Patrick Kimmell

Composer and pianist

Canada

Author

About

Born in a little town called Bedford, Quebec, I grew up without showing any signs of interest in classical music. It's only at the age of 30 that my passion for creating classical music would come to life.

At 30, wanting to be challenged other than the daily life routines, I decided to purchase my first piano and enrolled myself into classical music lessons at "Le Studio d'Orgues et Pianos de Joliette". This is where it all began. Five months later, after completing preparatory training and first-grade music lessons I was invited to play at the 19th Annual Recital at "Le Musee d'Art de Joliette". I would be playing Beethoven's "Sonata Quasi Una Fantasia" (Moonlight Sonata) and my own sonata called "The Dream". Shortly after, wanting to expand from piano to orchestral composition, I purchased my second piano which came equipped with multiple orchestral instruments.

Shortly after, due to real life circumstances, my leisure time became extremely limited and I had to put my music on hold. You know, children, work etc.. But in 2003, I saw a little window of opportunity open up which gave me enough time to compose at least 10 new pieces inspired by a love story I wrote called "Two Lives' to a Destiny" which is currently being edited in California and should be released by the end of 2019.

Following these 10 new compositions in 2003 the trail went cold again but in 2015, I jumped back on the music wagon and this time I'm holding on tight, no more distractions. It'll be clear sailing 'til death do us part :)

Latest compositions:

The Symphony of Reliquiae - Its World Premiere was held on September 30, 2017, at the St.Lawrence for the Arts Theatre in Toronto.

In the works;

"A Condemn Soul", "Alone Again" and a waltz "A Little Stroll".

Videos

Sheets

Interview

What does music mean to you personally?

Music to me is a friend. A friend I go to when in need of expressing a very intimate part of myself.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

This is a tricky question indeed. While creating music, I would have to say that fantasy is a basic ingredient. But, using myself as an example, the fantasy is always ignited using real emotions which makes it very real in the end. On the other hand, a good melodic composition will share an emotional environment with the listener, and that, without giving much detail other than a series of notes. The listener will then relate to the piece or, indulge in a fantasy creating its authentic environment.

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

I believe a better question for me would be, why am I not a professional musician. I’ve been in the automobile industry for over 40 years and currently I work for Subaru Canada as a Field Service Engineer.

I started playing piano at the late age of 30, and at that time, I was simply looking for a new challenge in my life. Today, I would have to call it fate, because I had no idea that I’d become extremely passionate about composing music, nor did I know I even had the aptitude for it. To be very honest, it’s this extreme passion that keeps me in the creative zone.

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

I’m not so much worried about a classical music audience. I firmly believe that the roots of all music, classical of course, will always have an audience. As long as we keep on teaching it, there’s no problem.

What I am worried about is the people who govern our country. Budgets are being cut year after year because politicians do not see or do not want to see the benefits of a music culture in our society.

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 see tough times ahead for music in the 21st century but most musicians, like myself, are extremely passionate, dedicated but most of all, extremely committed. Therefore, making them somewhat resilient while going through rough times.

Regarding a transformation of this role. Of course, I am speculating due to todays economy and I hope I am wrong but, we might see a lack of interest towards the music profession due to a lack of work, resulting in a lack of revenue for artists. In this case, most artists will have to have a day job instead of pursuing a career in a music profession.

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

Creation is a funny thing. A musician doesn’t decide to be creative. What I believe to be true is that, creativity finds you. Whatever you decide to do with it becomes a privilege. Creation is certainly not an aspect that you can use on demand. The flow of creativity is extremely deep and at times, difficult to understand. This is the reason why not all musicians compose, although they do all have the means necessary to do so.

The role of creativity has a wide range of forms. I believe it to be a unique identity to oneself, just like a fingerprint. In my case, it’s very spontaneous and it often comes from my personal life experience or from someone else’s life experience. Many times, it will happen when I least expect it, but the music is so clear in my mind that I could almost attest that I’ve heard it somewhere. Imagine yourself walking down the street whistling music that is not yet created. That’s what it feels like, but at times, it’s very intense.

For example, imagine yourself walking down the street whistling a fullblown symphony that doesn’t exist. You’ll be acting out all four movements, imagining all the instruments being played and this will last for, a little over 30 minutes. At this point you’ll say to yourself, I’m deranged, or obviously gifted. My role of creativity in this process is to make sure this music is realized and shared, or else, it is all for nothing.

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

Most definitely! In order to attract a younger generation to music concerts as well as a general public that would enjoy classical music, the program becomes a very important piece in this process. Your program should include more melodic popular classics opposed to unknown compositions from the great composers. The young generation and the general public are usually not educated at a level that is in comparison to the expert musicians playing the piece. Therefore, they cannot appreciate the difficulty in which the piece is being played. The person with the least amount of aptitudes in music will always enjoy a melodic piece of music. In other words, play music that they can enjoy. I mostly compose melodic music this is something I always say to myself, “If I can’t hum it, I might not enjoy it as much”.

