Timothy Andres and his many, varied musical influences

Timothy Andres grew up listening to Brahms and Beethoven as he studied piano at the Juilliard School’s precollege program. When he enrolled at Yale in 2003, he discovered a new canon. “I gravitated to the, shall we say, stoner hippie types who were listening to really interesting music,” he says. Suddenly Pink Floyd and Brian Eno were on the menu, as were classical minimalists Steve Reich and John Adams.

What began as his senior project at Yale is now his debut album, “Shy and Mighty,” a work for two pianos, to be released May 18 by Nonesuch Records. The composer, 24 years old, says he thinks of his music as architecture. In a piece called “The Night Jaunt,” one piano sets up a spiralling series of chords, while the other piano weaves phrases in lengthening strings.

The composer says his pop inspirations include Scottish electronic act Boards of Canada and Radiohead (“amazing range and sense of space”). The challenge now is to avoid getting lost in the sprawl of his influences: “How can you possibly synthesize all that into something that makes sense? That’s something that I struggle with in my writing every day.”

The composer’s top iTunes plays*

Radiohead 1,157 plays
Beethoven 1,134
Brahms 1,102
Brian Eno 964
John Adams 901
J.S. Bach 868
The Beatles 787
The Beta Band 718
Benjamin Britten 676
Arcade Fire 641

*Source: His Last.fm profile

[via wsj.com]

Listen to his album on Spotify here.

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