Seniors compose full-length album

Marco Giovannelli, Ben Klepfer exhibit musical talent


Emily Ziessman

Senior Ben Klepfer listens to senior Marco Giovannelli as he plays the piano, Sept. 15. Klepfer and Giovannelli recently created an album together called “Outlines.”

Maggie Klaers

How can people listen to the album?

Klepfer: You can listen to it on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Google Play and Amazon.

Giovannelli: You can stream it, but you can buy it too on some of the sites that aren’t necessarily streaming. If you don’t have Spotify or Apple Music, it’s available for purchase, and that’s how we really make money.

What do you want listeners to notice in the album?

Klepfer: It’s a lot harder to make pop music than people realize. It’s not just grabbing a loop from GarageBand and throwing autotune on someone. It’s a lot harder than that.

Giovannelli: It seems like relatively simple music, but there’s a lot going on under the surface, a lot of harmonies that you wouldn’t notice because it’s not in the spotlight.

How did the idea for the album start?

Klepfer: We weren’t necessarily making stuff to put out there to try to make money, we were just making stuff. The reason it’s on Spotify and iTunes isn’t because we want to make money, because we’re really not — it takes 300 plays to make a dollar.

Giovannelli: I sent Ben an instrumental and asked him if he could put lyrics to it. He sent it back two months later and I was like, ‘this is really good, we should do more of this,’ and then we built it out. We had a good selection of songs we could put on the album and the focused vision came into place and we grinded. I would go to his house for five hours at a time, multiple days a week. That was when we really clicked and thought we could actually do this.

What was your favorite part of this experience?

Klepfer: My favorite part of the whole process was when we were both in the room and we had that musical moment where we were like ‘this is it,’ and we both would know it at the same time. That’s really special and hard to come by.

Giovannelli: The coolest thing about this project was that we were both so amazed at what the other person could do. Outside of jazz band, I’ve never really seen this side of Ben, and I don’t think he’s seen that side of me either. Instead of playing what was on the page, we would both create our own things, which was one of the more amazing things.

What was it like to work together on the songs?

Giovannelli: One of the things I think was interesting about this project is that, of the 10 songs, there were three or four Ben did on his own, four I did on my own and three we did together. Those four that he did on his own he sent to me, and then I was like,‘hey, what if we do this differently or if we add this,’ and then I would send ones that I did to him and he would write lyrics and send it back to me the next day. More and more ideas started to come together. The blend of stuff that we did on our own with the stuff we did together really made the album.

Do you see music as a future career path?

Klepfer: I’m looking to go into music production and audio engineering. Hopefully I can get a job producing music professionally, writing it, or recording it — however I can get paid to do that.

I think I want to go into jazz piano — as boring as that sounds — to get out of jazz piano, and by that I mean I want to learn all the stuff that I can and then use my knowledge to be able to go do whatever else I can. Even if I’m not writing music professionally, I want to have that foundation and base.

How long have you been interested in music?

For as long as I can remember, really. I’ve been in piano since I was 5-years old. I started playing trumpet as well, in fifth grade or so, and it showed me the world of jazz. In terms of production, I got the software as a gift for my 17th birthday and I’ve been really into that.

I started piano when I was 4. I took the classical route, but I never really drifted off to anything else until around sophomore year. I used classical music as a way to make me good at other genres. I would play classical with my teacher or for auditions then I would play pop music on my own. I’m trying to do as much jazz as I can because that’s what I want to study. I think jazz and classical have really helped me in the creative process by helping me to understand how different chords work together.