Accent Magazine Volume 43 Fall 2001
ROB MULLINS SHARES HIS MUSIC WITH THE WORLD
Pianist, composer and arranger Rob Mullins is
his gift of song in a multitude of ways. Recently, he hosted a
fundraising event for the Goys and Girls Clubs of Pasadena, CA
and workd on a brand
new CD written especially with the "Yamaha Disklavier" in mind. For the
time, he's also sharing his compositions with other pianists using new
Last year was the first year Mullins took over as host of the Boys and Girls Club fundraiser, held in October 2000 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. He requested a Yamaha piano for the event, and he believes it was a great decision.
"One of the fans at a gig last summer asked me to get involved "in the fundraiser" because the regular host was not going to be available," he explians. "It was a challenging situation because they came to me late in June and the event was in October. All of a sudden, I'm thinking, 'What are we going to do?"
Finding musicians was tough on short notice, but Mullins says that knowing he had a Yamaha piano ready for the event set his mind at ease.
"It was nice that Mike Bates and Lori Rogers from
Yamaha assisted me in getting a Yamaha CFIIIS concert grand," he says.
"Just having that piece of the puzzle was a relief. I had little time
to think of anything artistic. Although everything in the music
business surrounding an event is unstable, having confidence in a
quality piano takes a lot of the worry out of the situation".
Meanwhile, Mullins just finished working on his new CD. Called Welcome to PlanetMullins!, the recording includes many of his biggest radio hits, as well as several new compositions written expecially for the Disklavier.
"Its the kind of piano that I had always hoped someone would invent while I was little, but I had to wait until I was a grown-up beofre it existed", says Mullins. "Any composer can put his entire band or symphony orchestra into the instrument and perform, rehearse, or teach. I think its the more amazing keyboard tool ever."
Aboiut the CD, says Mullins, "there is a huge diversity in the musical styles in this project." Pieces composed on the Disklavier include "Jim's Tune," "Space Adventure," "Old School Groove," "Waterfall I and II" and "E Funk."
"What I was hoping to do was to put the piano in a lot of different musical environments," he explains. He describes "Old School" as reminiscent of Ramsey Lewis and Les McCann. "Space Adventure" is a modern symphonic picee, "Waterfall I and II" are a la Debussy, and "E Funk" is like contemporary radio funk music.
For a long time Mullins has been asked to offer
music for his compositions. "It would take so long to print out the
music to this stuff, because a lot of this music sounds easy but is
difficult to play," he says.
That's where the Disklavier again shows its versatility. "With the Disklavier you can zero in on a the specific section you want to work on," explains Mullins. With the nest version of Disklavier software, you can slow down, speed up, and completely analyze a piece of music."
Mullins CD for the Disklavier is available through Hal Leonard Corp and can be found online at activemusician.