HOW THE MUSIC IS MADE
BY A SOLO ARTIST PERFORMING IN NATURE
Though many artists now utilize sampling keyboard technology, Paul has taken a unique approach to electronic music. In general, musical artists record stereo tracks separately. Next, they add new tracks and keep on building up the music. This makes for some very good sound because the music is assembled by mastering technicians who work with the musical artist who consults with them on the project. Film music is an excellent example of using many tracks using instrumental recordings, which is wonderful.
When Paul Lloyd Warner makes music, he plays multiple keyboards simultaneously. He moves his hands from one keyboard to another as an organist moves their hands from one manual to another. Each keyboard Paul plays is dedicated to one or more instruments.
Paul Lloyd Warner playing on a four keyboard system in the wilderness
Instead of assembling his recorded tracks, one by one, Paul plays the music all at once as a whole composition, often playing variations of his themes, yet improvising on four keyboards in one single pass. For example, if he is playing piano and orchestra, he will dedicate one keyboard to the piano and two or more keyboards to the orchestra, while emphasizing strings, wind, percussion and horns. The music is mixed while it is being played by the artist. There is no overdubbing or sequencing of tracks to make the final product. Paul Lloyd Warner plays and records “LIVE” music on multiple keyboards in real time.
Due to the technological advancements in electronic sampling keyboards and MIDI (short for Musical Instrument Digital Interface), it is feasible to perform complex orchestral sounds electronically in the same recording session without having to multi-track, over-dub or sequence the music from separate recordings and mixing sessions into a final master recording. Thus, musical artists, like Paul Lloyd Warner, get inspired by making the music all at one time, whether recording in studio, in concert or outdoors in nature.
It can take years for a musical artist to master a particular instrument on electronic sampling keyboards, but this has become a mandatory requirement. It took PLW several years until he could play two to four keyboards simultaneously. He learned how to play the harp on keyboards, making it sound just like a real harpist playing. Professional musicians have commented favorably about the technical quality and the beauty of the music.
This means that playing “legato” (a soft, smooth transition from note to note in order to carry a singing tune) is fundamental to the illusion of playing real instruments on keyboards. It takes months and years of practice to play a flute so well, that the flute player’s breathing becomes an integral part in the overall performance. PLW utilizes fingering techniques to play those notes just like a real live flute player.
PLW realizes that he is conducting the music as he plays it. This means emphasizing certain instruments, going from one to another as well as simultaneously playing first and secondary keyboards with each foot holding down a pedal. This is all for the purpose of playing musical lines, keeping them together as a conductor, keeping the tempo maintained, while giving more emphasis to certain sections, notes and phrases, then taking off into pure improvisation, exploration and a newfound freedom to create absolutely professional recordings in the depths of nature. It can be very exhilarating and a joy to behold.
The multi-keyboard artist has to keep it all together and interpret the music WHILE performing all of the parts simultaneously. This is a formidable task, especially when PLW is improvising and conducting his music in real time as part of a whole performance.
To make it more remarkable, this music is created in nature. Paul plays the music in the wilderness on professional keyboards and records it on a laptop computer. All this technology is powered by truck batteries which are connected to an inverter that transforms DC to AC power.
During performance, Paul is the recording engineer who keeps it all together. This is super cool and is an honor as well as a privilege to play LIVE in nature on professional instruments and make digital recordings.
The musical artist must play a composition, or improvise one, while performing multiple instruments on several keyboards at one time. The artist also needs to interpret the music he or she is conducting and recording. The recording must be a faithful reproduction of the artist’s performance.
Finally, all this music is played far in the wilderness, at scenic locations that take a long time to get to and set up the keyboards to record. Paul says it is breathtaking to see the beauty all around him.
Paul Lloyd Warner then begins to play, totally inspired by the beauty all around him. He says it is awe-inspiring to experience such beauty while playing with all his heart and soul in spectacular natural settings such as the Grand Canyon or Yosemite.
It’s daunting, exhilarating, technical and a creative output of the first magnitude. One cannot make an obvious mistake, or else the recording is ruined. However, when Paul does make a mistake and hits a wrong note, he is faced with an instantaneous choice of taking advantage of the “wrong” note to start a new idea and lead the performance into a fresh and unknown territory.
Here is when improvisation becomes interesting and challenging. Can the wrong note eventually lead to even greater music than was originally intended? When this happens, especially overlooking a magnificent mountain or waterfall, a gorgeous scenic spot that took a lot of work to get there and set up, he is forced to innovate new music.
It is now possible for a musical performing artist to set up a suite of keyboards plus electronic equipment on stage and play large-scale music to an audience. This is music made electronically by a single artist utilizing a technological array of keyboards, synthesizers, and computers. Now you can see a picture of the 21st century artist at work and hear the results. Music Store
© 2015 Paul Lloyd Warner. All Rights Reserved.