2 musicians coming to Albert Lea use looping technology

Published 9:13 pm Friday, October 13, 2023

1 a professional pianist, other a beatboxer, singer

By Ayanna Eckblad,  For the Tribune

The Marion Ross Performing Arts Center will host concerts this week for two different artists who share similar technology: Philip Daniel and Aaron “Heatbox” Heaton.

Daniel is a professional pianist and composer from Lincoln, Nebraska. His work has been featured in documentaries, dance films and short films.

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“I know that modern classical is not the most popular genre of music,” Daniel said. “But classical music can be exciting and exhilarating.”

He will perform at 7:30 p.m. Monday.

Daniel reached a new audience of listeners when his work appeared in a video related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said people wrote and told him that his music helped them cope with the death of their loved ones, something Daniel found incredibly humbling.

“Music can be healing in this world of mental health challenges,” Daniel said. “Emotional music can help people and give them hope and healing.”

Daniel’s favorite part of performing is connecting with his audience in person.

“We’re more distant nowadays than ever with social media,” he said. “Live music is the final frontier for connection.”

Other than seeing him in concert, Daniel said people can support him through following him on social media and listening to his work on music streaming services. His music is also available for creators to purchase the license to use in their work. More information can be found on his website at philipdanielpiano.com.

Heaton’s concert is slated for 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center. Heatbox, a Minneapolis-native, is a beatboxer, singer, musician and voice actor who has created music and “mouth sounds” professionally for over 20 years. Heatbox will be promoting the release of his new album, “Hilarious & Epically Legendary.”

In addition to his show in Albert Lea, Heatbox will also perform at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, on Nov. 18. The show will be a dual album release event for “Hilarious & Epically Legendary” with fellow musician, Mark Joseph, and his own album, “Palisade Peach.”

Heatbox describes his music as a mix of hip-hop, R&B and American soul. He hopes that his music “makes [the audience] want to laugh and dance … and buy merchandise!” He also said that fans can support him by streaming his music, buying his new album and following him on social media, all of which can be found on his website, heatboxllc.com.

Although Daniel and Heatbox are two very different artists with different types of work, one aspect of their music that they share is that they both use looping technology to create a variety of diverse sounds and enhanced musical experiences.

Heatbox began using a loop machine back in 2004 when the technology was fairly new.

“The loop machine is a cruel master, if you make a mistake it repeats over and over,” he said.

Daniel uses looping technology to add extra layers to his solo piano songs.

“I’ve begun using four to five layers of piano, adding drums and strings. It’s a little hard because I only have two hands,” Daniel said. “It’s been really cool to hear organically made, layered sounds in live music.”

Tickets for the Albert Lea concerts are $20 for adults and $12 for students.Tickets can be purchased over the phone by calling 877-730-3144 (service fees apply), online at actonbroadway.com, or at the box office.