The question of the day is: Can a prog rocker create beautiful classical piano music? My answer to that is a resounding yes – especially if that rocker entered the Julliard School of Music Pre-College Division for classical piano training at nine years old, like rock keyboard artist Jordan Rudess did!!. I think that the prog rock world is glad that in his late teens Rudess became increasingly interested in synthesizers and progressive rock music and left the classical world behind and set out to make his way as a solo progressive rock keyboardist!!
The beautiful classical music that I am referring to appears on Rudess’ 2013 release All That is Now and his new 2014 release Explorations. I just discovered Rudess’ solo music yesterday! His name was familiar to me though because for the last fifteen years or so he has been the keyboard player for my sons’ favorite bands Dream Theater.(14 albums) as well as Liquid Tension Experiment (5 albums) and The Dixie Dregs. He first joined The Dixie Dregs in 1994. The Dregs and Dream Theater both took notice of his music after he was voted “Best New Talent” in the Keyboard Magazine readers’ poll after the release of his Listen solo album. One of Rudess’ most recent awards was from July 28, 2011, when in a poll conducted by MusicRadar, Rudess was voted the best keyboardist of all time!!
As a solo artist, Rudess has released fourteen albums and has appeared on over twenty other albums by artists like Neal Morse, David Bowie, Annie Haslam, Stephen Wilson and others. Discography
In 2010, Rudess composed “Explorations for Keyboard and Orchestra,” his first classical composition. It was premiered in Venezuela on November 19, 2010 by the Chacao Youth Symphony Orchestra and guest conductor Eren Başbuğ. Rudess played all of the keyboard and synthesizer parts. A full symphonic recording of Explorations will be released in December, 2014 played by Poland’s Sinfonia Consonus.
And like All That is Now, Explorations is terrific!! When I explored Rudess’ website I also discovered that he embraces new technology fully and has created Wizdom Music which is
…. is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of technology to create expressive and exciting tools for making music.
Wizdom Music’s first commercial release, MorphWiz, is a versatile and expressive musical instrument for Apple’s iOS platform. It combines cutting-edge synthesis techniques with stunning graphics to allow musicians to explore their ideas in ways never before possible. Continue Reading
Along with the release of All That is Now, Rudess also released an app called Jordan Rudess Explores you can watch all that you can do with the app here.
He also has established an on-line Conservatory that offers keyboard training!! Yes, he appears to be one of those I can do everything people!! So check his music out!!
And now for some music – here is Jordan with a Musical Message of Peace!!