“Music is life itself. What would this world be without good music? No matter what kind it is.” ~Louis Armstrong, American jazz legend
Jim Klein partnered with Ian Jamison to compose virtuosic, original compositions for piano titled, Six Preludes for Piano. Each prelude, from one to six, has its own distinct character and story. Soothing, questioning, celebratory, and meditative are some of the descriptors for this rewarding listening experience.
But how did we get here, listening to preludes composed by an abstract artist and a business school graduate? Jim Klein and Ian Jamison expounded on their unique backgrounds and the journey that led them to this moment in the first of a series of blogs exploring their collaboration.
Let’s go back to the beginning; where did the love of music start for both of you?
Ian Jamison: My relationship with music began in elementary. I heard an orchestra when I was young and knew immediately I wanted to be involved with music and to create music.
I’m extremely grateful for my parents; they had volumes of classical music at hand and helped instill in me a love for music. I listened to them over and over. Eventually, I attended lessons, learned music theory, and how to write music.
When it came time for higher education, I attended school for a business degree but was drawn to the music students. I would even borrow my friend’s music textbooks, learning all I could in my spare time becoming deeply familiar with all aspects of music. It has been a lifelong project and passion.
Jim Klein: As some of our long-time readers may recall, agriculture is in my DNA. The majority of our family’s lives have been centered around farming.
Back in third grade, I stayed with an older cousin and his wife. At some point during the visit, they put on classical music; I thought it was the greatest thing I’d ever heard. When I returned home, I started playing around on our piano and began to create music.
My family thought I was going to be a protege! I even played for college grad classes and later studied under a very influential music professor. Unfortunately, after a few lessons, she proclaimed I was unteachable because I couldn’t sight-read the music. End of piano career. However, the musical draw never fully left me. Every once in a while I would see a piano and sit down to play.
How did you manage to find each other through such radically different life paths?
Ian: It was thanks to the music friends I hung out with. We all stayed in contact after graduating. One Thursday night, my talented pianist friend Jose Salazar invited me out to ArtWalk and introduced me to Jim Klein.
Jim: Back in 2018, I found myself at the Steinway store in Scottsdale and playing on a piano. Within 30 seconds of sitting down, I decided to buy it. The piano is a beautiful baby grand and now lives in the Art Factory.
Music has since become an integral part of our weekly ArtWalk in Scottsdale. One such night, our mutual pianist friend Jose Salazar introduced me to Ian Jamison, the composer.
What advice do you have for folks who see your journey and think “I’m too old to learn anything new”?
Jim: We have these concepts that we can’t do this or that; you need to identify the source of that internal liar. Once that voice gets turned way down, anyone can do this. There’s a Van Gogh, Beethoven, an Emily Dickinson inside everyone but it’s hard to convince people of that. That’s what my mentor taught me and once someone accepts that reality, it’s wonderful to see what comes out.
Join Jim Klein every Thursday for the Scottsdale ArtWalk at the Art Factory for an evening of music and art.
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