Behind the piano: Caleb Warnar

Behind the piano: Caleb Warnar

A while back I wrote about the track Shimmer by the Canadian composer and piano player Caleb Warnar. And today we go Behind the piano to get to know the person about the song a bit better!

Where are you from? And where do you live?
I currently live in Goderich, Ontario. I grew up here as well.

How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
I have been playing the piano for 19 years, and I am also a percussionist! I attended the University of Western Ontario as a percussion major, so I played a lot of marimba/vibraphone along with other percussion instruments.

Tell us about how you started playing music.
I first started taking piano lessons when I was 5 years old, and I was actively involved in the worship at my church once I was 14. By playing drums and piano in this environment, I realized later that it helped me be able to perform in front of others.

How long have you been making piano music?
I have been making piano music for 8 years now, but it wasn’t until this past year that I began to record and distribute my pieces.

Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
I realized I could make songs myself when I downloaded a free music production app called music studio on my iPod as a kid. After experimenting with songs during the bus ride home, I eventually was able to create songs that I was proud of. This lead to me composing full pieces on the piano later on.

What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
My favourite piano artists include Ólafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm, and Hior Chronik.

Is there one song which you play over and over again as soon as you sit down by a piano? Your own or someone else’s?
I find that I don’t like to play songs repeatedly, whether it’s my own piece or someone else’s. Instead, I really enjoy improvising at the piano and playing how I feel at that given moment.

What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
In my experience, a rule that I believe should be broken is the mindset that a song/track needs to be perfect. I have really grown to like the imperfections in my music. That’s what makes it sound human, and oddly enough the imperfect parts tend to become my favourite aspects of the pieces I create.

How do you record your music? Yourself? In a big studio? Etc.
I usually record my piano music at home from the piano. I find that I generally prefer this over a studio setting since I find it more comfortable and relaxing.

What’s your take on sampled instruments?
I used to be strongly against using sampled instruments if the real thing was available to me. However, I have now come to love certain sampled instruments. I believe that as long as the authenticity of the sampled instrument is preserved, then it is equally as valid as using the real thing.

And the question from my six year old son:
Where do all your songs come from?
That’s a difficult question to answer! I suppose my songs come from a place inside of me that I am usually not yet aware of until I play the piano. When I play, I find that it’s like having a friend re-affirm how I feel, or a loved one comforting me.

Thank you very much for this Caleb!

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