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Piano Music: Daniel Ketchum

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Evensound Take

Music in its purest form is technically a collection of sound waves. When you break down the audible frequency spectrum, the power of vibration can be extrapolated into some pretty fascinating areas of neuroscience, music therapy, and vibrational meditation.

Daniel Ketchum understands these principles of vibration and their powerful effects in meditation and healing. Daniel is a classically trained pianist specializing in ethereal, dreamy, atmospheric piano melodies. He’s been perfecting his blend of classical and new age piano composition for over 20 years.

With his songs continually scoring in the 99th percentile of the Audiokite report system, we here at Evensound became fixated with his artfully crafted sonic landscapes. Daniel was cool enough to take time out of his fifty hour work week and full time job of being a father of five to answer our questions about his music and his philosophies in sacred geometry and vibrational meditation through music.

You’re a very unique artist in that you’re classically trained and not confined to the standard 3 minute pop song formula. What is your song writing process like?

Thank you, I take that as a huge complement! The whole process from start to finish is very complex. I start off by trying to tell a story usually about a feeling or something that has inspired me. So, I go into a meditative state while playing the piano, letting the melody flow through me. Then I work on refining that melody so it’s very precise and conveys the feeling I’m wanting. Usually this happens in little fragments or clips. But it’s much deeper than that, most fragments/clips when I repeat them throughout the song are fractals or reflection of it’s former self, slightly altered in some form or another. After I have enough fragments of a song, I then work on mixing them together, I usually try to do this in the form of The Heroes Journey ( A pattern of storytelling used for thousands of years). The entire process of completing a song can take weeks to months and sometimes even years. Then I do some home recordings and listen back to them so I can tweak them before I go to the studio.

What are your thoughts about sacred geometry in relation to frequency and vibration – does it affect your approach to music.

That’s a complicated question, I’m not even sure if I can explain it with words haha! Our experience and our reaction to all things beautiful is made possible by our unique ability to subconsciously recognize geometric harmonic waves of energy. What our senses respond to is the geometrical intervals of wave forms created through the application of sacred geometry. When you look at a beautiful flower what you’re seeing is sacred geometry used in it’s visual form at just the right harmonic intervals to create that flower. When you listen to a beautiful song you’re hearing sacred geometry in it’s auditory form at just the right harmonic intervals to make that song beautiful. If you take a glass of water and expose it to that same beautiful song you where just listening to it would change the structure of the micro clusters in the water forming geometric patterns that are intelligent and coherent to the origin of the songs creation. As Masuro Emoto so eloquently demonstrated in his book Message From Water.

I try to use Sacred geometry principles in my music as intervals of reflections, reflections of emotion of previous parts of the song but ever evolving as it progresses through the story. In this way I attempt to capture a story in the wave forms created through the application of sacred geometry so the listener can translate what they are hearing into visual information. I never really knew if this worked until I got some amazing feed back from Audiokite. Three of my song had listeners that were able to tell me exactly what I was thinking or going through when I wrote the songs even though there are no singing or lyrics. A reviewer said that when they heard my song “Mystical Creatures” they were imagining old castle type of structures which was exactly what I was imagining when i wrote the song. In fact I had named the song Ancient Castles but then changed the name last minute. The same thing happened with “Among The Mist” where a reviewer described exactly what I was going through when I wrote the song.

We didn’t see anything on your site about upcoming live performances, any interest in live shows?

I’ll be honest Right now I’m not interested in live shows and just the thought of preforming live terrifies me – lol. But I think that’s just because I don’t have the time I feel like I would need to get ready for live performances. Besides music, I work 50 hours a week as a kitchen manager in a busy restaurant and have an adorable family with 5 kids that take up most of my time. But if there was a demand for it and I had the time it’s something I would consider.

What are you’re thoughts on contemporary music and the status of the music industry given the massive shift in digital distribution to streaming?

I’m not really a fan of MOST music played on the radio these days. I feel like it lacks creativity and emotion! Or maybe I’m just picky, but when I listen to music, I want to feel something from it, not just hear the same boring melody, beat and lyrics over and over again. Don’t get me wrong I like lots of the music out there and the stuff I like, I really, really like.
I’m really loving the shift from digital distribution to streaming! I’m making way more from streaming than I ever have from digital distribution and even more so than from hard copy’s. It’s crazy though cause twenty years ago, with out the online industry i don’t feel like i would have been able to be as successful, you had to be signed or know the right people in the business which seamed almost impossible. I just don’t know how sustainable the music streaming industry is… But I like it. As a whole though, I feel like the digital online music movement is a good thing for musicians.

What are you currently listening to? What are your thoughts on contemporary pianists?

Currently I listen mostly to dub-step. Which most people find odd – lol. But my favorite type of music is probably movie sores because I feel like the good scores are packed full of the most emotion. But it’s not like I just listen to movie scores throughout the day, only when I’m watching a good movie.

On the contemporary pianists, yeah there are some good ones out there but none that I’ve heard lately that I’m crazy about. Then again maybe I just don’t listen to enough of my genre of music outside of myself. Anyway most of the stuff I’ve heard lately though feels like it’s lacking or missing something, emotion or feeling maybe, not sure.

What did you think of your Audiokite experience?

My overall experience with Audiokite was great! Two out of the 3 songs I submitted scored in the 99th percentile, the other I think was 95th percentile so I was happy about that. I loved the feedback both good and bad. It was awesome reading what people loved about my songs and super helpful to read that most of the issues people had with them were things I was aware of. I really loved the film and televisions charts as well. Anyway I was impressed enough that I’ll definitely be using AudioKite again in the future for both my finished and unfinished work!

What advice would you give to young musicians just getting started?

To never give up! I’ve been playing and writing piano music for 23+ years now and it’s just now starting to take off for me, But It’s definitely worth the wait! Learn what works and what doesn’t and keep changing your approach until you get the results you want!

What are your goals for 2016 ?

2016 is going to be a great year! My goals for next year are to finish my next album and delve into more film score type style of music. Triple my income from my music so I can quit my day job. Get back on track with my exercise, tai-chi and hapkido scheduled all while somehow managing to find the time to juice enough fresh vegetable juice, culture enough vegetables, make enough kombucha and grow enough fresh herbs for the whole family lol… I’m kind of a bit of a health freak!

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