Posts Tagged “Jordan Rudess”

General Music News: Jordan Rudess talks recording in new interview.

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The New York-based Ballet Deviare, led by dancer/choreographer Laura Kowalewski, created a routine to accompany DREAM THEATER‘s instrumental “Enigma Machine”, from the band’s latest, self-titled album. The clip was directed by Katia Spivakova and produced by Derec Dunn; the dancers are Michelle Joy, Lara Koffskey and Shannon Maynor.

Says choreographer Laura Kowalewski, who’s previously worked with DÅÅTH, ARSIS and CELESTIIAL: “When I was approached to choreograph a music video for DREAM THEATER, I was really excited. I have always admired their complex musical structure and phrasing.”

DREAM THEATER‘s latest, self-titled album (available for purchase here) sold around 34,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 7 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD arrived in stores on September 24, 2013 via Roadrunner.

DREAM THEATER‘s “Along For The Ride” tour picked up on March 20 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada following the band’s European tour and then continues through the end of April where it will eventually wrap up in Guadalajara, Mexico on April 26.

DREAM THEATER‘s spirit of adventure and fearless musical virtuosity continues to reap dividends for the progressive metal titans who recently earned their second Grammy nomination, this time for “Best Metal Performance” for their single “The Enemy Inside” from their current self-titled album. The band — John Petrucci (guitar), John Myung (bass), James LaBrie (vocals), Jordan Rudess (keyboards & continuum) and Mike Mangini (drums) — received its first-ever Grammy nomination in 2012 for “On The Backs Of Angels” (from their “A Dramatic Turn Of Events” album) in the “Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance” category.

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Brian Giffin of Australia’s Loud magazine recently conducted an interview with keyboardist Jordan Rudess of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Loud: Does releasing a self-titled album mark some sort of new beginning for DREAM THEATER?

Rudess: I think it was more that we wanted to put the stamp of a self-titled album here because we felt very strong about it. We felt like we’re at this great point where we felt that people should take notice. We’ve been very clear — we’re all getting along so well; musically we’re having a great time together in the studio; and we felt that we’ve made a great album that we want people to know about. If you want to know what DREAM THEATER is about, check this album out, because we feel that this is one of the best albums that we’ve done.

Loud: What was it like reconvening to record this time with [new drummer] Mike Mangini a part of the band?

Rudess: He was really well behaved, so it was good. It was a lot of fun to have him there, unlike the previous album where we brought him in for the drum parts after the music was written. For this one, he was there the whole time. Some people know it, some people don’t, but Mike Mangini is a very upbeat character. He’s very funny, he’s got a very good nature, he’s lively and in front of the drums, he’s a madman. He can play things no one else can play. So him being there personally, with his upbeat personality, and him contributing to the dynamic to the music we were writing really gave the music a real spark. So we enjoyed that quite a lot. With “A Dramatic Turn Of Events”, we had a good time writing that, but this time, all being together working on the album as a band was great. We had been on tour with Mike Mangini for a year, we knew that we all got along, we knew that we were a very effective unit with each other playing music. The fans had all voiced their opinions and they all loved our shows.

Loud: Tell us something about “Illumination Theory”, because that’s quite an extensive piece.

Rudess: Well, I come from a Julliard classical music background, I like pieces where motifs and ideas get developed and changed and can be allowed to breathe and that track’s certainly not any sort of standard pop song format in any way, shape or form. I just love the fact that we’re just really going for it and there’s all these kind of progressive parts where there’s interesting counterpoints and harmonic changes going on, and I’m also very fond of the fact that in the middle section of “Illumination Theory”, there’s that whole section that really is very ambient and very electronic-soundscapey which leads into a string ensemble part which was actually done with the help my young protege Eren Başbuğ, a young Turkish arranger/conductor who took what I had composed on my keyboard and fleshed it out for a string orchestra. And then the string orchestra came into the studio and he came in and conducted them. That piece just has so much to it. I love when we get deep and it all gets a bit wild, and I also love that in the midst of all that madness, we really let that middle section to really breathe and slow down and be melodic like a movie score.

