A new interview with Dream Theater's keyboard player Jordan Rudess has been published on the Player's Planet website. Below is an extract:
P.P. Your successful PledgeMusic crowdfunding campaign led to the release two solo albums. “Explorations For Keyboard and Orchestra,” as well as the comparatively restrained “All That Is Now” solo piano album. Is this a project you’ve had in mind for a long time or a more recent spontaneous initiative?
J.R. Both albums were works that I really wanted to do. Explorations was particularly exciting because it was a chance to blend in my classical experience with my rock world. It was so awesome getting a chance to work with the orchestra in Poland and it really was a dream come true. All that is Now was special to me and just as important in a different kind of away. I always wanted to do an album which captured me at the greatest acoustic piano, which in this case is my Steinway that I have at home- in a completely intimate and almost private musical headspace. You know I love just sitting at the piano and allowing my emotions to be translated into music, and I do that a lot when I'm on my own. I feel that in this album I was really able to get the essence of that musical headspace!
P.P. You went as far as to release “All That is Now” as an interactive iPad app. Did this process turn out just as you initially envisioned?
J.R. It was a great experiment. That part of the release wasn't as successful as I had hoped but I learned a lot! The app world is kind of funny so I walked away from that with some more information and having done a very fun project. That said, I still feel that interactive music is really interesting and will become a bigger part of the future and I certainly want to be part of that.
P.P. Both Korg and your own Wizdom Music are producing powerful mobile apps for musicians. At the same time we’re seeing a huge resurgence in hardware analog synthesizers. Is there a technological trend has you particularly excited?
J.R. I'm really most interested in new technology. I love new methods of expression that's based on the new possibilities that technology offers. I've been very involved with a lot of the multi dimensional controllers that are now being made. Instruments like the Roli seaboard, the Haken Continuum and the Linnstrument are changing the world as we know it. There is a lot more work to do on that front and of course while that is being done I still have my trusted Korg Kronos that allows me to express myself at the keyboard all around the world!
P.P. The Korg Kronos has been your primary live performance workstation for several years now. What about the Kronos compels you to make it the centerpiece of your touring rig?
J.R. The KORG Kronos in my opinion is the finest performance keyboard in the world. It allows me to do everything that I need to do in my work with dream theater. I'm at a point now in my keyboard performance career where are my main keyboard is so capable of doing exactly what I want to do in the smoothest most effective positive musical way. It wasn't always like this in over the years things have improved so much. It's a great time to be a keyboard player and I'm happy to have the Korg Kronos as part of my world!
P.P. At the NAMM trade show last month, attendees were treated to the debut performance of your new keyboard focused group OrKeystra. Can you tell us a little about this group?
J.R. OrKeystra is a new ensemble but I'm putting together and premiered at the NAMM show.
I've assembled some amazing young talent to join me in this group. The idea is to have three high-level keyboardists playing together with a great drummer. The group consists of Eren Başbuğ, Marco Parisi and Elijah Wood. These guys are truly unique. I met Erin years ago when I was commissioned to write a concerto for a concert in Venezuela. He was posting YouTube videos of himself conducting an orchestra in Turkey and he was covering the music of dream theater. He was only 19 years old and I really thought it was great! It's a long story, but my wife and I helped him to come to America and go to the Berkeley school of music in Boston. At the same time he slowly but surely got involved with some of the dream theater things we were doing. He's in immensely talented keyboard player as well and I knew he would be perfect in the group. Marco Parisi is another major talent in the keyboard world.I met him when I was in Germany at Musik Messe. He was demonstrating for Korg as well. I knew from the moment that I met him that this was a very special person. We became instant friends and it became really clear to me that he would be a great member of OrKeystra as well!
Elijah Wood is my drummer. He is actually the youngest member of the group. I think as of this writing he's only 19 years old. He is the son of a dear friend of mine named Mark Wood who is a fantastic electric violinist. Mark and I have known each other for so many years as we went to Juilliard together when we were very young. I think I met Elijah when he was only about two years old. He is an enormous talent and can play all the wacky meters and the crazy music that I throw at him.
P.P. What can we look forward to from Jordan Rudess and Dream Theater in 2015 and beyond?
J.R. I am generating lots of music so I can guarantee that it will be coming your way in the not-too-distant future. I also have a full tour this summer with Dream Theater. We're doing summer festivals throughout Europe in late June and August. I'm also working on a great app called GeoShred that I'm really excited about getting released. It's an app that you can absolutely burn on. I think people going to freak out when they play it.
To read the full interview go here: