Today we go Behind the piano to get to know the Dutch composer and piano player Ron Adelaar a bit better!
Where are you from? And where do you live?
I live in The Netherlands, born and raised in the center of our country, in Amersfoort. And I still live there.
How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
As a child I started at the age of 8 taking private lessons in playing he accordion and after 4 years I switched to organ. At the age of 17 I started playing the piano and took two years of private lessons with mostly light and populair classical music.
Tell us about how you started playing music.
In our home there was always music. My father was a musiclover and always played records and cassettetapes. As a child I loved playing the accordion, learned to read notes and playing different kind of melodies and rhythms. Especially I liked playing the tango on the accordion like Ole Guapa from Malando. But soon I was inspired by some organ players my father played on his stereo and then I switched to electronic
organ. I learned since I switched from 1 hand to two hands on keys reading notes with two different bars. But my right hand already had and kept a head start because of the 4 years I played the accordion.
My father played the flute and we started playing together when I was 13. And soon we were playing together in churches in Amersfoort. We did that for almost 10 years and played many kind of melodies, light classical to easy listening and pop, Mozart to Vangelis…
How long have you been making piano music?
I was 17 when I started playing the piano. After years of playing the accordion and organ as I got older I felt more and more love for the pianosound coming fromthis beautiful and pure instrument.
Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself
I already composed music as a child on the accordion and organ. It felt very special to create my own compositions. I started making pianocompositions when I was 18 years old. Mostly popsongs with my own lyrics and music and sometimes on the lyrics of others.
The only problems was I couldn’t write it down in notes. I just noted the chords and learned the music by heart. Later I made many compositions for my church choir on lyrics that were provided to me.
In church I also like to improvise being in the moment of reflection and peace and I still do that. It was years ago the start of my peaceful piano compositions I make nowadays and can record because my son Ivo said I should do more with mu=y music, record it and releasing it on Spotify. He helped me with that and with great success. But this all started in church playing peaceful and soothing melodies.
What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
I really love the music of Nils Frahm, Ólafur Arnalds, Alexis Ffrench, Joep Beving, Stephan Moccio, Jeff Martens, Anna Sofia Nord, Kristoffer Wallin and Michael Logozar. They’re all great musicicians.
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?
My track Mélodie is quite favorite but also my compositions Andante, Frozen and Desiree are very dear to me to play.
What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
I don’t believe in rules. Music comes from the heart and that is unconditional. Of course music is also a matter of taste but music for me it’s a language on a higher level in which we can communicate with all people.
How do you record your music? Yourself? In a big studio? etc.
Yes I record my music myself. I have my own home recording studio with three digital piano’s; Roland RD 500, Korg SP-280 and my master piano is a KAWAI VPC-1. Mastering of my tracks is professionally done in Sweden by sound engineer Markus Nordlund. He’s a real sound wizard.
Whats your take on sampled instruments?
I am quite satisfied recording digitally with Logic in a MacBook Pro. I use several piano vst’s like NI Grandeur, Noire, Maverick, Una Corda and the Ravenscroft 275. The acoustic piano I have in my house is not good enough to record my pianomusic. I will probably buy a better piano later this year to record also on acoustic piano.
But so far I am quite content with the variety of sound possibilities using the vst’s from Native Instruments and Ravenscroft.
Anything else you want to share?
I’m very grateful that my music is being spread and heard in the last year. The amount of followers and streams is so huge. But I also really enjoy the friendship with so many international musicfriends, piano players from so many countries in the world. I made a lot of new friends in the last year thanks to music, Facebook and Spotify. That’s very special and especially in these Coronatimes I’m very happy to keep in contact with so many music lovers.
And the last question, asked by my 6 year old son:
Where do all your songs come from?
All my music comes from the heart. It’s pure intuitive and I’m inspired by what I experience in life and the beautiful nature I like to enjoy. The source for making music is immense and never ending.
Thank you for this interview Ron!