Loud: There always seems to be at least one song on every album that really shows what DREAM THEATER is all about and that’s definitely the track this time around.

Rudess: I think that’s really important, because a lot of the songs on this album are a little bit more concise. Believe it or not, there are two songs in the four-minute range on this album. It’s like we managed to bring our music a little bit more to the point, but at the same time we thought, “Hey we’re DREAM THEATER! We could do, we should do a track that goes for it and is more epic,” and that’s what “Illumination Theory” was more about.

Read the entire interview at Loud magazine.

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Vocalist James LaBrie of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER will take part in a question-and-answer session at the 6:15 p.m. screening of “Dream Theater: Live At Luna Park” on October 5, exclusively at Cineplex Yonge and Dundas Cinemas in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Tickets go on sale this Friday, September 27.

On November 5, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release “Dream Theater: Live At Luna Park” on 2DVD, Blu-ray, visual digital formats and a deluxe edition. The deluxe edition is an 11.5″ square 60 page hardback photobook containing the Blu-ray, 2 DVDs and 3 CDs presenting all the key physical formats in one release; the CDs are only available in this deluxe edition.

These releases boast the 160 minute main show — accompanied by a wealth of bonus material — and feature many of the band’s classic tracks, including “Metropolis Pt. 1”, “The Silent Man”, “Pull Me Under”, “The Root Of All Evil”, “The Test That Stumped Them All”, “The Spirit Carries On” and the recent “On The Backs Of Angels”.

DREAM THEATER began their mammoth “A Dramatic Tour Of Events” world trek in July 2011 with the final leg in South America taking place in August 2012. It was here at the Luna Park Arena in Buenos Aires, Argentina, that they decided to film the two nights that make up this DVD release.

The “Live At Luna Park” band lineup for this show is James LaBrie (vocals); John Petrucci (guitar); Jordan Rudess (keyboards); John Myung (bass); and Mike Mangini (drums). This was DREAM THEATER‘s first tour and album with their new drummer and all the tracks from that album, “A Dramatic Turn Of Events”, are included in either the main show or the bonus performances.

The bonus features offer live versions of six great tracks: “These Walls”; “Build Me Up, Break Me Down”; “Caught In A Web”; “Wait For Sleep”; “Far From Heaven”; and “Pull Me Under”. Also on “Live At Luna Park” is a documentary, the trailer for the cinema release of the film, a “behind-the-scenes” feature and the cartoon intro that ran on big screens prior to the band taking to the stage in Buenos Aires. The Blu-ray additionally features six multi-angle options on “Outcry”.

“Dream Theater: Live At Luna Park” track listing:

01. Bridges In The Sky
02. 6:00
03. The Dark Eternal Night
04. This Is The Life
05. The Root Of All Evil
06. Lost Not Forgotten
07. Drum Solo
08. A Fortune In Lies
09. The Silent Man
10. Beneath The Surface
11. Outcry
12. Piano Solo
13. Surrounded
14. On The Backs Of Angels
15. War Inside My Head
16. The Test That Stumped Them All
17. Guitar Solo
18. The Spirit Carries On
19. Breaking All Illusions
20. Metropolis Pt. 1

Roadrunner Records e-mailed guitarist John Petrucci and keyboardist Jordan Rudess to get their thoughts on these special shows.

Roadrunner Records: You played four songs with a string quartet over the two nights. Who did the arrangements?

Jordan Rudess: All the string parts were written by Eren Basbug, the young and talented Turkish musician that I discovered online through his beautiful orchestrations of DREAM THEATER‘s music and then his great work orchestrating and conducting the premiere of my own composition, “Explorations For Keyboard And Orchestra”. For two of the songs we did live with the quartet (“Beneath The Surface” and “Far From Heaven”) I had originally arranged and recorded quartet-like string parts from my keyboard, and that is what you hear on “A Dramatic Turn Of Events”. Eren was able to take those two songs and really make sure what I wrote worked for real players, as well as add some nice touches! For the other two songs, “The Silent Man” and “Wait For Sleep”, he created original quartet arrangements.

