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Matthew Labarge - JPop.com
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Matthew Labarge

Matthew Labarge

Matthew Labarge


From matthewlabarge.com: After engineering school, I saved up for a bit and, when I was 28, quit my engineering job to study composition full time with the great composer John Hilliard. I had piano lessons for the next two and a half years, but I did a good bit better with composition than piano. Savings ran out after a few years, so it was back to the office job. Even though music took a back seat to work, I was trying to figure out what held me back from being a better player. Read more on Last.fm
From matthewlabarge.com: After engineering school, I saved up for a bit and, when I was 28, quit my engineering job to study composition full time with the great composer John Hilliard. I had piano lessons for the next two and a half years, but I did a good bit better with composition than piano. Savings ran out after a few years, so it was back to the office job. Even though music took a back seat to work, I was trying to figure out what held me back from being a better player. I read a good bit about learning theory and neuroscience, particularly as it relates to language.

Despite the little time I had to practice, I bravely took on the creation of my first two piano CDs, first fall night and in small hours. At the ripe young age of 42, good fortune once again bestowed upon me the notion of working on music full time for a bit. Off I went again, this time with a top priority of figuring out how to become a better performer. I knew it would take not just hard work, but a different approach to change my playing substantively. So I started the big experiment - rebuilding my technique and understanding of the piano from the ground up. Practicing many hours every day, and devising all sorts of new exercises to stretch beyond my boundaries.

In order to maintain focus, I intended to resist the urge to write music during this time. Best laid plans of mice and men. The new approach was definitely changing my playing, but despite best intentions, new music started creeping out. The wedding waltz was going to be the one exception. I wrote it for Shawn the week I proposed to her. Writing it and playing it for her was great fun (and très romantique, of course), but then I got it in my head that it really wanted a friend to play with, maybe a little celebration piece (she had, after all, said yes).

So out popped leaves dancing. It was all downhill from there- this is music that mostly wrote itself. I had recently upgraded at home to a piano that I dearly loved. I'd spent enough time in recording studios as a rock player in my early twenties to understand the rudiments of sound. Up to now, the piano had been the primary consideration in choosing a recording studio, but as long as I was doing music full time, maybe it was time to try to record on my own. It was after a year of research and experimenting that I actually started to productively record.

My already enormous respect for great engineers and producers was further increased. The learning curve was steep and slow, but I was finally getting world-class sounds. I believe that I am and have always been a better composer than player, and a better listener than composer. My listening was proving more critical than ever. So october- here is an album that I wrote, played, engineered, and produced.

Because I was able to take time to be careful with every little step, I believe it is the best recording I have made to date. Music has been so very important to me. During my best times, it has always been a catalyst for overflowing joy. During my worst hours, it has been a singular candle in the darkness. I truly can't imagine life without the music that I love. What music has done for me, I want badly to pass on.

My deepest hope is that this music inspires you and makes your life a little better, if even for some fleeting moments. That's what all this work is about. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..

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