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

My process is a very simple one and extremely realistic although fantasy might be needed to some point. Be the subject, live the part you want to deliver, authenticate the emotion you need to express. When these three aspects come together, you will certainly, without a doubt, have a very powerful piece of music. My all-time favorite composition is most definitely “Unforgiven Forgiveness “. This is a piece written for the soundtrack of a romance/adventure novel called “Two Lives to a Destiny “. I am also the author of the book which will be released some time this year.

This wasn’t a difficult piece to create but a very difficult scene to play out. It took me a while to imagine myself living this scene due to its content, and in result, this became a struggle in its creation. To authenticate the proper emotional state of this piece, I had to travel to the 18th century, where the story took place. Because the book is not yet released, I cannot give you any details describing this scene but I can tell you this much, it would be a person’s worst nightmare to experience in any life, in any era and in any realm. But eventually, I gave into the idea of living the part. I didn’t have a choice. I had a blank sheet of music and had no idea how to fake the notation of the piece in response to the story.

After fantasizing the scene, the inspiration was delivered, I sat down at the piano, played it and after 15 minutes, it was all done. Did I get emotional while playing it? Indeed, I did! I’m even emotional while describing it to you at this moment. I lived it, I felt it, and I played it. It will be part of me for the rest of my life, even though I have never experienced it in real life. All that’s left to do is to write it. Like I said previously when we discussed fantasy, “I indulge in a fantasy creating its authentic environment”.

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

If our young generation would like to have a lot of good fun that will, most certainly last a lifetime, they should choose an instrument they really enjoy and play it. It’s not any different than the time spent playing a video game, the more you play the better you get.

Do you like social media? Well, there’s a lot of social going on when you join a community of music, a band, a youth chamber orchestra, etc. But we can’t stop there, they should also have an idol, one they choose to look up to and one they can aspire to be one day.

Convince your parents to bring you to concerts, make them understand that your music is as important as the soccer games your little brother watches on TV, simply because he plays in a soccer team.

If I may add a little advice to Mom & Dad. Parenting youth as musicians is not just bringing them to lessons and following up with them to see if they’ve been practicing. It’s much more than that…

Here’s an eye opener. We use the word “play” when we talk about an instrument and/or music, but we also use the word “play” when we talk about a game. The word “play” is defined as “engage in an activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose”. If our young ones are not enjoying themselves while playing an instrument, it’s either because they’re not playing the instrument they enjoy or worst, they simply don’t enjoy playing music.

Do you think about the audience when composing?

Never, not even for a second. For the longest time I thought my music wasn’t interesting enough to go public. Reason being, I couldn’t justify why I even had the means of creating music and I could not even explain it. After acquiring a bit of knowledge in music, today I would explain this phenomenon as, a piece of music composed to be played using ad libitum, as the expression. Which means performed with free rhythm and expression or at one’s pleasure. This is quite the mystery in my life, but one that I really enjoy, and the audience never had any influence on its outcome.

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

Oh my! Lots of projects...

The first project to complete will be to launch my book “Two Lives to a Destiny “, spring 2020. My second project involves completing the piano score book for the soundtrack of “Two Lives to a Destiny “, with my music coach, Andrei Panasevich. The due date that we’ve given ourselves is summer 2020. There will be a total of 12 piano pieces. The piece you’ll be playing is called “Solitude”, which is in fact, a piece from the soundtrack. Once the score book is released, I will attempt to orchestrate the entire soundtrack.

During this time, I would also like to write a few dozen pieces still floating in my head. This will bring us to, summer 2021. Since life never happens as planned, we’ll see if I can keep myself on track.

Andrei and I experiment every Saturday morning for 2 hours. I notate the piece using Finale software and Andrei plays the piano rendering an array of harmony to choose from in relation to the tone/emotion we want to give the piece. We actually call ourselves “Mel & Harmon”, I have a facility to compose melodies and Andrei is an expert with harmony. He’s also been a musician for over 40 years. I am very grateful to have met such a talented individual. One would say, it’s a perfect duo when it comes to creating new compositions. Music Composers should try this!

A very nice experiment that I extremely enjoyed was having a 32-member chamber orchestra play my very first written symphony called “The Symphony of Reliquiae”. Reliquiae is a Latin word meaning survivors. I didn’t know Andrei at the time, so I had to write this one alone, with much difficulty. This took place at the St. Lawrence Center for the Arts in Toronto, in the year of 2017.

Last but not least, we also have musicians play our pieces once completed, just so we can make a few adjustments to the score. Rarely does Finale, the music software, take the human factor into consideration. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity Thank you for having me.

Patrick Kimmell

Author & Leisure Music Composer

https://www.patrickkimmell.com/