Ran Blake

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Description:
Ran Blake (born April 20, 1935) is an American pianist and composer from Springfield, Massachusetts. In a career that spans five decades, Blake has created a unique niche in improvised music as an artist and educator. With a characteristic mix of spontaneous solo, modern classical tonalities, the great American blues and gospel traditions, and themes from classic film noir, Blake's singular sound has earned a dedicated following all over the world. His dual musical legacy includes more than 30 albums, as well as nearly 40 years as a groundbreaking educator at Boston’s New England Conservatory.

Biography

Blake first discovered the dark, image-laden and complex character-driven films that would so influence his music at age 12 when he saw Robert Siodmak’s The Spiral Staircase. "There were post-World War II musical nuances that if occasionally banal and as clichéd as yesterday’s soap operas, were often so eerie, haunting and unforgettable," Blake would later write. "After more than 18 viewings in 20 days, plots, scenes, and melodic and harmonic surfaces intermingled, obtruding into my day life as well as my dreams."

Long before the invention of virtual reality, Blake began mentally placing himself inside the films and real-life scenarios that inspired his original compositions like Spiral Staircase, Memphis and The Short Life of Barbara Monk. The influence of the Pentecostal church music he also discovered growing up in......
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