Roadrunner Records: How much rehearsal time did you have with the quartet?

John Petrucci: We played through each song with them a couple of times at soundcheck. We probably spent about an hour in total making sure they were comfortable and that they knew certain cues, etc.

Jordan Rudess: We had one rehearsal before the first show. I had sent all the music to coordinator Luis Gorelik (who is a well known conductor in South America) and he helped organize the players.

Roadrunner Records: How did their presence alter the way you guys in the band played those songs? Obviously they weren’t just sawing away in the background; they were integral to the music, so…in what ways?

John Petrucci: Honestly, we played the songs just as we have been and they followed us. On “Beneath The Surface” and “Far From Heaven”, they basically played the arrangements that are on the album. Original arrangements were created for “The Silent Man” and “Wait For Sleep”.

Jordan Rudess: In our rehearsal, I was literally conducting them and we all worked quickly to get things into shape and make sure the players really understood the music and what was going to happen in the chain of events on stage. The good thing was that these four songs all really are totally suitable for real strings, so it was an easy conceptual/musical addition to our presentation.

Roadrunner Records: Other than the new album (which was played almost in its entirety each night), the albums you played the most material from were “Images And Words”, “Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence” and “Awake”. Why those albums, from your perspective?

John Petrucci: We try to create a show that has a certain curve to it. The way that it begins, unfolds and concludes are all carefully thought about. We have so much material at this point that it’s difficult to fit in songs from each album. Based on what we played on past tours as well as the flow and arc of the show, we thought these were the strongest choices.

Jordan Rudess: There are so many factors that are in play to create a setlist. Generally, we all felt that we offered a night of music that was a well-balanced mixture of our material that not only spanned a lot of our albums but also flowed really well for the course of the evening.

Roadrunner Records: On the second night, you guys played “Pull Me Under” as the encore, which you’ve been playing a lot more on tour this year than in the past few years… but only outside the U.S. Is that a song foreign audiences want to hear more than fans at home?

John Petrucci: “Pull Me Under” always goes over, no matter what country we are in. It just has that kind of power and familiarity, I guess. We really thought that it sounded great with [new drummer] Mike Mangini playing it and wanted to share that with our listeners.

Jordan Rudess: I don’t know — but I will tell you that they literally were trying to rush the stage in Buenos Aires when we played it. It was nuts!

dreamtheaterlunaparkcover

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Rod Whitfield of SF Media recently conducted an interview with keyboardist Jordan Rudess of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

On the band’s new, self-titled album:

“Yeah, I’m so excited about it. I think it’s definitely one of our best, and we feel so good about it that we decided to stamp it with a self titled name, so everybody’s happy.

“We just feel that the band is at such a great point, personally and musically, that it was really time to mark this down, and say ‘Hey, you know what? If you want to know about DREAM THEATER this is it.’ It’s really a representation of who we are as people at this point in time. It was a fantastic year before this on the road with [recently added drummer] Mike Mangini, and getting him fully integrated into the band.”

On what Mike Mangini has added to the DREAM THEATER songwriting process:

“Having him come into the studio with us gave us that extra spark, not only musically, but he’s also such a lively, energetic fun guy. So it brought us to this very strong, unified and powerful level. Having him there was just a treat, because he’s such a unique person, his playing is really individual, and the way he thinks, he offered some really interesting ideas. Especially in the realm of rhythm, it was very cool.”

On the differences in the personalities and playing of Mike Mangini and former DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy:

“Yeah, I feel so lucky in my career to have worked with some of the greatest drummers, and guitarists as well, but we’re talking about drummers, and Mike Portnoy is one of the greatest drummers out there. We had a great time playing for many years together. And now we’re playing with Mangini, it’s a whole ‘nother wonderful musical experience. And what’s really cool is that all these great drummers that I’ve played with, they’re all so different, but what’s especially cool about Mangini is that, not only is he a different kind of a drummer, but he can also fit like a glove into the music. So when we play the older DREAM THEATER songs, it feels very comfortable. Even though he has a different approach, it kinda fits like a glove, if you will. So that’s obviously why he got the gig, because he can do that, but he can also offer some fresh and exciting ideas into what we’re doing.”

