Last December, Mark Lovett, who organizes TEDxSanDiego, came to me with the idea of having a first set of classical piano, a second set of jazz piano, and then a third set with a piece combing classical and jazz, with two pianos. I immediately thought how fun it would be to do this with the trio plus strings.
In general, I compose whenever inspiration hits me, and I’m not used to having deadlines or specific parameters like composing a piece that combines classical and jazz and uses two pianos. I met with Ines in April, and we got talking about the project. We hit it off immediately, and I was feeling motivated to write something cool. I told her it would be ready by June. June and July passed quite quickly, and I didn’t even write one note yet. I was working on my new album and just didn’t have the mind to do any composing. I finally got started with it toward the end of August.
Once the piece was ready, Ines and I got together for our first run through. She sounded so great, and it was so cool to hear how she interpreted the music. Ines wanted me to write a solo for her. Inspired by the rehearsal, I wrote out a solo for her, and then a whole section where the band drops out and we trade solos. After we get finish the bridge, the band comes back in, and we play some quick lines in harmony. We got together for another rehearsal and did some polishing. The day before TEDXSanDiego, we had our first run-through with the full band. Everyone did their homework and the piece came together very quickly.
It was a pure joy to play the piece at TEDxSanDiego. I feel so fortunate to work wish such incredible musicians, and can’t wait for more opportunities like this one.