Take a half-hour out of your day, find a comfortable chair, and let the sounds of The Piano Inside My Brain fill the space around you.
I dedicate this album to my father, who always encouraged me to create. He would love that I’m sharing this collection of music with you. It took a while for me to process his early and unexpected passing; this album serves as a collection of musical letters, helping me put his death in perspective.
I created the music on this album entirely with software-based instruments, using Logic Pro. Many sounds come from sampled piano libraries of all types, shapes, and sizes. They are played and manipulated in many different ways, such as plucking strings, bowing, striking the frame, inserting mutes, and sounds sampled from destroyed piano parts. Other sampled instruments, such as vibraphone, cello, drums, and more drums, are woven together with synthesizers and digital effects.
Original album artwork created by Rivi Yermish.
Light Scatters on the Dusty Shelf
I took a break from composing when my children were born, but after a longer-than-expected hiatus, fear crept into my head. Could I still compose? Did I even know what my music was supposed to sound like?
Late one afternoon, I noticed the sunlight stream through the window at an odd angle, showing the dust in the air and on the photos on the shelf. And then I started hearing the music in my head again. It was very different, but it sounded like me.
Pointing to the Pleiades
I cannot remember how many nights my father and I would look at the stars together. And not just look but to learn and study how the universe works. We started with the patterns in the sky, followed the charts, aligned our telescope, and captured photos of distant planets.
Orion was easy to find; Scorpio was low in the sky, but I always made sure to ask where to point to those seven bright stars, which seemed to always be somewhere different. He always knew which direction to point.
The Piano Inside My Brain
Sit with me for a time. The patterns are everywhere. Sit quietly and notice.
The patterns are intertwined, each one building, changing, growing, bouncing. Sit quietly and see where they take you.
The lines unlock and lock together again, shifting steps, trying to make sense of how each complements the next.
It took a while to find the single thread that held it together, held me together.
Received Not Sent
The message comes through loud and clear but not as intended. Do they know how many layers are built on their simple words? The responses get harder and more awkward. Maybe it’s safer not to say anything.
Moon and Back
Over the course of his life, my father logged all of his bike rides, runs, and swims in spreadsheets. If he had added up the mileage, his journey would have easily reached around the moon, but sadly, not back.
I take the same computer he put in front of me so I can broadcast a message out into space. Those sounds reflect back at me, and now they sound like my father’s words.
This alternate version of the timeline has more pain, more anger. This could have been me pushing people away, shouting about how unfair things were, filling myself with regrets and jealousy for choices I didn’t make.
This branch creates tears in my heart, tears at my heart, but I’m the one doing the damage. I need to explore this alternate branch in order to work through the grief, to understand the sounds inside my head, so I don’t break.
Understand this new normal, don’t break someone else, but cue the drummer anyway.