Play "New World " as you read through.
For the story,
I started playing piano out there in december 2009, after finishing my studies and travelling across the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia and had stayed about 7 months already in New Zealand. I hated my dishwashing and housekeeping jobs. I had to dig into passion, feel alive, make life worth it. So I got myself an old dusty piano from the recycling centre (the same good old one that is on every picture!), quit the job and started to play everyday in the basement of the house where I was staying at the time. Good times! Not much money but so much freedom. So much time to finally do things that I love, which are the things that truly matter. In my case, it was to play piano, walk the mountains and grow some food. Three things that I always wanted to exlore and enjoy.
"Playing" out there was...
It was rewarding, creative, free, joyful (cfr. the title of one of my songs, "Joyful Choice" in my first album "Mathias Piano Man") than any form of work that I could think of. I would just compose and play whenever it felt good to do it, following enthusiasm. I was having a blast and that got me thinking about work, money & joy.
I have previously put it together as simply as:
"Hum, this is a bit of a story... It's a story about work, joy and money. It all started while dishwashing (work). Doing something that I didn't like (joy) didn't make sense to me, so I quit the job (joy), bought an old abandoned upright piano (joy) and started to play everyday (joy). I was quite enjoying myself! Then I thought since I was playing about three hours a day, why not go and play in the street, let's say for fun (or joy) and who knows, I might get some gold coins (money). It all ends up here, with you listening to my music and me becoming the Piano Man more and more everyday. Play piano, create songs is my joy, and joy is surely what I choose. Thanks for making it happen. Enjoy, Mathias, piano man".
My first album
"Mathias Piano Man" came out after several people had asked me about the songs that I was playing. Telling them that they were of my composition, they asked if I had a CD they could bring home. So I recorded my first album, putting together all the compositions that I had at the time. My flatmate, Steve, made the CD cover for me, which I took a picture of in his drawing pad in a rush to get my album released.
In the continuation, the other albums, "On my way", "Inspire" and "A spark of light" came one after the other, adding more to my discography as we call it. I had the three first albums recorded myself with a little device called HZ2 which worked just fine until July 2012 where I recorded all albums again in a studio in Wellington, on a gorgeous grand piano ! And I have to say: I can tell the difference, it sounds a lot deeper and profound that it used to. It is just beautiful.
Have come this year 2014 out of a digital piano, which enabled me to add other instruments. I could not resist and have added violin, choirs, bass, clarinet, saxophone, etc. in a very Orchestra like way. In fact, I was first going to name the album "Orchestra style" but rather decided to give it a more meaningful name. Indeed, "Through the cycle" (5th album) seems more appropriate as I welcomed my first child and departed from an uncle in within a week, which are both powerful moments. Lives going in and out in a blink of an eye. So is why I called the 6th album "Many a story", as things move between these two points and stories emerge inevitably.
More movies & pictures from other people
How long have I been playing piano ?
That one is a tough one. I have never taken any course or lesson of piano, so I can't say that I have been playing since a particular year or age. I am self taught: I used to bang on the piano at my parents house until I was 18 and moved out. It then became quite rare for me to play. So considering this, I have sort of been playing for 10 years+. Eventually, while in New Zealand, Wanaka, for a longer period of time, I bought my piano and started to play on an everyday basis (like a 10 year old craving had me to do!). That was in 2009. So according to that date, I have been playing piano for 4 years now.
Have I been inspired ?
Surely have. I listened a lot to Yann Tiersen, Max Richter, Philip Glass, Thomas Newman. etc. A lot of people say my music reminds them of Ludovico Einaudi or Keith Jarrett. Thanks for the compliment.
Can I read music ?
Nope. I have never learnt, nor to read nor write music. I compose it all by ear, by heart like some say. It's a double sided thing since I cannot play anything else then my own creations (rather limited range of songs to play) but I can make up stuff quite easily. And finally, not being able to write music makes it very hard to write down all of my compositions, which would enable you to play them too, and which I have been trying to do for a while vainly through informatics.