Luke Parkin has been called one of the most accomplished, conversant, and captivating assets of the younger generation’s artists emerging to prominence. He has recorded over forty-five hours of music with a breathtaking oeuvre that spans many genres.
EST. MMIX. (Established 2009) is Luke Parkin’s 70th album. Despite some exotic sounds, few audiences will find themselves excluded. However, like those preceding it, EST. MXXIX is an album that eludes the easy sorts of labels that the recording industry uses – it’s as eclectic as its composer.
While Parkin’s music can take the shape of almost any container, it inevitably overflows any limit.
How do you describe your music to people, Luke?
A coalition of dense eclectic sound. A curious mixture of rococo art music ligatured to a big electronic aesthetic.
No seriously, In real life, I can't be ferociously abstract. I simply say New Classical, Electronic, and Dance which still leaves them scratching their heads at which point I simply say, "just listen to it"
Tell me about how you originally got into your craft.
When I was two years old I climbed up the side of a console that held my father’s turntable. I was bewitched with the sound and clip of the vinyl records going round to the measure that I’m told that this went on for hours.
At six I began seriously studying piano music within the strict constraints of the common practice classical repertoire with two childhood teachers that had illimitable effects on my life. One was soft, nurturing and encouraging of my creativity, the other, prickly, aloof and a staunch technician with a penchant for hard boiled training above all else and a pianism as an end unto itself. I adored them both for very different reasons, both were indispensable.
What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
I love my work.
"The dog that trots about finds a bone"
George Henry Borrow
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
It's actually the provocations that those who represent me run into. It's always irritating for them when faced with what has now become a proverb in this industry; the classification syndrome.
The difficulty is ostensibly an inane industry-standard filing cabinet mentality. With many records from my catalog being rolled out in multiple genres sometimes simultaneously, the first and last question "they" ask is, "where do WE (the royal we) put him (individually), and on what shelf.
Perhaps the industry, which is skidding toward certain collapse, [should] consider a grand unified theory of "criteria for profit" alpha taxonomy. No? It may be therapeutic.
When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
Exactly Who I am, am what I am.
Leonard Bernstein said: The key to the mystery of a great artist is that for reasons unknown, he will give away his energies and his life just to make sure that one note follows another . . . and leaves us with the feeling that something is right in the world.
That quote could be rejoined with the a feeling of reverence, obligation, allegiance or duty to share talent.
I think that is a creed to live by.
In what way has your community impacted your development as a musician?
I used what felt like was the armpit of the world, where I grew up, as an excuse to lock the key from inside the studio and pass it underneath the door. I chained myself to my instrument and forced myself to work with some serious vigilance.
I think it's wise that if an artist's disposition aspires to be at all original, beyond today's Tin Pan Alley mediocracy, that he or she refrain from copy cat listening to other artists. Sometimes isolation goes a long way toward mastery, and besides, why work, be a slave to art!
What other artists out there do you love?
Not necessarily in this order but BACH comes first.
BACH, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Liszt, Debussy, Durufle, Ravel, George Gershwin, Oliver Messiaen, Pierre Boulez, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, The Beatles, Brian Eno, D.O.N.S., Madonna, Eminem, Kanye West
What does your future hold?
Rule the World