Chicago Musician Fuses His Memoir with Piano Composition
for a Unique Reader-Listener Experience
via a Custom-Designed iOS App and Universal Web App
Composer-pianist-author Peter Saltzman conceives a new form of memoir writing for the digital world, infusing his life story—Blues, Preludes & Feuds, A Musical Memory—with a seamless blend of original solo piano tracks for a transformational reader-listener experience via a smartly designed iOS app (available on the App Store) and universal web app. The hybrid album-ebook morphs into a vehicle that carries the reader-listener on a discovery journey filled with multi-textured sounds and funny, in-the-reflective-now storytelling. Blues, Preludes & Feuds’ memoir and accompanying music can be enjoyed together or separately—with the music-only version available at Bandcamp, CDBaby, and most digital download and streaming services.
Blues, Preludes & Feuds—with its mélange of highly structured and improvisational music—purposefully disturbs the air as Saltzman reveals his tale of being an artistic soul in search of its unique self, often feeling out of sync with the conventional world. He traverses his early years in a Jewish-American home during the politically charged times of 1960s Chicago to becoming a budding teenage jazz musician, and eventually, a composer whose works—hailed as “powerful stuff”—are performed and recorded globally.
“My life and music have been hard to pigeonhole, so Blues, Preludes & Feuds grew as a way to explain myself to myself. Since piano was my first personal connection to music, it was important to make this hybrid album-ebook centered on live solo piano work. It was done in my home studio’s customized recording environment to ensure there was an organic flow between the music and the text. My goal was and is to push forward and understand the true implications technological trends have on art and vice versa,” Saltzman said.
That motivation, says Saltzman—a former adjunct professor of music at Columbia College Chicago, where he developed and taught a series of courses entitled “Technology for Musicians”—led him to release Blues, Preludes & Feuds as an app. His longtime investigation of technology-music interactions helped him better realize how technology is altering the very nature of what artists create and how their work is presented. His app delivers an online format, specific to his artistic needs.
Saltzman’s goal is to bring his art—the fusion of words and music—to reader-listeners in an experience where they might see, hear, and feel the world in a different way.
“I’ve spent a great deal of time searching for meaningful ways to present my work. CDs have long been irrelevant—and other platforms, such as Spotify, provide random choices to the listener. I like thinking in larger formats that reflect my musical values and best represent how I feel the music, writing, and technology come together. That’s why the technology developed for this project will be the basic platform for my future work,” Saltzman said.
Parts 1-4 of Blues, Preludes & Feuds is available now. The next segment is scheduled for a late 2016 release. In the interim, subscribers to the Blues, Preludes & Feuds app have access to Saltzman’s live streaming concerts, excerpts from upcoming musical and ebook segments, as well as special postings and offerings to keep them connected.
With a deep jazz-and-blues core, Peter Saltzman has produced a broad career in the music industry as composer, pianist, singer-songwriter, and entrepreneur. Various ensembles have performed and recorded his work globally—the Czech National Symphony Orchestra recorded his orchestral dance suite “Walls” (1996), and the Dallas Black Dance Theatre performed “Walls” during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. The Dallas Morning News reviewed Saltzman’s music as “powerful stuff.” His second album, Kabbalah Blues/Quantum Funk (2000), earned critical acclaim for its jazz/classical/pop fusion, hailed as “ambitious, richly layered, wonderfully accessible.” Saltzman studied jazz at Indiana University (Bloomington) and composition at Eastman School of Music. He was an adjunct professor of music at Columbia College Chicago, where he taught music technology and piano.
His concert works are published by Oxford University Press; his film and television works are published by Wild Whirled Music. Saltzman’s music has been licensed for television shows, jingles, and industrials, including My Name is Earl (NBC, 2006). In 2016, he designed and launched a hybrid album-ebook app for his memoir, Blues, Preludes & Feuds, A Music Memory.
There will be the premiere live performance of my new album-eBook, Blues, Preludes & Feuds. In the live performance I incorporate projected imagery and recorded audio voiceovers to help evoke the feeling of the story. Advanced tickets are available on PianoForte’s site.
Blues, Preludes & Feuds at PianoForte Chicago
October 1 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
1335 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60605 United States + Google Map
Blues, Preludes & Feuds is a seamless blend of original solo piano music and story, presented in an innovative platform, delivering deep technology-art interactions.
The music skillfully wends around the narrative in an organic flow, telling the story in its own way: Improvisational. Structured. Meaningful.
The story? A funny, reflective tale of growing up in the politically charged times of 1960s Chicago, becoming a budding teenage jazz musician, and later, a composer.
Blues, Preludes & Feuds is also available as an app two formats: an iOS version and a Web version. If you have a compatible iOS device, please download the app (free) from the App Store. If not, please follow the link to the Web version. Note that the web version is entirely responsive, so works seamlessly on Android (and iOS) phones and tablets as well as on standard browser pages on laptops and desktops.