Read the entire interview at SF Media.

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The AU Review recently conducted an interview with keyboardist Jordan Rudess of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

The AU Review: Was there a central theme that you guys were portraying or using on the new [self-titled DREAM THEATER] album? I know you guys often go into the studio with an idea — so was there anything in that regard, this time around?

Rudess: Well, you know, we always go into it with a strong conceptual idea of what we want to create. Basically, we wanted to create an album that was maybe a little bit to the point with a lot of the songs — a bit more concise. You’ll notice that there are some shorter songs than on the usual DREAM THEATER album. We wanted to see if we could take our style without really limiting it — having the same kind of integrity and virtuosity and bring songs that had definition to them. That being said, we also have a 22-minute epic on the album as well, so that was kind of a release and, you know, a trip toward the total prog land.

The AU Review: Now there is a new — well, I can’t say he’s a new member any more he’s been there for a little while — but Mr. Mike Mangini [drums], how has his writing style helped this time around with him being in the band in the writing process from pretty much the moment? Was there anything you guys had to adjust to do to adjust to his style?

Rudess: Well, it was really interesting having Mangini there for the whole process. One part of the situation was that he’s a very upbeat, energized guy, so just having that personality in the room with us was a good experience for all of us. On a musical level, you know, Mike has one of the most incredible rhythmic minds, I think, of anybody. So he was kind of able to conceptualize these kind of concepts that we would just take and try to compose around. We got some really interesting results form doing that — it was fascinating for us because everyone in DREAM THEATER has a good sense of rhythm, but we never before in our history have had this kind of input where someone would say, “Petrucci, if you play a bar of seven ten times, and Jordan, if you repeat something in five and I play this, it’ll all come together” — you know, we would all just smile, because it was some pretty cool wacky stuff that was just purely conceptualized by Mike. And, you know, I guess what helped the most with the writing process was just his drumming — you know, having him be there for the writing, so we could try something and have him do his thing on the drums which would lead us to compose differently.

The AU Review: So Jordan, take us through a typical day in the studio of DREAM THEATER recording a new album. Is it a 9-5 process or is it a many-, many-hour process per day?

Rudess: Yeah sure; we would get to the studio around lunch time. We usually make a Starbucks stop on the way. You know, Maddi, the guy who is like our head tech of the group who also takes care of us when we are in the studio, he would pick us up in the hotel — for those of us who were staying there — we’d make our coffee stop and go to the studio, have some lunch, turn on our instruments and get started, you know, around one, one-thirty or so, and then we’d work up until dinner and then after dinner for a while too. And when we got tired — maybe around ten or eleven — we’d call it a day. We worked pretty hard; we’re pretty focused when we do our thing, and when it’s everybody’s turn to do their own tracks, then everybody decides on their own schedule. Like when I did my tracks, I got there a little earlier, and you know, I’d just work all day and night until somebody says stop. And everybody is different in that way, but we all kinda had our choice — it wasn’t as much of a routine. But when we’re working together, and we are writing, we generally sleep a little bit late or start a little late so people have their mornings to do whatever they need to do, and then go from there.

Read the entire interview at The AU Review.

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On November 5, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release “Dream Theater: Live At Luna Park” on 2DVD, Blu-ray, visual digital formats and a deluxe edition. The deluxe edition is an 11.5″ square 60 page hardback photobook containing the Blu-ray, 2 DVDs and 3 CDs presenting all the key physical formats in one release; the CDs are only available in this deluxe edition.

