Joe Hume

AMBIENCE is Big Round Records’ latest release from composer Joe Hume. After a decade of working exclusively as a professional pianist, Hume has returned to composing in a big way with this compelling 11-track album of airy original solo piano pieces.

Joe is our featured artist for “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the inner workings and personalities of our composers and performers. Read on to discover his three most embarrassing gigs…

Who was your first favorite artist growing up?

My favourite Pianist is Vladimir Ashkenazy. He plays my favourite composers Chopin and Rachmaninov to a level I have never heard before. I used to listen to him for hours every week when I was growing up. He was my main influence when I was learning to play the piano. I also love chillout/house/trance electronic music. I was obsessed with an artist called Chicane and still listen to his music today. I was very proud when one of my tracks featured on the same compilation album as his last year.

What was your most unusual performance, or the most embarrassing thing that happened to you during a performance?

I could probably write a book on this topic. A best seller maybe, although I couldn’t write some of it in this blog. Not only am I a classical pianist, but I used to play session keyboards/synthesizer in indie/rock bands. This is where most of my top crazy moments come from as a musician.

I once went to the wrong town to play the Pipe organ at a wedding. I realised this when I got to the church and there was an empty car park. I ended up 30mins late. That was a good one.

I was in England performing with a percussion player. After the gig we loaded all the gear into his van. While we were driving the van doors weren’t properly closed and his bongos etc were bouncing behind us down the street.

I once played the wrong Ave Maria at a funeral to the singer’s horror. That one’s definitely high on the list.

What is your guilty pleasure?

My guilty pleasure is socialising with my friends on a weekend and having a few beers, watching football etc when I’m home. Since 2012 I have spent almost 9 months per year away from home performing. Being a professional musician I found early on in my career that you have to be willing to travel a lot, so you learn to appreciate the smaller things you would normally take for granted.

If you could make a living at any job in the world, what would that job be?

For me the ideal job would have to be a composer. When I graduated from university I wanted to perform all the time and thankfully I have managed to do that. However, when I was working in Paris last year i started to compose my own music and found immense satisfaction in this. I also find it very rewarding when people listen to my music and tell me that it made an impact on their feelings for the day.

If you could spend creative time anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

For me it would have to be the island of Ibiza in Spain. Ibiza is the perfect Mediterranean island. It has an almost all year round warm sunny climate, a diverse population of people from all over the world, and great beaches to go walking and running at night time. I’m also the type of composer who is influenced by scenery and climate so this island suits me perfectly. Ibiza is also a mecca for music lovers. The sunset in Ibiza is famous and has attracted many visitors to the sunset bars for amazing live music performances. My first single ‘Adagio for Piano’ was released by the famous Ibiza label Cafe del Mar, so the island will always have an attraction for me.

Is there a specific feeling that you would like communicated to audiences in this work?

Firstly I want as many people to identify with my music as possible. Classical music can sometimes put certain listeners off or become intimidating to some, so I want to cross that divide. My piano music is atmospheric and relaxing so I hope people can listen to it and experience this after a stressful day at work or maybe studying for exams etc. I also want non musicians to identify with my music as much as musicians. This would make me feel really good about my album.

  • Joe Hume

    Joe Hume (b 1985) is a pianist and composer from Glasgow, Scotland. He attended the Royal Scottish Academy of Music at the age of 17 where he studied the piano under professor Fali Pavri. He was hugely inspired by Romantic and 20th-century composers such as Chopin, Rachmaninov, Debussy, Faure, and Satie.