Mike is a musician who lives in Albany, NY.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you pronounce your last name?
How long have you been playing the piano?
The past 10 years, roughly. I always had an interest in music, but it’s not something I truly explored until later on in life.
In 2011 my interest in the piano deepened. I participated and was the winner of a YouTube video contest that David Lanz hosted, the objective was to perform one of his songs in an online video, there was a voting process. I chose The Enchantment from his Painting the Sun album. With the prize, that July I had the opportunity to spend a week at the LaFond Conservatory of Music in Centralia Washington, for a small-group, music retreat that included private lessons and workshops with David. I have no idea if he would enjoy my music projects or how they’ve turned out, but I walked away from that week at the Conservatory with a great deal of general encouragement and I met some extraordinary people. I also learned a great deal from the Conservatory’s Madame Sandra Zegzula, and very much appreciated her hospitality.
Can you read sheet music?
To a very limited degree. When I want to learn a new song, I’ll work from a mix of listening and reading what I can from digital PDF sheet music. I have a degenerative eyesight condition, retinitis pigmentosa. At a legally blind level of vision, if I can’t pick up the melody by ear, I can identify individual notes using enlarged digital sheet music and then I’ll listen to learn how a piece is played.
When writing a new song, I work from memory each time I sit down at the piano. To remember past ideas that aren’t on the surface any longer, I’ll make a rough recording on my phone. Getting everything professionally transcribed is something being worked on.
What are your biggest musical influences?
Very distant from solo piano music, most of my musical influences can be traced back to a mix of post-hardcore, alternative and progressive rock bands. The band and its music that has always been most important to me, is My Chemical Romance. As far as the piano goes, were it not for the music of David Lanz, I don't think I would have ever even thought of writing for solo piano. I later on discovered many other solo piano and new age artists. There are many pianists that inspire me to do better and try new things each day.