My Sound

 

This page contains all of the recorded music I've ever released, telling the story of where I came from and where I am today. 

Trouble Changing (2020)

Keenan Reimer-Watts

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An album dedicated to all those who struggle with change. You deserve nothing but love, acceptance, and trust in your life.

At time of this release, George Floyd had just been killed in the U.S., and the world was responding in grief-driven anger. Of all the things I can think of, I think what needs to change most are our relations to each other, as people. I hope to help that in the small way that I can, through music.

And so, all of the proceeds from this album go to support Black Lives Matter.

Thank you to all of my friends (Lila, Leh, Richard, Manar, Diana, Veda, Corey, Sheldon, Maria, Caroline, Justin, Colin, Ella, Elli, Eva, Kathryn, Wendy, Abhi, Lucas, Caleb, Shannon, and Jessica) who sang with me on the first track. You are all wonderful and it is so meaningful that you would add your voice.

The album is in two parts - the first, a song, the second, a 60-minute piano improvisation that was subsequently edited.

Mastering was done at Sterling Sound by Greg Calbi.

Thank you also to all of my Patrons who have supported this work on my Patreon account. I am so grateful!

I owe my deepest thanks to all those in my life who have pushed me and encouraged me to grow, especially Veda. I love you.

For all of you who still find it difficult to change, I hope you find empathy, peace, and love in this album.

Keenan

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Opening, Part One

Keenan Reimer-Watts

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The first part of an album of improvised piano music I did at home on my Steinway during the Covid pandemic. Soft, introspective music.

I cannot express enough thanks my Patrons on Patreon who supported this album. Thank you also to the people who have inspired me to pursue improvisation - Keith Jarrett, Jacob Collier, Brad Meldhau, as well as my mentors Glenn Buhr, Linda Catlin-Smith, and Kathryn Ladano.

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Opening, Part Two

Keenan Reimer-Watts

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The second part of an album of improvised piano music I did at home on my Steinway during the Covid pandemic. Rhythmic, fun and jazzy times for you, right here.

Huge thanks to my patrons on Patreon for supporting this album. Also, I cannot express enough thanks to the people who have inspired me to pursue improvisation - Keith Jarrett, Jacob Collier, Brad Meldhau, as well as my mentors Glenn Buhr, Linda Catlin-Smith, and Kathryn Ladano.

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finding my, voice (2019)

Keenan Reimer-Watts

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a small EP about finding my voice - as someone who was mainly an instrumentalist for the first 25 years of my life, it feels good to sing. all of the lyrics were improvised and from these small fragments came songs.

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    letting light in through my cracks

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    the light above keeps me

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    tell me all i will do, but loved

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    a song for you

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    thoughts for my brother

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Variations for the 21st Century (2019)

Keenan Reimer-Watts

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Here's a playlist of myself, playing these variations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFQNbdKSYB8&list=PLIxmtaLBwZwSY2-Q2u3bHUO1NNIUu4IdR

Structurally, it's based on the Goldberg Variations, by J.S. Bach. Musically, it steals from a few different people, and I won't tell you who.

Thank you Ralph Elsaesser, whose love of music and philanthropy continue to inspire me. This album is dedicated in memory of you.

You can hear Ralph playing Bach here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmAFRNVJ2t8

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Bartók Reimagined (2018)

Keenan Reimer-Watts

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10 rearrangements of arrangements of folk melodies by Béla Viktor János Bartók, rearranged for a bajillion instruments.

So, some thoughts about this EP. This project is a tough one to release, because it brings up many questions. First and foremost is the question of ownership over music.

I believe that music can be ‘owned’ by a culture, but it’s certainly not as simple as just saying that. We live in a world where music has become a melting pot of genres/styles, and the lines aren’t clearly drawn anymore. And there is a long history of how composers have taken from folk artists and incorporated their melodies into their compositions - subsequently profiting off of them and leaving them unacknowledged.

For context, these are re-arrangements of arrangements of folk melodies that Bartók collected around Europe. The melodies at the core of this EP are hundreds of years old, and are rooted in cultures that passed them down as an oral tradition for generations. I imagine that some of these cultures represented in the 44 duos have since disappeared - so, in some ways, it is good that their traditions have been recorded.

But it begs the question - how can I give homage to these people, who, I would argue, make up the core of this music? Bartók himself has been heavily criticized for taking without acknowledging. To be honest, I am frustrated that it is not clear where exactly these melodies are from - in the score of the 44 Duos, there is not always an indicator of where these melodies are from other than some general word like ’Hungarian’ in the title. Nor is there any information in the forward.

I don’t want to be criticized for this, as it wouldn't sit well with me - and so I am doing what I can to draw attention to the roots of the music, as outlined below.

A little back-story...I started playing fiddle a few years ago. In so doing, I found the 44 duos. During a short trip to Montreal, a violinist named Zafer played them with me, and also showed me an album on Spotify of the 44 Duos that, rightfully, pairs the arrangements with the original field recordings that Bartók gathered (I wish I could do that, but I just don’t have time to track down the various sources that house these recordings in Austria, Slovakia and Hungary…).

Luckily the album exists and you can hear them! That album is called Voices from the Past: Béla Bartók's 44 Duos & Original Field Recordings (Transposed for 2 Violas). The artists playing are Claudine Bigelow and Donald Maurice.There are a few field recordings missing from the album, but here is the artist information that I gathered from Spotify…

No. 1. Parosito (Teasing Song) - Traditional, István Ancsák, Mári Fülöp No. 3. Menuetto - Traditional, Zuza Strelcová No. 4. Szentivaneji (Midsummer Night Song) - Anna Bulová No. 6. Magyar Nota (Hungarian Song) - Traditional, Csíkvacsárcsi Singer No. 16, Burleszk (Burlesque) - Száldobos Singers No. 19. Mese (Fairy Tale) - Traditional, Jozsef Jeremias No. 22. Szunyogtanc (Mosquito Dance) - Nagymegyer Singer

I strongly encourage that you go and listen to these original field recordings if you would like to hear the roots of this music. Spotify, in some ways admirably, has created an artist profile (devoid of any information) for the singers in the field recordings.

In any case, this album has been a fantastic journey for me. It has made me think creatively about arranging, and I hope to arrange more ‘classical’ music in the future. Huge thanks to everyone who gave this an ear and feedback. Thanks to Erik Joran Jon Johnson-Scherger for clearing a bottle of wine and then recording the fiddle track on Magyar Nota, and thanks to Dave Klassen for hauling your marimba up to my studio to help record a fairy tale. Thanks mom.

There are tons of instruments on this album and it would take eons to list them. However, I will say that some of the sounds are sourced from www.freesound.org. This is an amazing resource that I have supported by donating in the past. Check it out!

Lots of love to all of you and I hope that you like this hilariously bizarre and aesthetically diverse EP. It’s been a good year and I’m looking forward to more!

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Preludes for People, and Wandering Pieces (2017)

Keenan Reimer-Watts

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This album is a compilation of piano pieces composed from October 2015 to December 2016. Many of these I have written for specific people in my life, as part of an ongoing series titled 'Preludes for People'. These are small pieces that people contact me for as a commission, or I write for other people as a gift. ​ 'Wandering Pieces' is dedicated to my former piano teacher, Heather Taves.

Mike Anderson, a talented man in every way, tapped into his wealth of abilities and was the recording engineer for this album!

A huge thank you to all of the people who made this possible, my family, friends, and all those who provided the inspiration for these pieces.

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    For Robbie (free)

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In exchange, you receive a free download of my best known recording, Close To You arranged for solo piano.