it?

My creative process usually begins when I am outdoors enjoying nature. I was a good Austrian boy, and grew up mountain climbing, skiing, back packing, white water canoing, and sailing. The awe and beauty of nature, is what usually gets my creative juices flowing. Of course, I am also inspired by all types of love, and the losses that we all experience in our lives.

We, Moving Classics TV, love the combination of classical music with different disciplines: music and painting, music and cinematography, music and digital art, music and poetry. What do you think about these combinations?

I believe that combining artistic medias can be a very fruitful venture, so long as any finished project works hand in hand artistically towards a common goal.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

Wow, this could be a very long discussion for me…Ha! As a former music professor and teacher, I always tried hard to not only teach my students musical foundations, but to also “guide” them towards different music pieces and composers that would stimulate different emotions. This is why I believe it’s so important to expose children to classical music from a very young age, while their minds and emotions are still developing. Once they reach the age of peer pressure, it’s incredibly hard to reach them with that “old person” music…Ha!

Now it is a common practice in the media to talk that the classical music is getting into the consumption business, do you agree? We are speaking about the supply and demand rules and how to sell your “product” in your case your compositions. How do you see it?

I made a good living for 35 years, working full time as a touring and studio musician playing rock, pop, and R&B music on the guitar and keyboards. Now that I have come full circle back to my “first love” (classical music), I have no expectations or desire for fame or wealth. All I truly care about, is the fact that I feel happy and renewed with each new composition (much like dreaming during a good nights sleep), and that people enjoy my music.

Do you have expectations what regards your listeners, your audience?

I don’t have expectations, just the “hope” that listeners will enjoy my melodies, and that my music will evoke any type of emotional response within them. I have only been “promoting” my music on You Tube, Facebook, and Soundcloud for a little over a year, and more and more people leave comments that they enjoy my music, or that a certain piece made their day better. This to me, is what my music is all about, and the highest praise I could ever hope for as a composer!

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

I’m in the process of completing my 6th Piano Waltz (in a series of 6) that I have been composing for all the women in my family. Last year, I completed 3 orchestral works for a Four Seasons series, and I’m working on the last piece for that series, “Autumn Poem.” My 3rd Piano Sonata is also close to being finished.

My “experiment” in the near future will be to orchestrate a Christmas song (simply titled “Merry Christmas”) that I composed for Harry Connick Jr about 20 years ago. A very good R&B tenor vocalist friend of mine will do the honors of singing this piece, hopefully in the style of Nat King Cole. It is going to be a little “different” for me, because the orchestration will be a little “jazzier,” and more similar to an earlier Frank Sinatra or Nat King Cole song. It should be fun!

Thanks Anna!

With regards,

Gary

The Music Shoppe Office (330) 773-3030

Gerald Wilhelm Braden 100 E Dartmore Ave. Akron, Ohio, 44301

Music Shoppe Website: http://TheMusicShoppe.net/

Music Shoppe Twitter: https://Twitter.com/MusicShoppe1

Music Shoppe Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/Akron.Canton.Music.Rental

Music Shoppe Myspace: http://www.Myspace.com/Akron_Canton_Music_Rental

Music Shoppe Pay Pal: https://www.paypal.me/TheMusicShoppe

Music Shoppe Gerald Braden You Tube Channel : https://www.YouTube.com/channel/UCxHS2BRUkknhHM6DMwKLQjQ

Music Shoppe Gerald Braden Composer Facebook : https://www.Facebook.com/Gerald.Braden.Composer/

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