Following the successful award-winning release of his debut album, Heart Dance Records pianist and composer Gary Schmidt brings us his second release Even For a Moment. It features 12 new originally composed piano solos along with two classical selections with some tracks featuring a single complimentary instrument. Gary’s music focuses on the melodic and meditative, a unique blend of romanticism, classical, and minimalism. Gary’s music has been describing as music that speaks directly to the heart, hence the album descriptor of “Piano For The Soul”.
Press release by rspromotionsus.com
Gary’s first professional release Landscapes of the Heart was released in 2016. Produced by Will Ackmerman, the founder of Windham Hill Records, it went on to win two separate album of the year awards for Best Piano with Instruments. from both One World Radio based out of Europe and from Enlightened Piano Radio. Along the way he appeared as performer in award ceremonies at both Carnegie Hall and the Grand Old Opry.
This the opening track from the album Sacred Spaces:
Gary Schmidt is a pianist and composer who grew up in rural Quebec, north of Montreal. After hearing a classical piano recording owned by his mom, he declared to his parents at the age of six that he would be a pianist when he grew up and began to teach himself how to play by listening to recordings of classical piano and followings the scores. At age fourteen, without any formal training, he won third prize in the prestigious Jeunesses Musicales piano competition in Quebec. Schmidt later enrolled at Tyndale College in Toronto at the age of seventeen, where he obtained a degree in Sacred Music and Piano Performance. Afterwards, he took formal piano studies along with music theory at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, where he earned their piano performers A.R.T.C. at the highest level.
For Schmidt, most of the music he creates begins with a kind of meditative process at the keyboard where he simply listens from the heart, while not necessarily trying to create something. Sometimes during one of these moments, an idea emerges that seems like a buzzer going off as if signaling to him that this work is meant to be a formal creation. From there he takes the initial idea and shapes them into a more formal composition. Schmidt takes a rather minimalist approach to his musical creations, in that he intends for every note to be there for a reason and existing within a space free of clutter, all while expressing musical ideas which come from his heart rather than his intellect. Schmidt also enjoys composing somewhat outside the normal harmonic spectrum, as well as make use of multiple changing time signatures within a piece, which might not always be obvious to the listener.
Schmidt’s latest album, “Even for a Moment, features 12 new original piano compositions along with two classical selection moving through a contour of “musical movements and moments”. The music again is evocative of Schmidt’s unique ability to blend the melodic and the meditative, a compact fusion of classicism, romanticism, and minimalism. Alongside the piano, several of the tracks feature a single complimentary instrument featuring guest artists Roger Schmidt (his brother playing acoustic guitar); Sherry Finzer on flutes (concert, alto, and bass flute); and Hannah Alkire on cello (of Acoustic Eidelon fame). The album’s byline “piano for the soul” is evocative of Schmidt’s desire to write for the inner person in order to speak to the heart.
Schmidt has had a full-time career in music for over thirty years as a teacher, performer, and writer. He has performed in Canada, the U.S. Europe, and Mexico. He was chosen as a featured performer/artist for the TedX events in Colorado. Also a published songwriter he won second prize out of 800 submissions for the National Gospel Music Songwriting competition.
Aside from music, some of Schmidt’s other interests include a love of nature and being active, of which he says is one of the main reasons why he enjoys living in scenic Colorado. Gary has been a rock climbing guide and instructor for several years and considers this a form of meditation as well as inspiration.
Schmidt’s life mission is “enhancing life thru music” and it is this passion and spirit that he brings both to his performances as compositions.
For more info on Gary please visit his website at www.apianist.com