These releases boast the 160 minute main show — accompanied by a wealth of bonus material — and feature many of the band’s classic tracks, including “Metropolis Pt. 1”, “The Silent Man”, “Pull Me Under”, “The Root Of All Evil”, “The Test That Stumped Them All”, “The Spirit Carries On” and the recent “On The Backs Of Angels”.

DREAM THEATER began their mammoth “A Dramatic Tour Of Events” world trek in July 2011 with the final leg in South America taking place in August 2012. It was here at the Luna Park Arena in Buenos Aires, Argentina, that they decided to film the two nights that make up this DVD release.

The “Live At Luna Park” band lineup for this show is James LaBrie (vocals); John Petrucci (guitar); Jordan Rudess (keyboards); John Myung (bass); and Mike Mangini (drums). This was DREAM THEATER‘s first tour and album with their new drummer and all the tracks from that album, “A Dramatic Turn Of Events”, are included in either the main show or the bonus performances.

The bonus features offer live versions of six great tracks: “These Walls”; “Build Me Up, Break Me Down”; “Caught In A Web”; “Wait For Sleep”; “Far From Heaven”; and “Pull Me Under”. Also on “Live At Luna Park” is a documentary, the trailer for the cinema release of the film, a “behind-the-scenes” feature and the cartoon intro that ran on big screens prior to the band taking to the stage in Buenos Aires. The Blu-ray additionally features six multi-angle options on “Outcry”.

“Dream Theater: Live At Luna Park” track listing:

01. Bridges In The Sky
02. 6:00
03. The Dark Eternal Night
04. This Is The Life
05. The Root Of All Evil
06. Lost Not Forgotten
07. Drum Solo
08. A Fortune In Lies
09. The Silent Man
10. Beneath The Surface
11. Outcry
12. Piano Solo
13. Surrounded
14. On The Backs Of Angels
15. War Inside My Head
16. The Test That Stumped Them All
17. Guitar Solo
18. The Spirit Carries On
19. Breaking All Illusions
20. Metropolis Pt. 1

Roadrunner Records e-mailed guitarist John Petrucci and keyboardist Jordan Rudess to get their thoughts on these special shows.

Roadrunner Records: You played four songs with a string quartet over the two nights. Who did the arrangements?

Jordan Rudess: All the string parts were written by Eren Basbug, the young and talented Turkish musician that I discovered online through his beautiful orchestrations of DREAM THEATER‘s music and then his great work orchestrating and conducting the premiere of my own composition, “Explorations For Keyboard And Orchestra”. For two of the songs we did live with the quartet (“Beneath The Surface” and “Far From Heaven”) I had originally arranged and recorded quartet-like string parts from my keyboard, and that is what you hear on “A Dramatic Turn Of Events”. Eren was able to take those two songs and really make sure what I wrote worked for real players, as well as add some nice touches! For the other two songs, “The Silent Man” and “Wait For Sleep”, he created original quartet arrangements.

Roadrunner Records: How much rehearsal time did you have with the quartet?

John Petrucci: We played through each song with them a couple of times at soundcheck. We probably spent about an hour in total making sure they were comfortable and that they knew certain cues, etc.

Jordan Rudess: We had one rehearsal before the first show. I had sent all the music to coordinator Luis Gorelik (who is a well known conductor in South America) and he helped organize the players.

Roadrunner Records: How did their presence alter the way you guys in the band played those songs? Obviously they weren’t just sawing away in the background; they were integral to the music, so…in what ways?

John Petrucci: Honestly, we played the songs just as we have been and they followed us. On “Beneath The Surface” and “Far From Heaven”, they basically played the arrangements that are on the album. Original arrangements were created for “The Silent Man” and “Wait For Sleep”.

Jordan Rudess: In our rehearsal, I was literally conducting them and we all worked quickly to get things into shape and make sure the players really understood the music and what was going to happen in the chain of events on stage. The good thing was that these four songs all really are totally suitable for real strings, so it was an easy conceptual/musical addition to our presentation.

Roadrunner Records: Other than the new album (which was played almost in its entirety each night), the albums you played the most material from were “Images And Words”, “Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence” and “Awake”. Why those albums, from your perspective?

