Behind the piano: Judson Hurd

Behind the piano: Judson Hurd

Another name that came up over and over again when I was starting out with my playlist hunting was Judson Hurd. So of course I wanted to talk a bit with him as well! Please introduce yourself, Mr. Hurd!

Where are you from? And where do you live?
I was born in North Georgia but when I was a year old my family moved to Paraguay South America and I lived there until I was 15. I currently live in Wilmington, NC with my wife, son, two dogs, and two cats. We are a big family! Wilmington is a vibrant beach town with a great arts community in the South. 

How long have you been playing the piano?
I’ve been playing piano since I was 4 years old. I was self taught until I turned 13 where I started attending a music conservatory in South America.

I’ve been playing piano since I was 4 years old. I was self taught until I turned 13 where I started attending a music conservatory in South America.

Do you play other instruments as well?
Piano is my first instrument but I do play some guitar, bass, organ, and I sing. You can hear some of my guitar parts on the track The First Step is the Hardest.

Tell us about how you started playing music.
When I was around four years old I encountered a cassette that had the Windham Hill Piano Sampler. I fell in love with the piano and started playing on my mother’s old upright. 

How long have you been making piano music?
I have been making music over thirty years since the age of four. 

 Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
I realized at a young age that I could improvise and create new music. In my spare time I really enjoyed playing the Bach inventions and creating new melodies over the pieces. I began seriously composing in my teen years when I began playing for different groups and projects.  

Have you made music in other genres before?
I have created music in many different genres that include Ambient, Film, and Neo-classical. I’ve also collaborated with musicians and songwriters in Urban, Rock, and other styles. I am always looking for new projects and interesting challenges to push boundaries in my art.

What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”? 
My biggest inspiration would be Montana composer Philip Aaberg. I remember hearing his music when I was a child and falling in love with music. Over the years I’ve started to listen to more free jazz and experimental music. Some big inspirations are Jóhann Jóhannsson, Thelonious Monk, Olafur Arnalds to name a few.  

 Is there one song which you play over and over again as soon as you sit down by a piano?
I really enjoy playing the music of Chopin on piano. His Nocturnes and Preludes are some of my favorite pieces to play.  

 What song inspires you the most when you’re making music? Can you name just ONE song/composition?
This is a really hard question. I truly try not to listen to other music that is in the similar genre to avoid getting in the way of my creativity. I would say to get my creative juices going I listen to experimental composers like John Cage, Arnold Schoenberg, or Steve Reich. 

Tell us something about you latest release.
My latest release is the original film soundtrack for the film Trouble Will Cause. The soundtrack is available on Amazon, iTunes, Bandcamp, and other digital stores. The film is about the Lawson family murders in North Carolina in 1929.

What’s happening next? New releases etc.
I am releasing a new single with the very talented Kyle McEvoy on the Sonderhouse label. I also plan on a full length release this year of new ambient, electronic, piano driven music. It’s amazing to see my music listened to all over the world and I really appreciate your support in streaming and downloading my music. 

Thank you Judson! Please check out these social links to learn more about Judson Hurd and his music.
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify