The evolutionary fusion pianist Desarae Dee is back with the first movement of her two-part EP, 'Moments of Christmas (1st Mvmt).' We're always happy to feature the soulful and dynamic stylings of Desarae Dee, as her instrumental soundscapes set upon us as swiftly and blissfully as the holiday season she sonically explores. We must also note how Desarae Dee refers to her EP's tracks as 'canvases,' pushing her artistic creations to sound and feel all the more authentic.
Always in constant evolution mode, Desarae Dee is broadly known for her unique, spontaneous, and unconventional piano playing style. Robert Glasper is a notable name she's often compared to, yet the Toronto artist is adamant about delivering everything we need to hear and things we have yet to hear. Regarding the first part of her two-movement EP, 'Moments of Christmas (1st Mvmt),' Desarae Dee fueled this project with memorable and sentimental Christmas moments throughout her life's journey.
Opening the EP with the first track, 'Moments of Christmas (Theme),' Desarae Dee felt the need to base the rest of the project around this brilliantly uplifting track. Wanting to capture various Christmas moments from snow falling, the hustle and bustle of shopping, and overall Christmas cheer, Desarae Dee demonstrates these themes superbly. Infusing this canvas with the utmost passion this season can deliver, we love the dynamic and jazzy sonics that Desarae Dee seeps through our speakers. Through ambient synth arrangement, powerful percussion breakdowns, whaling electric guitar, and Desarae Dee's flawless piano stylings, she delivers a broad sonic atmosphere to encapsulate the entire EP.
Moving on to a more modern track with "The Light," a punchy and melodic bassline synth opens the piece while shimmering chimes and intricate drum patterns sweep us off our feet. Once a serene electric guitar makes its appearance, we can feel this incredible sense of modernity as Desarae Dee falls more into soulful R&B through each meticulous arrangement. While Desarae Dee sonically serenades us with her bright piano playing, she mentioned that growing up in a Christian household led her to the enjoyment of Jesus' biblical story. Basing this track around the three wise men following the north star, we can thoroughly hear this through Desarae Dee's bright sonic atmosphere.
Capturing the glimmer and shine of the holiday season with the EP's third canvas, "Sparkle," Desarae Dee wanted to remind listeners of the joy and happiness that the season is all about. We can hear a blend of warm R&B and Jazz as Desarae Dee opens the song with ethereal synths that sparkle overtops of the bright piano melodies, soft organ, and bouncy drum beat. Also pushing another punchy bassline, we love the broad sounds that Desarae Dee touches on, as she creates incredibly vivid sonic atmospheres that naturally lift our spirits. Ending the piece on a transcendent note through her vast synth arrangement, we love the precise and well-defined detail she shines over us.
With the first movement of her two-part holiday EP 'Moments of Christmas (1st Mvmt),' Desarae Dee is fueling our energy for the season ahead while also transporting us into sonic grace. We're highly anticipating more thorough and warm pieces from the project's second movement.
Hello Desarae, we're excited to have you back and chat about your recent sonic endeavor, being your EP 'Moments of Christmas (1st Mvmt).' What inspired you to create an EP surrounding the holidays?
I look forward to Christmas time every year as it is one of my favorite holidays and it happens to fall exactly 3 months after my birthday. I love the holidays and listening to the sounds of Christmas while putting up and decorating my Christmas tree. I love the moments that I've experienced during Christmas, even throughout my childhood. These experiences inspired me to write and produce my own original Christmas music.
How did you go about transmuting your memories and experiences of Christmas into broad instrumentals for your EP 'Moments of Christmas (1st Mvmt)?'
Based on the Moment of Christmas that I wanted to depict, I would create my instrumentals with that moment in mind. For example, on the track, "Moments of Christmas (Theme)," I thought "What events and experiences have I experienced as a child/adult that represent the holiday spirit to me?" Once I thought of those ideas, I created various musical motifs throughout this canvas to represent that.
Is there a particular track within the first or second part of your EP 'Moments of Christmas' that's your personal favorite? Why?
Absolutely. My favorite track right now is "The Light" as that one holds the most meaning to me. This song I composed as a representation of the part of the story of Jesus' birth in Bethlehem when the 3 Wise Men went on their journey to see him lying in a manger. Of course, growing up in a Christian household, I would read this story in the bible and watch movies about it and I found it to be so intriguing, so I decided to create my own musical canvas for it and it happened to end up being my favorite track (so far!).
Could you give us a glimpse into your creative process when creating the canvases within your EP 'Moments of Christmas (1st Mvmt)?' How long does it take you to complete such broad sonic pieces individually?
Normally when I plan to release Christmas music, I start writing really early in the year (around March or April), so my creative process tends to be super broad, as I have so many ideas which is one of the reasons why I chose to split the project into 2 parts. I had to narrow my ideas down to the ones I believed that my listeners would resonate with and enjoy the most. As my normal process of creating music is pulling from experiences and my mood/mindset at the time of creation, I did just that with this project, as I had to produce the music around the "moments of Christmas" that were the most important to me. I knew that because I was creating original Christmas music that I had to bring in my unconventional and spontaneous ways, while still giving "Christmas" and not compromising my sound.
What should we expect from the second part of your EP, "Moments of Christmas"? Is there a conceptual story that you wanted to play out through the entire project?
There really is no storyline to this project, but more of a reflection of past and present moments of Christmas that I have experienced throughout my life. The 2nd movement of Moments of Christmas will continue with more of these Christmas moments, a few visuals and a few surprises will be in store.