Today, we dig deep and ask a few questions to the Spanish composer Pablo J. Garmón!
What’s your real name?
Pablo Javier Garmón Fidalgo
How did you come up with your artist name?
Pablo J. Garmon, it is just shorter (Spanish problems!)
Where are you from? And where do you live?
Northern Spain, now living next to the French-Swiss border.
How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
Since I was around 8 years old probably. I could say that I play a bit of winds and percussion but, honestly, I am the typical pianist who is utterly ignorant about other instruments. Working on fixing that, though.
Tell us about how you started playing music.
I was just a little kid, always interested in music, listening, reading, trying to find tunes in an old small toy keyboard, and my family decided that they needed to stop this madness or encourage it. And here I am.
How long have you been making piano music?
Last few years, I specialize mostly in orchestral pieces but only recently I decided to “organize” my piano ideas and improvisations, and give them shape.
Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
Practically from the first moment I realized that I was more interested in making crappy songs than in playing other people’s masterpieces. It helped that I was not that good at playing anyway.
What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
George Gershwin, Philip Glass… Of course Chopin is an easy target, and actually I saw his tomb, so I guess that makes us kind of close.
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?
A little idea I like to improvise around based on a very special person in my life.
What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
All of them as long as you do not break wrists or lungs. If it sounds interesting, evocative, even not that good but at least ahead of its time… just go with it. And if it sucks, try again.
How do you record your music? Yourself? In a big studio? etc.
In a tiny studio slightly bigger than myself, sometimes with the help of some talented musicians.
Whats your take on sampled instruments?
It is a great tool, and like any tool, it has its advantages and its limitations. Of course, humans should always go first but sometimes, aesthetically or budget-wise, sampled instruments are the best possible option. Just keep in mind that, in the same way that you do not ask a violin to play in the lower register of a cello, sample instruments can only do so much. In good hands, it can sound beautiful.
Anything else you want to share?
I think it is important to make music, and that goes for anyone who maybe is reading this and thinking of giving it a try. Just go and do it. It does not need to be always good or groundbreaking, just express yourself and the rest will take care of itself. The world will be (slightly) a better place because of it.
The last question is asked by my 6 year old son:
Where do all your songs come from?
Stories, feelings, journeys, sometimes where my fingers want to take me. Thanks to the piano, traveling does not always mean going anywhere too far. Kind of useful in these pandemic times.
Thank you Pablo!