Behind the piano: Matt Koranda

Behind the piano: Matt Koranda

A while back I posted about Farewell pt I and today it’s time to get to know the person behind the track a bit better!

Where are you from? And where do you live?
I am from South Germany and live nearby the Lake of Constance, the deep water connection between Germany, Austria and Switzerland and by the way: My zodiac sign is Aquarius. I don’t know, is it coincidence?

How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
I started with classic piano lessons when I was 10 years old. An older woman teached me to play Beethoven, Chopin and Mozart Sonatas in an old, small dark attic room, a little spooky 😉 I love to play all instruments with keys, but I’m a monkey in playing other instruments. My most impressive event was playing a big church organ. It’s like sitting on a cloud.

Tell us about how you started playing music.
When I was a child, my parents sent me to classic recorder. But I think it is a poor expressive instrument, hm but I also remember an impressive live concert someone blowed it like a traverse flute, and wooph, it sounded incredible.

So my early experience is that the way you play an instrument can ruin the performance or make it extraordinary beautiful. While I heavily used different synthesizers, sampler and organs in my live band projects, I found at home the grand piano the most suitable instrument for my means of expression and where I feel merged with.  

How long have you been making piano music?
Playing the piano was always my side issue but also my source of creativity. As band musician it took many years to focus on making pure piano music.

I started about 4 years ago to record some first improvisations. Then I set my focus on producing pure piano music. You know only 2020 I released my piano debut album. 

Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
That is hard to remember. You know, my head was always full of own ideas, but I mostly missed to record it. I started with about 14 years playing with other musicians in bands. Then the songs got more and more structured.

I remember one big moment was when I played the solo acoustic piano alone at a school party. Therefore I wrote an accord chord progression that was burnt in my head and I even revived it some years ago by releasing a single just for fun. But I decided to cancel it for later purposes. So be fast, if you wanna still listen to it, haha.

What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
Oh that changes. I think my first impressive piano player for me was Keith Jarrett playing the Cologne Concerts. You know my inspiration comes mostly from live performing musicians. Later I discovered Ludovico Einaudi (maybe because he looks like my father in profile 😉 and Max Richter as my favorites. But I think when you ask me later, I will give you another answer, haha.

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?
Hm, yes but that is an unreleased song yet. It was related to a computer game about a historic middle age scenario I wanted to give a main theme. But I got not enough time to finalize it.

Sure the chord progression of “Soft Touches” I mentioned before, is also a good base for some free style improvisations I really like to play on.

What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
That’s a very philosophical question to discuss. I think I never made music with a set of written rules in my mind. It’s all about what feels good in music.

When you feel angry or destructive, why not crashing all old rules and create something new? Isn’t it the meaning of art of searching for new ways? Probably you will automatically fall back to old rules when you search for harmony.

You know my current concern in making music is the confrontation with deep emotional experiences from moments in humans life. And I think the rules for that is hard to describe.

How do you record your music?
I recorded the pieces of my piano music debut album at home in my small studio. The most tracks started with a piano improvisation I recorded on different digital pianos. Partially I recorded only the MIDI-signals and filled the tracks with virtual grand piano sounds and even orchestral tones.

My big dream is to have my own Steinway grand piano at home for future recordings.

Whats your take on sampled instruments?
I use them, but I really would wish they could be played like acoustic instruments. I think the biggest problem is not the sampling, the problem is the keyboard or let’s say the human-to-device interaction.

Again I really would wish to have my own Steinway grand piano to lift me to a new sound dimension 😉 

Anything else you want to share?
First of all I want to thank you and all of your readers for giving me and all other newcomer pianists your attention. 

Maybe my art of playing the piano is a little bit impetuous and not always perfect sounded, you know my background is live music and I don’t like to create relaxing-only music to which many other pianists tend.

I wanna say my music comes direct from my heart&soul and when I can reach someones heart or soul, then my work is done and I am happy.

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

My dear, they come all from my deep heart and because I’m an Aquarius also from the endless deep water 😊

Thank you Matt for you participation in my Behind the piano series!

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