Behind the piano

Behind the piano: Sherwood Roberts

It’s Thursday, and of course you’ll get to know one of many contemporary composers and piano players in nee classical music. And today we’ll get behind the curtains with the British composer Sherwood Roberts.

What’s your real name?
Piers

How did you come up with your artist name?
it’s my surname!

Where are you from? And where do you live?
My dad is from Sydney (Australia) and my mum from Essex (England). I currently live in the countryside west of London in a little village called Taplow.

How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
I’ve been playing the piano since I was 5/6. I’m a singer, and then play the cello, guitar, harp, bass, basically anything with a string! I’m very keen on learning the oboe and drums when I can make time.

Tell us about how you started playing music.
My mum says I was singing at 18 months. I remember loving the cello after hearing a busker play one in the street so I nagged my parents to get me one.

How long have you been making piano music?
I’ve been writing piano music since I was around 13/14

Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
After listening to Bitter Sweet Symphony by The Verve I knew I had to make music.

What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
I’m currently loving Nils Frahm, Luke Howard, Moux, Alexis Ffrench

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?
I always come back to playing Bonnie Raitt ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’. There’s something so heart breakingly beautiful about it I just can’t get enough of it.

What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
I currently write whatever feels good. I’m not too concerned about the rules

How do you record your music? Yourself? In a big studio? etc.
My ep Beginnings was recorded at AIR Studios in London which was a complete treat and a steep learning curve. I’m in the process of building a studio at home which is where I’m going to record my debut Album ‘Short Stories’ later this year.

Whats your take on sampled instruments?
Spitfire Audio is about as good as it gets but there’s nothing like audio run through analogue gear capturing the vibrations of the piano/room and the creaking of a stool and pedals.

Anything else you want to share?
I curate piano playlists on Spotify. There’s so much wonderful music out there be sure to check them out, you might find your next favourite!

The last question is asked by my 6 year old son:
Where do all your songs come from?
Lovely question. Every song is different. I’m currently writing one about a day out I had with my nieces at the funfair. Other times Idea’s sort of flow through me. I’m constantly hearing melodies sparked by a conversation, a thought or feeling. I try my best to capture them and turn them into beautiful songs.

Thank you very much for your participation!

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