Elijah Bossenbroek is primarily a piano composer, but he also loves to dabble in synths and sound creation. Under the username Bossenbroek, he’s become a Blast Radio crowd favorite through his weekly live piano improvisations.
We recently spoke with Elijah to learn more about him, his taste, his inspirations, and what he’s got going on. Read on to learn about the man behind the keys.
Make sure to follow Elijah (https://blastradio.com/bossenbroek or ‘bossenbroek’ in the app) to catch his weekly live piano performances.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I started taking piano lessons at six years old but I always found it to be more enjoyable to create my own music instead of trying to play other composers works. I remember when I was 15 or 16 spending three months learning the Moonlight Sonata and when it came time to perform this piece, I decided I was going to perform one of my own instead, much to the chagrin of my piano teacher.
When I turned 18, I went off and joined the Marines for 5 years and when I returned home, my parents told me that they would support me for three months if I spent that time creating an album. That’s how my first album Harmony In Disarray was created. Since then I’ve been fortunate to compose three more piano albums and now perform worldwide. When the pandemic hit and performances dried up, it became a bit of a challenge for me to continue to play through my compositions and I found myself getting sloppy.
Blast Radio has been a huge outlet for me where I have an audience that keeps me accountable to continue to perform but it also gives me a way in which I can explore a more creative side and sometimes just get a little bit weird knowing that in 24 hours it will be gone.
What single piece of art has had the biggest impact on you personally?
Michael Nyman’s The Heart Asks Pleasure First. The first time I heard this song I knew immediately this was how I wanted to create music. There was something magical in the way he blended the left hand arpeggios with the right hand melody line. It really opened up a whole new world of composing for me.
You’re going to a desert island and can only bring one album, one book, and one film. Which do you choose and why?
- Album: Alt-J’s This Is All Yours. I’m a big fan of alt-J’s earlier works. I love the creativity of this band, and especially in this album.
- Book: John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath. John Steinbeck has a knack of stringing words together to paint a most beautiful picture of the most ugly and trying times of his characters lives. It’s just a lovely book.
- Film: Fantastic Mr. Fox. “Are you cussing with me? No, you cussing with me? Don't cussing point at me! If you're gonna cuss with somebody, you're not gonna cuss with me, you little cuss!”
How would you describe your broadcasts?
I purposely approach my broadcasts with very little forethought; it really depends on the mood I’m in for that day. Usually I spend about 1/2 an hour or so layering various synth or background sounds together most often with an acoustic piano sound. I try to stack sounds both on the velocity scale as well as the pitch scale so as the song evolves and gets more intense the different layers start to shine through or fade into the background. From there, I press the go live button right from my DAW and let the sounds guide me in my song choice.
What do you have coming up that listeners should know about?
I have two concerts that I should be promoting a little more than I am. If you’re in the Seattle, WA area I’ll be performing at The Chapel Space in The Good Shepherd Center on August 20. If you're in Grand Rapids, MI, I will be performing at the Aquinas College Performing Arts Center on October 22. For more information visit www.elijahbossenbroek.com.
Other than that, you can catch me most weekdays right here on Blast Radio!