“You have to be honest with yourself and with others. Be authentic. Be true. Be yourself. In quest of personal goals, subscribe to a fundamental philosophy : FIND A WAY.”
1. Before you settled in Calgary, what was it like being a traveling pianist?
As a composer / pianist that had the opportunity to share the original music beyond Winnipeg ( where I was born ), it continues to be exciting. You never know where your next performance will be … and what that looks like.
2. When did you first find your passion for music? Who first taught you, who started your music path?
At a young age, I was classically trained; however I did not touch the piano for 11 years. When I returned to piano, my focus was more about creating and composing new, fresh, original solo piano compositions rather than reciting other artists’ music. I had … and still have … a very focused vision of the music I want to share with a listening audience.
3. What do you as a musician connect with from doing music the most, the creation of it or the performing to others What is your true drive for doing that?
I approach original composition this way: (a) what does life sound like to me? (b) the interaction with people, your daily life, we see, we touch, we smell … there are all these sensations … but what does it sound like? This is how I approach my original music.
4. As you have played many shows with your compositions, your style is something we noticed. Please share with us who taught you how to dress like a real gentleman?
I have always been mindful that the way in which I present the music as important as the music itself. Personal style has always been part of that recipe, the branding if you will. It has to been understated, synergistic with the music … the music requires a lot of focus … so how I present myself has to match that … it can never be sloppy, it has to be tasteful.
5. Who do you see yourself as to the world and what you offer it?
The ability to share your experiences, your knowledge with people … independent of age, sex, ethnicity – and inspire them with your story has been the most important for me. Hopefully, this opens a conversation on how I can better help the person, the community, the city. As I have gotten older, the value and purpose in making the world a better place grows larger. I continue to strive and aspire to that philosophy.
6. Personally, what is a message that people need to learn, for them to be their happiest and true self? How is it you achieve that from your experiences?
You have to be honest with yourself and with others. Be authentic. Be true. Be yourself. In quest of personal goals, subscribe to a fundamental philosophy : FIND A WAY.
7. What are some of the hardships as a musician you have had to deal with?
As an original composer and solo pianist, one has to really believe in yourself. There can be markets and/or communities that may not immediately embrace your craft ; however, if you remain dedicated to your craft and believe that what you are doing is good and can make a difference, you just can’t give up. The life of a musician is not very different than life itself … there will be highs, there will be lows … keep practicing, keep writing, keep believing, keep refining your craft … life pays dividends for those who are tried and true.
8. When did you get into the lifestyle of creating your own men’s wear suites? How did you do that?
At a young age, I became interested in fashion. There has always been an interesting intertwining of music and fashion. After working many retail situations, there came a point where I wanted to express my point of view … so men’s bespoke tailoring became a huge interest for me and it was something I wanted to share … the opportunity to become a gentleman’s personal stylist / tailor became very inviting to me.
9. What s something in life you haven’t got to experience that you plan to do?
I love to travel. There are still many places in the world that I would like to visit. Learning another language is also on the bucket list. I have performed extensively through Canada, United States, Mexico, the Caribbean … I have never performed in Asia, Australia or Europe … this is something I would also like to do. I also would love to participate more in the growing arts scene in Calgary.
10. What is the first thing you look for with new people and connecting with them?
What is singular about a person. What gets them up in the morning. What is their “why”? And … are they open to new ideas, new opportunities.
11. Do you enjoy the aspect of being in the spotlight when performing as a professional pianist?
It is always about the music. The music is the star. I am merely the individual playing and sharing the music. This approach connects with people the most.
12. Is the creation of your music an expression of what you were going through in your life while doing your own Cd’s, Some Time Seduced and On Second Thoughts.
What is going on in your life and how you view things at that point in life will always be an influencing factor on what you create. My original piano pieces have always been reflective of that.
13. When has a musician, in your eyes “made it”?
I am uncertain if I have ever thought of “making it ” you are always striving, always creating, always wanting to share to a wider listening audience … if you approach creating and sharing your craft with the idea of always wanting to be better, the journey will always be one with no final destination … you are only as good as your last composition, your last public performance … in reality, you “make it ” when you move people in a positive way.
14. What are some of the highlighted shows you’ve played in your career?
Epic performances for me have been playing in front of 10,000 people at the 1999 Pan-Am Games in Winnipeg ; performing my music in front of an international audience at Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico … and having the privilege to play for 3 Canadian Prime Ministers, 2 American Presidents, the former President of Mexico and the former President of Iceland. The first time publicly performing in Calgary was also very special.
15. What are some things people wouldn’t expect that you have knowledge of and like to do?
Most people don’t know I come from a rich academic background ( as a former associate professor in mathematics and astronomy ) and that I played professional tennis … that is a lifetime ago …lol …
16. What is something we as a growing city in arts that we should focus on to move forward?
As I see Calgary’s scene currently, in order for the arts to be exciting, viable, sustainable and continue to grow in a compelling way … people must participate. Develop an appetite for the emerging and established scene here – music, performing arts, visual arts – and develop your palate. The creative class is an important aspect of any cosmopolitan, international city.
17. What is the legacy you want to leave behind?
I aspire to leaving the world – or perhaps just a small piece of the world – better than what it was .
18. Age is just a number, none could guess your age that’s for sure, how have you kept healthy and handsome, any advice to others?
Embrace the aging process. Be happy. Be willing to share with others … it makes everything and everyone better. Surround yourself with passionate and positive people.
19. What TV shows and artist stand out to you? That you actually watch and listen to in your life.
TVS and movies were more important to me in my youth. For me, they subscribed ( generally ) to a higher art form, the videography / cinematography, the acting, the script, the film scoring. In reference to TV, I was a huge fan of Rod Serling’s TWIGHT ZONE and NIGHT GALLERY. With respect to movies, I could watch a variety of genres … as long as the presentation fulfilled compelling aspects as I have just mentioned and tell a really good story, that is what I enjoyed. That said, it has been a long time since I have watched a movie that has held me the way the way movies were once made. Ennio Marricone, Ludovico Einaudi, Vangelis, ( early ) Yanni, Ryuichi Sakamoto have all fascinated me as film scorers.
20. What was your childhood like?
(20) My childhood in Winnipeg was a normal, middle class upbringing. My parents were very focused on the children to have exposure to sports and arts while being healthy, safe and educated. Dad was an academic, mom was a huge people person. I am fortunate that I acquired both of those qualities. For this, I am most grateful.