Behind the piano

Behind the piano: Boreís

Today we will go Behind the piano and get to know the person behind the moniker Boreís a bit better.

Let’s go!

What’s your real name?
Reed Pittman

How did you come up with your artist name?
I came up with the name ‘Boreís’ based on a novel by John Steinbeck called East of Eden. There’s a word in that book, timshel, which means ‘you can.’ Boreís is greek for ‘you can.’ I didn’t use Timshel because it was already taken by a few artists. It’s a central theme in the book, the concept of man’s ability to overcome, to choose what’s right even if we struggle. There’s so much beauty, tension and release in piano music and I thought it an appropriate name for the project. One of my favorite quotes from the book is “now that you know you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” I think that’s central to the novel and central to what inspires me in my life.

Where are you from? And where do you live?
I was born in Richmond, VA, grew up outside of Atlanta, GA in a town called Roswell and now I live in Nashville, TN.

How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
I’ve been playing since I was 10 and I play guitar and bass as well.

Tell us about how you started playing music.
I think I just started picking songs out by ear at the piano and writing little melodies or ideas. Then my dad decided to get me some lessons once I showed that interest.

How long have you been making piano music?
This project is actually fairly new even though I’ve written music for a long time. I hadn’t really done an instrumental project in earnest until I formed this about a year ago.

Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
It was early on I think! I remember playing a piece I composed for a piano recital and thinking wow – that’s pretty cool – no one can tell if I messed up or not! hahah. But really it was inspiring to play something of my own for others and I suppose I’ve just kept scratching that itch ever since.

What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
Olafur Arnalds, Philip Glass, Ethan Gruska, Thomas Newman

Is there one song which you play over and over again as soon as you sit down by a piano?
Not really – I think it goes in phases with songs where I get obsessed with one and play it over and over again. I do love playing the piano part to ‘Beth/Rest’ by Bon Iver.

What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
Oh man I don’t know. I don’t know if anything needs to be broken unless it feels right to do so. I think that’s what matters. If it feels right and sounds good to you, then do it, and if that breaks a rule in the process, so be it.

How do you record your music?
I do it at home in my studio in Nashville. I have a upright piano (Yamaha WX-1 from 1988) that has a muted felt system in it that is just so inspiring to play. So I either record on that or with different soft synths like Spitfire Audio or Keyscape.

Whats your take on sampled instruments?
I guess I just answered that question – I think in the right context they are great but the more exposed something is the more the real thing has to offer, plus it is simply just more inspiring for me to play a real instrument than a fake one.

The last question is asked by my 7 year old son:
Where do all your songs come from?
I tend to think of either a person or picture something in nature when I compose, maybe some place I’ve traveled to or read about. Sometimes it could come from an emotion I’m feeling in the moment as well. Then I just start picking at a melody until I find something that I like and I build from there.

Thank you very much for this Reed! Lovely to have you on!

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