Behind the Preludes | Part II
More Music Q&A with Jim Klein & Ian Jamison
“…I express life experiences through painting abstract art. It’s spontaneous, but there’s a deep consciousness that connects with people. The music is similar in those connections.”
~ Jim Klein
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.
How does this collaboration work? What is the creative process between two individual voices?
Jim Klein and Ian Jamison explain their unique partnership in the second part of a series exploring what led to the creation of Six Preludes for Piano.
How does the collaborative process work when composing music together?
Ian: A large part of the act of creating is the subject. The subject doesn’t come from a place of technique; it seems most impactful when coming from a place of personal significance.
Collaboration is a different experience for everyone, and it differs even for us as we evolve. In many cases, Jim and I get together and just begin to discuss everything. We get philosophical, talk about life experiences and more. Jim then catches onto a subject that’s very singable, catchy, impactful on some level.
From there, we may begin to develop the subject, or I may take it home and flesh it out.
Jim: Sometimes I will ad lib a melody, Ian records it and will then work from that sample.
Ian: From there MORE… I step in and structure the melodic material into a thoughtful framework. If you jump in with a main melody, you may have passed an opportunity to craft anticipation, a plot twist, a climax, a satisfying conclusion, etc. Composing can be just as much about showcasing and developing a melody as it is about creating it. Every composer is both a tunesmith and an arranger on some level.
Jim: All in all, ours is a symbiotic relationship. It’s been a very unique experience. It’s very similar to how I express life experiences through painting abstract art. It’s spontaneous, but there’s a deep consciousness that connects with people. The music is similar in those connections.
Ian: A big part of the process isn’t even about the music. Jim and I will sit around and play on the keyboard, but for the most part we’re talking about the meaning of life, aesthetics, what art is all about. By Prelude #3 our “hangout” became a true collaborative partnership. On our seventh composition, we just hung out and talked for about five hours, then the last 15 minutes we came up with a bunch of new melodic material on the fly. This wasn’t planned, but the discussion and conversation are the grounds from which the melodies and artistic direction sprout.
Will we get any specific stories behind the music?
Jim: Inside these music pieces there are some real stories and life experiences. I don’t want to be specific or explain what every story is in music form; I like to keep it open for the listener to interpret for themselves.
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