Contemporary Solo Piano composer crafting original music that recognizes the priceless worth of each one of us. He writes relaxing piano music for studying, work focus and concentration, meditation, and soothing piano music for sleep.
My mother began teaching piano to me at age four. When I learned how to compose my own music at age twelve, my love for music grew immensely. My greatest revelation and absolute joy came much later when I discovered that I could serve others with music by simply choosing them as my source of inspiration. In some cases, this had a healing effect on them, especially as they felt their worth for the first time. These "Music Portraits" provide so much joy as we connect with each other on a much deeper level.
Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?
Music is complex in that it has countless uses as a tool for focusing and distracting, relaxing and tensing, healing and destroying, inspiring and depressing, etc. Think if its role in movies, television, stage, and radio. Yet, it is so much more than a tool. It is about communication and connection, memory and emotion. For instance, I remember roller skating with friends and getting excited when Michael Jackson's "Thriller" started blaring through the speakers. I remember singing to my wife at our wedding and the emotions of that day.
If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?
The secret is out! I am a software developer by day and a professional piano composer on nights and weekends. I've spent years dreaming and working toward the day when I can serve others with music full-time. I have a real passion for helping others realize their worth and reach their creative potential. I envision a future alignment between my music, technology, and even coaching.
The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?
Just the opposite! I connect well with my older audience and they inspire me greatly. I recently released two Music Portraits inspired by two women who left a legacy of unconditional love and caring for the elderly. My wife and I spent months caring for my father-in-law who had Alzheimer's, for which I gladly put my music career on hold. This period really helped me realize what is most important in life. I think the more we care for our older audience the more they will care about our music.
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?
Good question! I estimate that it could play a huge role as artists and musicians learn to connect deeply with their fans. In general, though, I think that classical music will play a significant support role in the latest generation fixated on video entertainment. Netflix, YouTube, and Snapchat consume their attention. Outside of that, they yearn for exciting experiences. Making music about them makes it exciting.
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?
My own music comes to mind. I came up with the idea of Music Portraits in answer to a similar question, "How can I serve others in the creation of music, not just in the sale of the product?" Creating music is something I have been doing for years, but it was looking at that process through this new lens that set me free. For the first time, my heart became fully engaged as I discovered a higher purpose for my music. My music became the overflow of a heart inspired by others, and it grew a healing property that leaves me speechless.
Do you think that the classical musician today needs to be more creative? Whats the role of creativity in the musical process for you?
Yes! I can think of two ways a musician can become more creative.First, be still and listen in silence for that still small voice. Let the images bubble up and the emotions they bring. Your best ideas may come in the quiet.Second, leave your den and go hunting for little sparks of inspiration in people, places, things that you come across. Observe a flower on the side of the road, listen to a friend struggling with their marriage, close your eyes and hear sounds you never noticed before. Whistle or hum or sing when you are in the car alone. Better yet, do those things with fellow passengers, especially kids!In either case, go back to your instrument and unleash all those precious emotions. Try something you've never done before, record it, and share it with the world. We need your creativity!
Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generation into the classical music concerts? How will you proceed?
Again, find ways to make it about them and their experience. They may settle for good music, but they mostly want connection.
Tell us about your creative process. Do you have your favourite piece (written by you) How did you start working on it?
When I compose a Music Portrait, I start with an interview. I choose someone who inspires me and whom I truly believe will cherish it. I listen to their story, write down the things that stand out, and pay special attention to the things that move my emotions. I take those notes to the piano and emote those deep emotions and ideas through new melodies and rhythms. Over the next few weeks, I craft those into a complete piece of music, record it and send it to the person who inspired me. Their response is always incredible, and they feel treasured in a way like never before.
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 love all the above, plus one more: music and coaching. One of my most recent Music Portraits was inspired by a woman who was abused as a child and suffers tremendously both physically and emotionally as a result. She uses the music I composed for her to help her sleep, manage her pain, and inspire her watercolor paintings. I also coach her to discover her own incredible worth and the potential of helping others with her gorgeous artwork and powerful story. I was floored when she told me that my music was actually healing her! Of all the gifts God could give me, I'm grateful for this one. This is why I make music now.
Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?
Start with WHY. What moves your heart. It may change over time, but be honest. Let your music pour out of that. You can turn a stick and a bucket into a drum set, or a bamboo stalk into a flute. It doesn't matter. Be yourself and find a way to serve others with the music that comes out. Repeat that often and someone out there will love what you do. Connect with them deeply and meet their friends. Love them genuinely and they will love your music.
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?
Yes, we desperately want music to be in the consumption business. "The market" is just an economic term for connection, where trust develops and value is exchanged. Who doesn't want that? The market holds up a mirror to my face and says "Be yourself, but be excellent." There is a group of people out there who love my music and embrace the same WHY I have. They are my market and I serve them without compromising my art. Their consumption allows me to continue creating and care for my family and I'm entirely grateful to them.
Do you have expectations what regards your listeners, your audience?
No expectations. I love them. I hope my music shows that.
What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?
I plan to launch a new album of Music Portraits later this year. You can stay informed at https://JohnAlbertThomas.com.