Behind the piano: Jon Winterstein

Where are you from? And where do you live?
I am from Germany, and I currently live in the far southwest of the country in a town called Freiburg.

How long have you been playing the piano?
I played my first notes at the age of ten or so, but never really got into it at that time and chose the guitar instead. Two years ago, I gave the piano another chance and realized how much I actually enjoyed playing it.

Do you play other instruments as well?
I have been playing guitar for close to fifteen years now, and occasionally I do some singing as well. 

Tell us about how you started playing music.
I don’t really remember, to be honest. It just happened. I recall being part of a school band, as a lead guitarist, and we covered Green Day, The Offspring and suchlike. I guess, once you succumb to the fascination of making music, there is no going back. 

How long have you been making piano music?
I started composing my own piano pieces as soon as I was able to play some chords.

Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
I must have been fifteen or sixteen then. It was a feeling beyond description, refreshing, liberating and redeeming. The songs were horrible, of course, but it makes you incredibly proud to know you have created something that just hadn’t existed before.

What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
Well, obviously there’s no way I cannot mention the classical masters, particularly Grieg, Debussy and also Erik Satie. Aside from them, I enjoy listening to a lot of modern artists, for example Jon Hopkins, Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm. Just recently, I discovered a guy called Elliot Ziegler, who writes amazing piano music.

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 love playing the piano part of “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Timeless classic.

What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?Anything else you want to share? 
There is only one rule: If it sounds good, it’s good. Everything else can be ignored.

The last question is asked by my 5 year old son:
Where do all your songs come from? 

If I could answer this question, I would likely be able to write tons of songs every day – which is not the case. I feel like one half of the song is in the artist and the other half is in the instrument, and it takes the right time, the right attitude and maybe the right person to combine both halves and complete a song.

Thank you for sharing Jon! Please check out these links to learn more about Jon and the music!
Instagram / Spotify