He may be young, but November’s Composer of the Month has already understood one of music’s deepest philosophical truths: it gives you the ability to communicate with anyone, no matter where they live, no matter what language they speak. In his words:
“Music is a way to bring people together.”
From Charleston, SC, Princeton has been composing with Flat for two years. He comes from a talented family that introduced him to different ways of making music, with his dad specializing in electronic music and his mom singing and playing the guitar. Today Princeton plays multiple instruments, but his favorite is the piano.
“I started composing on the piano when I was 8, I just stumbled on a riff that I really liked and developed it from there. And I still know the song today, so I do think it’s ‘officially’ my first song! From there I’ve been inspired by so many things, it’s hard to say just one. But Ludovico Einaudi’s music has really captivated me, I do think his work was a big influence on me back when I was starting to write music.”
In line with his eclectic musical upbringing, Prof. P likes to experiment with various styles. From orchestral themes to rock or ragtime, he is open to learning and mixing things up. That’s one reason why he was happy to find Flat after hunting for “free online music maker”, as it was both easy to use and had a welcoming community of fellow music lovers.
“I’ve had a very good experience so far. When people have critiques, it’s very straightforward. I’ve also been inspired by other Flat users, like David Lent and Shayne, Shayne’s got a jazz style that I really like.”
It’s not surprising that jazz, with its long improvisational tradition, would be a style that speaks to Princeton. His own compositions often first take form with the simple act of sitting down in front of the piano.
“I play, looking for a riff or tune that I like. I’ll put that into the Flat editor and start looking for harmonies, ways to make it feel more full. Then I just keep composing from there.”
In his own works, he notes “Harmonize” as one of the pieces of which he’s most proud. Blending piano, strings and a glockenspiel, he included some of his favorite chords and chord progressions. And as any composer knows, there’s one key reason why it stands out to him today:
“I enjoyed making that piece, but even more, I still enjoy listening to it!”
Check out his profile to hear his work, and don’t be surprised by the variety! After all, if he had to name one genre that his music belong to, Prof. P leaves us with a smile:
“I’d call it the ‘beautiful’ genre. I want you to hear it and walk away just thinking, ‘Oh, that’s so good.’”
See you next time,