This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
EU
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the European Union version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Digital Subscriptions >  Blog > Eric Wortham II - "Most music is in your heart"

Eric Wortham II -
Pianist

Eric Wortham II - "Most music is in your heart"

Posted Tuesday, October 4, 2016   |   7627 views   |   Music   |   Comments (0) The Philadelphia-born pianist, songwriter and producer tours with the likes of Adele and loves to improvise. Eric Wortham II talks to his near-namesake, Erica Worth, before a Seattle gig

It’s the end of the working day here in London, but my interviewee has just woken up for the start of his. Eric Wortham II is in Seattle, and he’s got time to speak to me before his gig with Adele tonight. As I dial his number, I wonder where our conversation will lead – after all, I’m more accustomed to speaking to concert pianists such as Lang Lang and Stephen Hough than I am to a jazz/R&B/blues pianist like Wortham, who teams up with the likes of Jill Scott, Vivien Green and, of course, Adele.

So I start with the obvious question: How did the son of a church pastor who never took formal piano lessons as a child become the recognised pianist, composer, songwriter and producer he is today? ‘I was singing in the church choir at a youth convention when I was about six,’ Wortham tells me, ‘and I was watching the organist seemingly press buttons – and I was really impressed with the configurations, the ways his hands moved, and the tones he created. I was also really impressed by how he was able to understand what to play, to kind of incite the choir’s mood. If he wanted them to cry, he would do certain chords and configurations and melody. And if you wanted excitement from them, he could do that too – just with his fingers. It was amazing that someone could control that, just with their fingers. I started playing as a result of that.’

And thus started his fascination with the piano. ‘My sisters started piano before me,’ he says. ‘I’d sit and watch at their piano lessons. We had a family keyboard, and I used to doodle, and it was all by ear. Being a church boy, I would be at someone’s church Monday, Wednesday and Sunday, listening to soulful, spiritual music. This was music intended to evoke emotion. Once I had fallen in love with the piano, instead of sitting next to my mom, sisters and dad in church, I’d sit by the organ and try to remember different configurations, and then take them home to practise on our keyboard.’

For more great articles like this get the Pianist 92 October-November 2016 issue of Pianist below or subscribe and save.

Single Issue - The Ultimate Guide To Composing Your Own Piano Piece Replica Edition included
€4.49
Or 449 points
Please be aware that this issue and other special issues are not included in any of the subscription options unless stated.
6 Month Digital Subscription
Only € 7.00 per issue
SAVE
12%
€20.99
Or 2099 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only € 6.66 per issue
SAVE
17%
€39.99
Or 3999 points

View Issues

About Pianist

Pianist is the magazine for people who love to play the piano. You don’t just read it – you play it too, with 40 pages of specially selected sheet music for players of all levels and all tastes. Listen to the pieces by clicking on a sound icon and turn the Scores pages with a light swipe of your hand. As well as our many articles, you can watch some 60 video lessons by our team of experts. There's so much you can do to make Pianist your interactive piano teacher!

More great content like this...

For more great articles like this subscribe to Pianist today.

Pianist
Annual Digital Subscription for €39.99 saving 17%

Most read articles this month


The 5 Best Aviation Magazines

The 5 Best Aviation Magazines

Get ready to take your knowledge of aviation to new heights with our carefully curated list of aviation digital magazines. More...
The 5 Best Vegan and Vegetarian Magazines

The 5 Best Vegan and Vegetarian Magazines

Inspire your meat-free lifestyle with our 5 best vegan and vegetarian digital magazines! More...
The 5 Best Scale Modelling Magazines

The 5 Best Scale Modelling Magazines

Start creating your very own miniature world today with one of our 5 best scale modelling magazines! More...
The 5 Best Baking Magazines

The 5 Best Baking Magazines

Passionate baker or dessert lover, here at Pocketmags there’s a digital magazine to make all your sweet dreams come true! More...
SURPRISE MAINLAND PACKAGE

SURPRISE MAINLAND PACKAGE

You don’t have to stay on a Greek island to enjoy Greek diving with all the trimmings, and ‘best-kept secret’ Epidavros offers its own argument for a mainland base. STEVE WEINMAN reports More...
The 5 Best Music Magazines

The 5 Best Music Magazines

Whether you’re an active listener, player or can get up and boogie to your favourite jam, here at Pocketmags, we have the 5 best music magazines to keep the beat alive in you all year round. More...
The 5 Best Wedding Magazines

The 5 Best Wedding Magazines

Are you dreaming of a white wedding? With luscious flowers, the sweetest melodies and a cake oh, so fluffy? Why not turn that dream into a reality with the most reliable and inspirational sources around? More...
The 5 Best Classic Cars Magazines

The 5 Best Classic Cars Magazines

Classic cars are like a fine wine - they only get better with time. Whether it’s their extraordinary style, fascinating history or simply their authentic nature - they have certainly found their place in the world, as well as in the hearts of many true vintage car enthusiasts. More...
Vouchers Gift Cards A magazine subscription is the perfect gift but you'll need something to show on the big day. View All
Ways to Pay Pocketmags Payment Types
At Pocketmags you get Secure Billing Great Offers HTML Reader Gifting options Loyalty Points