Jesse Brown

Teacher/Pianist/Composer

Canada

Author

About

Jesse Brown is a Canadian piano teacher, composer, and recording artist. He runs a piano lesson studio out of his frozen prairie home where he spends countless hours teaching, composing, recording and releasing music, as well as writing and publishing piano music books. His latest full album release - Sadness - was chosen by Ear To The Ground Music’s editor as one of the top 10 albums of 2018, and his listenership worldwide has been consistently growing over the past years. The NY based Sonder House label will be releasing a number of singles and EP’s throughout 2019 and promises to be an outstanding and breakthrough year for this relatively unknown composer

Videos

Sheets

Interview

What does music mean to you personally?

I use music to express my feelings in a way that words simply can not. It is my diary, my scrapbook, and my autobiography. My piano creations are my love letters, my dreams, my struggles, and my laughter.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Good question... maybe... I would say that it is mostly about feelings, experiences, emotions, and the imagination and perception of the performer.

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

It is very hard for me to seriously imagine doing anything else professionally. I do enjoy working with my hands, so maybe a handyman of some sort? I did build a cottage for/ with my family, and enjoyed the physical aspects involved, as well as the troubleshooting and thought that went into each detail of the build.

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

I expect music to constantly evolve. I’m not worried about the future of music or the musical tastes of audiences changing over time. I do, however, worry about the future of humanity and our planet, but that’s a whole other can of worms.

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

I am keenly aware of a trend towards calmness and serenity in modern piano music. With so many people experiencing overstimulation on a regular basis, it seems that there are many who yearn for less in more ways than you’d expect. Modern, ambient music can provide listeners with a switch to turn off the world.

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

I believe that the modern musician has more tools than ever to bring their creations to life. Anything is possible if you can simply imagine it. I personally take inspiration from my life experiences and turn them into music, and I find that I am mostly drawn to the piano as the main instrument used to express myself. I haven’t spent a great deal of time fusing with technology as an artist, but I certainly wouldn’t rule that out. I’ve been experimenting with a number of different ideas, and I do spend quite a bit of time with my students working with Logic Pro and creating in a wide variety of genres in our study of modern styles.

Do you think we as musicians can do something to attract the younger generation to music concerts? How would you do this?

I feel that humanity is getting more and more used to the constant stimulation, so the fusion of comedy and music is one idea.... giving the younger generation visual stimulation as well will help them to give up staring at their screens for a few minutes... fingers crossed...

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

My favourite piece will change from time to time. It’s usually one that is new and fresh for me, and Flocks has to be first and foremost in my mind and heart today. It was something that I began working on a few months ago when it came to my attention that I had lost my best friend. It was also during the time of the great goose migration that is brought on by elements that are out of the bird’s control. They too, must leave their frozen homes, let go of everything that they know, and fly south to a place where they will find new life, sustenance, and comfort. It’s very much a piece about letting go, with a pure heart and a wish for a better life for everyone. The piece also has an interesting ingredient. There is a note that roots the entire piece. The Db that roots every single arpeggio is the foundation of kindness and love for all.

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

Yes...get a streaming subscription from somewhere and start listening. What a wonderful time it is when one can have access to pretty much everything ever recorded, and sharing that music with others is absolutely effortless. When I was a ‘young’ person, things were substantially more difficult to acquire and share.

Do you think about the audience when composing?

Absolutely. I want to connect with people, and give my ‘audience’ the best listening experience possible. Sometimes the music is just for my own personal enjoyment and I decide to share it with the world, but most of the time I am writing for a specific person or story. Many of my pieces are written for specific individuals, inspired by their stories and experiences. I guess that they are the ‘audience’ that I am composing for. ‘Room for One More’ was inspired by a facebook post that an acquaintance had written about her last moments with her husband as he fell to cancer. ‘The Eagle’ was written for a piano student of mine... ‘Flocks’ was written for my ex-wife.

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

I have a number of singles and EP’s that I am going to releasing throughout the year through the Sonder House label that I’m very excited about. I’ve been experimenting with recording some of the other instruments in my studio. I have a drum kit, a variety of guitars, a fender rhodes, a yamaha CP70B, and a few other musical delicacies at my disposal that are ready to join in all of the fun. I’m excited to have the most prolific year of my new musical journey.