John Petrucci: We try to create a show that has a certain curve to it. The way that it begins, unfolds and concludes are all carefully thought about. We have so much material at this point that it’s difficult to fit in songs from each album. Based on what we played on past tours as well as the flow and arc of the show, we thought these were the strongest choices.

Jordan Rudess: There are so many factors that are in play to create a setlist. Generally, we all felt that we offered a night of music that was a well-balanced mixture of our material that not only spanned a lot of our albums but also flowed really well for the course of the evening.

Roadrunner Records: On the second night, you guys played “Pull Me Under” as the encore, which you’ve been playing a lot more on tour this year than in the past few years… but only outside the U.S. Is that a song foreign audiences want to hear more than fans at home?

John Petrucci: “Pull Me Under” always goes over, no matter what country we are in. It just has that kind of power and familiarity, I guess. We really thought that it sounded great with [new drummer] Mike Mangini playing it and wanted to share that with our listeners.

Jordan Rudess: I don’t know — but I will tell you that they literally were trying to rush the stage in Buenos Aires when we played it. It was nuts!

dreamtheaterlunaparkcover

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While sitting in “Studio B,” one of the two studios in his home, keyboardist Jordan Rudess of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER talked to MusiciansFriend.com about what it means for him to have a home studio; his long relationship with Korg; and introduced MusiciansFriend.com to the new intuitive, rubber-keyed Seaboard made by Roli, where Jordan is the Head Of Music Experience. Check out the clip below.

DREAM THEATER will release its new, self-titled album — the band’s 12th studio release overall, and fourth with Roadrunner Records — on September 24. The nine-track disc was recorded at Cove City Studio in Glen Cove, Long Island, with Petrucci producing and Richard Chycki engineering and mixing. It’s the band’s second album with drummer Mike Mangini, and the first one on which he was a part of the writing process from Day One.

Rudess, along with his company, Wizdom Music, and Chilean developer Felipe Peña, released their latest app, EarWizard via the Apple iTunes store on July 11. An ear-training app that improves memory, EarWizard was made available in 8 languages (Spanish, English, Greek, Dutch, Chinese, Italian, Portuguese and German).

Rudess is also the creator of the top-selling synth-app MorphWiz which won first place in the category of “Best Music Creation App” in the 2010 Billboard Music App Awards, “Best Musical App” in the Best App Ever Awards and best “iPhone/iPad/iTouch” app in the Electronic Musician‘s 2011 Editor’s Choice Awards. In addition, Jordan has released the popular music apps SampleWiz, Geo Synthesizer, Tachyon and Space Wiz.

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Keyboardist talks new album and Mike Mangini in new interview.

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On August 25, Phil Simon of PhilSimon.com conducted an interview with keyboardist Jordan Rudess of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can now watch the chat below.

DREAM THEATER will release its new, self-titled album — the band’s 12th studio release overall, and fourth with Roadrunner Records — on September 24. The nine-track disc was recorded at Cove City Studio in Glen Cove, Long Island, with Petrucci producing and Richard Chycki engineering and mixing. It’s the band’s second album with drummer Mike Mangini, and the first one on which he was a part of the writing process from Day One.

Rudess, along with his company, Wizdom Music, and Chilean developer Felipe Peña, released their latest app, EarWizard via the Apple iTunes store on July 11. An ear-training app that improves memory, EarWizard was made available in 8 languages (Spanish, English, Greek, Dutch, Chinese, Italian, Portuguese and German).

Rudess is also the creator of the top-selling synth-app MorphWiz which won first place in the category of “Best Music Creation App” in the 2010 Billboard Music App Awards, “Best Musical App” in the Best App Ever Awards and best “iPhone/iPad/iTouch” app in the Electronic Musician‘s 2011 Editor’s Choice Awards. In addition, Jordan has released the popular music apps SampleWiz, Geo Synthesizer, Tachyon and Space Wiz.

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