Award-winning pianist David Nevue will perform Friday, Sept. 27, 7:30 p.m., at the Heritage Museum on Spring Bayou, 100 Beekman Lane, Tarpon Springs.
TARPON SPRINGS – Award-winning pianist David Nevue will perform Friday, Sept. 27, 7:30 p.m., at the Heritage Museum on Spring Bayou, 100 Beekman Lane, Tarpon Springs.
Billed as an intimate concert event, tickets are $15 for adults and $13 for museum members and students. Call 942-5605 or visit tarponarts.org.
Nevue's albums include “Overcome,” which won Best Instrumental Piano Album of 2005 at the Lifestyle Music Awards. Nevue's piano stylings reflect a wide variety of musical influences, including the Irish band Clannad, Chopin, George Winston and the progressive rock band Rush, but he is best-known for his melodic, peaceful style, and for the spiritual quality of his music.
In a concert setting, Nevue shares the stories behind the songs, giving insight into the music and what inspired it. His concerts are interactive and engaging and offer a musical experience that is unique and uplifting.
David Nevue describes his style as falling somewhere between Chopin and George Winston.
According to his website, Nevue – who resides in Eugene, Ore., with his wife and two children – is a self-taught pianist. “The Tower,” Nevue’s debut album, was released in 1992 and featured piano works written as a soundtrack for one of the artist’s short stories. Since then, he has released more than a dozen CDs of original piano works.
Nevue is the first to admit his musical background is not typical for his field. He comes not from a background of polished piano music, but grew up a typical 1980s teenager strongly under the influences of such progressive rock artists as Rush, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Supertramp, Kate Bush and Kansas. He pursued rock music as a "career of interest" throughout his college years, writing songs with lyrics. He even played piano and keyboards in garage bands – most made up of musical friends he made in college. In those years, Nevue performed on a Roland Juno 106 keyboard and a Helpenstill Roadmaster 64 piano.
Nevue learned to play when he was a child.
“My grandmother had a little organ at her house, and I used to sit down and play that when I was a kid,” Nevue said in a FAQ on his website. “I'd try to find the melodies for songs I heard on TV or the radio.”
His parents recognized his talent. Sensing a natural inclination, they signed him up for piano lessons at age 12.
“I didn't do very well in lessons, though,” Nevue said. “I had no interest in classical music, and so I was very undisciplined. I wanted my teachers to teach me how to play my own music which was, of course, not really possible and since I didn't like the music I was being taught, I never practiced.”
After a couple of very unproductive years of lessons, Nevue quit.
“I kept playing around on the piano, though, doing my own thing until college, and then, my freshman year I took a very intense music theory course,” Nevue said. “That opened up my world, musically, and that's when I first began to really compose for piano.”
Nevue said he can read sheet music “to a very limited degree.” He said most third-year piano students are probably better than him at reading sheet music.
“If I put the effort into it, I can usually work out an intermediate-level song from sheet music,” Nevue said. “But honestly, I don't have the patience for it. I've always been more interested in just playing my own creations.”
The pianist said that what he really enjoys about the piano is the process of creation – making something new out of nothing.
“If I need to learn a song for a wedding, or other event, I typically request a tape recording,” he said. “I can learn a song much faster by listening to it than I can reading sheet music.”
Nevue said most of his songs come to him through improvisation.
“Just playing around until an interesting chord progression or melody strikes me,” he said. “Then I develop it, pounding out the melody until the song takes form. It's a lot like making pottery, actually. You start with just a clump of clay – in this case, 88 keys – and you just start molding it, massaging it until it begins to take shape. Once I see where the piece is going, I can embellish it, improve it, smooth it out, and before long it has form, substance, a beginning and an end.”
May 2013 saw the release of Nevue’s latest album project, “Open Sky.”
While his previous album, “A Delicate Joy,” featured the "sweet, peaceful, happily-ever-after" style tunes that he had composed – but not released – up to that point, “Open Sky” took an entirely different direction, featuring songs that were more driving, edgy, experimental and even melancholy. As a result, “Open Sky” is probably one of his most diverse albums, musically speaking.
The album includes 17 tracks and features 13 original compositions and four arrangements.