Accessible Depth is Tom Rule’s latest project – and his first solo keyboard effort featuring all original music.
A culmination of over a year’s worth of writing and recording, it is an instrumental album that reflects Tom’s belief that good music can be both accessible [listenable] and deep at the same time. This music will withstand multiple listens – that’s the “depth” part of the equation. There is some significant ear candy in these tracks, if you’ll listen for it!
Where to get your own copy
|CD Baby[or use the form below]||CD BabyiTunes
Other places to find Accessible Depth include Emusic, Tradebit, GreatIndieMusic, Verizon, Xbox Music, MySpace Music, iHeartRadio, Nokia, Deezer, Napster, MediaNet, 7digital, Rhapsody, & Simfy
1 Solfigietto Jam 3:38
Based on the famous piano piece by CPE Bach. This came about one day after I’d worked with a piano student playing an elementary arrangement of this piece, and wondered if it would make good jazz.
2 Storm 3:36
Written during a Southern summer rainstorm – then worked with over a period of several months. The lead melody is played on a real Fender Rhodes – it sounds pretty sweet!
3 Happiness 3:33
You can always tell an acoustic piano on a recording because it sounds a bit out of tune compared to the digital pianos. This is a 1960’s Steinway in the piano studio at Macon State. It has a very heavy action which I like playing when improvising. This began life as an improv – me just wailing away at the piano.
The original name was “Black key Happiness” – I was tired of playing in sharp keys over at the church, and needed some flat key goodness!
It’s a musician thing. It’s probably not contagious.
4 Sun 2:56
Another improv, recorded on a dreary Winter day – one of those that make you glad the office has no windows.
5 Hot July 2:52
Some would call this “Ambient” because it has a synth pad behind the piano. I not sure that works as a description, because there is an actual melody here! It **is** peaceful, and takes some time at the end of some of the phrases. There are also some interesting kinda-sorta-somewhat dissonances in the underlying harmonies that you might miss.
6 At The Cross 2:18
Originally released on the 2003 album Seasons by tom&co, I still enjoy listening to this track. It was recorded at the end of a marathon session – at 2 AM. We’d been at the studio since about 9 AM, and this was the last track to be recorded. That’s a very nice Yamaha digital piano – a “pseudo-baby-grand design” – which I enjoyed very much playing. There were only two takes of this piece done – and we spent a full half-hour deciding which one to keep.
Not bad for 2 AM!
7 Spring Longing 3:31
Another “dead of winter” session of thinking with my fingers on the keyboard.
Oddly enough, in spite of this piece’s title, I enjoy recording in Winter more than Summer because there’s less noise – heaters are much quieter than air conditioners!
8 Doooooo Dot 3:01
This began as a demo piece for my wife Pam to record. We never got around to it, and I found the original score notes last summer. The Roland RD700sx I regularly use has some samples done by Take 6….and I began wondering one day if the two would work together.
9 December Thoughts 3:13
Another improv done on the old Steinway. Guess when this was recorded? This one starts a bit louder – I really like the chord progression buildup in the middle – and then gets very quiet.
The whole consonant-with-a-bit-of-dissonance feels like a reflection of real life to me.
10 Pam 3:10
Pam is my wife, lover, best friend, and mother of ALL of my children – yes, they are all the same person! I know that sounds impossible in some quarters of our society, but it is indeed true.
Contained on this track are the Steinway, a heavily effected genuine Fender Rhodes, the freeware softsynth Crystal, a Korg DW8000, and a Roland RD700sx.
Some of the older tracks were recorded using Mackie’s Tracktion. The acoustic piano tracks were recorded on Pro Tools 7 (Win) – the resulting tracks were ported over to the Mac for further work. Some of the Fender Rhodes tracks were recorded at Northway church in Macon, GA – that’s a genuine vintage 1972 Fender Rhodes that is in remarkably good shape. The Rhodes parts were played into an Alesis Masterlink, while I listened to the underlying accompaniment on an iPod – a bit kludgy, but it worked well. Other instruments used include a Korg DW8000, Roland RD700sx, plus several VST instruments including Sampletank and Kore Player.
The album was assembled and mastered using Presonus’ Studio One Pro. I am a huge fan of this software – it was also used in producing Joey Stuckey’s jazz album MIXTURE [I was co-everything on that one].
It’s been my privilege to have been gifted with the musical flexibility to live in several worlds – “classical”, pop, jazz, educational. While I enjoy an eclectic array of music, it has long been point of frustration that so much music lacks imagination, creativity, and depth. On the other hand, the 20th century experimental composers were trying to maintain some depth – but many of the experiments would never have an audience.
…and without an audience, what’s the point?
So this album is an attempt to create accessible music – i.e. that is eminently listenable – but that can withstand multiple listens because you keep finding additional interesting tidbits – “ear candy”.
What’s with the Cross?
I know – there’s only one thing overtly “Christian” on this album. Since I’m a firm believer that “Christianity” is not a thing you DO, it’s a relationship you maintain, it follows that everything I do or create springs out of my relationship with the Creator. Obviously, some days I’m better at that relationship than others, but I still keep trying.
The type is a chord chart from church printed on a very old laser printer – which was malfunctioning. It’s a very cool mistake that I decided would look great on the album cover. See if you can figure out what song we were playing that Sunday.
Who is this Tom Rule anyway?
Tom Rule is a Tennessee native who spent time in South Carolina, is working in Georgia, and who is proof God has a sense of humor. A left-handed keyboard player who has played more styles and places than he cares to admit, Tom is not normal, but you wouldn’t know that from his music.
He landed in Macon, GA in 1990 and has been doing music and such in that area since then, with occasional forays to places like Boston and Iowa to perform.
Tom is also on Facebook – and you can also join the Tom Tribe which will get you free music and the latest news in the Pleasantly Insane World of Tom. He is in the process of stashing a lot of music [sheet music, mp3s, choir practice tracks] over at MacMusicGuy.com.