Historically remembered for his iconic work on the Yes Relayer album from 1974, keyboardist Patrick Moraz has built a remarkable solo career that has made him one of the most celebrated keyboardists of his age. Playing to audiences around the world, Moraz still reigns supreme as both performer and artist. His technical ability is legendary, yet it is the scope and mastery of musical styles that thrusts him into the category elite.
As an early pioneer of experimental keyboards, Patrick thoughtfully worked to bridge the melodic and rhythmic elements of rock, jazz & classical music to form what is now (broadly) recognized as progressive rock. That outpouring of creative energy continues to flow furiously as ever from the mind of this prolific and inventive artist.
Going into this interview, I was slightly intimidated. For the larger than life image I had of a majestic caped keyboardist amidst an impossible array of keyboards was still very dominant in my mind. I had had that image burned into my memory at one of the famed Yes Relayer shows I’d attended in 1976 when I was a 16 year old! Coming out of the interview I was touched by the incredible opportunity I had just had to get to know this most humble and gracious man. I found Patrick’s philosophies on music and the evolution of technology irresistibly intelligent and insightful but his passion for music, continuous learning and life inspiring. Patrick held nothing back as we talked about his career, the creative process and some of his earliest introductions to music. Lost in my own delight, our interview ran longer than expected, but like a kid in a candy store, I couldn’t help myself. Our conversation, which delightfully swings broadly from music to aliens, ranks among one my favorite interviews to date. I hope you enjoy it as much.
May you be inspired!
Below are the links to the 4 part video interviews. A synopsis precedes each link for referencing.
Part 1 Synopsis:
In Part 1 of this in depth interview with the famed Yes & Moody Blues keyboardist, Patrick Moraz talks candidly about his newest album release “MAP” and the inspirations that led to the core band formation (Greg Alban, Lenny Castro & John Avila) and the individual cuts. He also speaks passionately about the love and fascination for rhythm and percussion which has led him around the globe in search of musical relations and knowledge including almost 50 trips to Africa! Patrick reveals his affinity with space science and extra terrestrial intelligence and then discusses in detail the composition of the final cut on the new “MAP” album, which is “Alien Species”. Other albums discussions include, Time Code & Map.
Part 2 Synopsis:
In this 2nd part of our interview Patrick as a lecturer speaks philosophically about creativity and the human spirit. We discuss the creative process in detail and the mechanisms used for “capturing” form. Patrick talks about Yes as a creative entity and the remarkable dynamics the band members shared. He cites Jazz as an inspirational music form and the motivation for the spontaneous compositions on “Future Memories” . Patrick pays tribute to the early masters of electronic music like Wendy Carlos and Tomita as well as his personal friends, Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Don Buchla and Robert Moog. Albums discussed: Future Memories.
Part 3 Synopsis:
In the 3rd part of our interview, we talk about the 70’s music scene vs. now and the decline of the stadium rock shows. Patrick talks at length with great admiration for Chris Squire and his creative style as a bassist. An eerie coincidence involving Steve Hackett! Patrick discusses his style as a producer and recalls sessions with Eddie Offord during the famous Relayer recordings and tells some lively stories about that period of the Yes history. Some new revelations about Sound Chaser
Part 4 Synopsis:
In this final part of our interview with Patrick, more is revealed about the songs from the historic Relayer album. Patrick talks about his influences and answers fan questions about the challenges he faced when learning the Yes book. We also talked about his early years in NYC and his encounters with notable jazz artists. Patrick rounds off the interview with some early musical reflections from his childhood and some advice for aspiring career musicians!
Artist Link: http://www.patrickmoraz.com/