« on: March 27, 2015, 03:30:19 PM »
Disc 1 (Trk 7)
"I Looked Back & Danced With The Eyes of Malena"
Disc 2 (Trks 9-12)
"Light Stares From Caverns"
"The Painter's Dream"
"White Frost in August"
AP: The album that came after "Colors" was a big departure. Going
from a heavy synth environment to a solo piano project was a big step.
And an improv album at that. What made you want to do "The Gatekeeper"
project? Did you truly go into the studio with no idea what you were going
to play, or had you worked out some ideas in advance?
RG: When I did “Colors in Motion,” I wanted every song to sound different
from the last. I also wanted to let the world know that I am a
pianist. Years before “Colors,” someone told me once, "Ruben, you’re a
minimalist composer." I then asked what the hell is that? She introduced
me to the music of Eric Satie, and then it all made sense. I wanted
to record my own Gymnopedies. I didn't have a piano. How am I going to
pull this off? Think Ruben, think! Well, that didn't work.
So I booked two days at Scott Fraser's studio and went at it again.
There's a great story about Tito Puentes recording an all percussion CD.
Nobody thought it was a good idea. He took 18 percussionists and put
them in a circle. In the middle of the room was a table with some bottles of
Puerto Rican rum. They went at it all night and finished the recording in
Same idea with "The Gatekeeper." Take all the percussionists out of
the room, remove all the percussion instruments, bring in the grand piano,
and leave the rum! Nobody knew I had a half pint of rum in my back pocket.
Scott asked me, “Ruben, do you know what you’re going to be doing today so I
can get a sound check?” “No Scott. I'll be hearing these pieces for the first time
like you will be!” “Are you ready, Scotty?” I took a swig of hooch and played,
and played, and played, and played. So many things going through my mind.
Almost in tears. Pouring my heart and soul out to the world. Happy thoughts,
sad thoughts, and watching my fingers play these beautiful SAD, HAPPY
piano improvisations. Finished in two days. I said to myself, "THATS IT BABY,
WERE DONE." Next?
AP: "Malena" was sort of a strange way to end a solo piano album. It
almost sounded like something left off "Colors" with the sequence
running underneath. It fits, though. Why did you want to end the
album by re-introducing the electronic rhythmic element?
RG: I didn't want anyone to think that I gave up on electronic music, so
this was a combination of both.