Behind the piano

Behind the piano: Kevin Kerrigan

I have in an earlier post introduced you to Kevin Kerrigan and his song The Lake. Today it’s time to dig deeper into the artist Kevin Kerrigan.

Where are you from? And where do you live?
I live in London,  but I’m from a place in the West of England called Devon.  It’s very beautiful there,  but there’s an energy in London you just can’t find anywhere else.

How long have you been playing the piano?
About 30 years.  I started when I was 13, and I’m now 43.

Do you play other instruments as well?
I play most instruments.. badly.  Unless it’s piano though, I tend to involve much more talented players than myself.  I’m very much a writer more than a performer.  But the piano is different,  it’s as natural to me as breathing.

Tell us about how you started playing music.
It was an accident really.  Literally.  There was a fire at my school,  and they had to throw away all the burned instruments.  I salvaged a melted electric piano from a dumpster the day after. All the keys were warped (it looked like a Dali painting) and it stank.  With a bit of soldering I managed to get it working.  Then my journey began.

How long have you been making piano music?
Like many of us I found being a teenager strange and difficult and found solace on the piano.  We had an old upright in the house which I would play for hours in the dark. When it got too late I would continue playing on my melted electric on headphones.  I spent most of my time composing and improving music.  I became a musician from years of just doing it.

Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
I knew right away.  It came naturally,  but I was very shy for a long time.  Over the years I became lucky enough to work with and have the support and encouragement of some of my favourite artists,  such as Bjork, Brian Eno and James Newton Howard – they really gave me confidence to understand I was on the right path doing something a little different.

What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
So many great artists! As brilliant as the likes of Olafar Arnalds and Ludovico Einaudi are,  I try not to listen to contemporary artists (I fear I will copy them or they will distract me!).  My piano heroes are mostly long gone however – Chopin and Debussy in particular spring to mind.

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?
No,  it’s always different.  I never quite know whats going to happen!

What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
All of them!  Well, in truth we often draw inspiration from the past right, but it’s best not to think of them as ‘rules’,  it’s less conscious than that..

Anything else you want to share?
Thank you for the interesting questions Johan and happy you’re enjoying the music

The last question is asked by my 5 year old son:
Where do all your songs come from? 
Great question!  Like any great question it can be answered with a question – where do dreams come from?  Music comes from the same place I think.

Thank you Kevin! And this gave me something to think about, again. Where do dreams come from? Hmmm.

Please click on the following links to learn more about Kevin Kerrigan and his music!
Twitter / Spotify / Website

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