It was a Saturday Evening when I showed up at this door. I was greeted by the howls of his two white schnauzers and the Jaime himself. The inside of the house was fondly decorated with art work, Christian paraphernalia, and--the thing that most caught my eye--a Steinway baby grand piano placed along the back wall of un-curtained glass windows. We sat together on a pea green sectional, and he began to tell me his story.
He comes from a musical family. As a child, after hearing his older brother play the piano, Jaime would follow in behind him, and pick out the melodies & rhythms he heard being played.
This struck his parents’ attention to his prodigious talent, and they soon sent him to lessons. In his teenage years he was under the instruction a man who usually would only take on younger students, but saw the talent in him: Joel Rosen.
Jaime is what one would consider a classicist: one with a firm foundation in theory and composition. Between his parents & Rosen, he learned early on what is was to have a strong work ethic, and a commitment to the pursuit of knowledge & professionalism. Using the piano as his voice--not just his instrument--Jaime uses his insight & discipline to promote the profound beauty that music imparts to our emotion & state of being.
With a distinguished taste for music of the highest quality, he has played pieces from many of the greats: Delibes, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Adam, Minkus, Drigo, Glazunov, Gliere, Khachaturian, and Copland to say the least. Although Jaime believes that music depends on the composer’s intent & audience, when asked about the current state of modern music & major record labels he says that it’s quick to understand with graphic clarity, and no development. He compares it to lthe music of Beethoven saying:
“Beethoven composed with musical themes, forms, and ideas that are developed in a systematic way over a long period of time. This make & compels the listener to really take the time to listen, and draw their own conclusions as to what is in the music. Pop music is easy to get because of the homophonic texture & the harmonic language that is diatonic. Music that is rich in the usage of modulations, chromatics, thematic development, and rhythmical development requires attentive listening to the construction & the aforementioned due to the complexity & length of the piece.”
Being strongly involved in the performance & music industry. From New York to California, Jaime has played all over the US. He says that most playing situations are a one shot deal, and once they are done you have to hustle to get the next gig. That can be stressful when income is coming in at sporadic intervals while having expenses that have to be paid, however he was pretty fortunate. It was all very exciting for him during his youth, as he played in many different setting. Chamber music, cabaret, off-Broadway musicals, and accompanying for dance studio: All of which expanded the knowledge of his art form, and would lead him into improvisation & composition.
Through his career he has been featured in many compilation recording either doing a single solo piece or accompaniment. Jaime’s first solo recording of original work was released in 2008; It’s called The Sweet Spot--referencing the optimum acoustic focal point in a space. Derived in part from the death of his parents & the emotions involved, the record is a work of transcendence. It is a collection of vignettes titled with standard classical ideologies. Within the track of this album is where Jaime’s musical philosophy is fully stated.
“Whenever I perform--or hear a performer--there is always this profound connection that I feel to the audience--or the performer, where the music is the conversation, rather than the words. It is that intangible essence of the soul that is permeated by the music; it forms an immediate impact & connection with the listener & performer. Music is filled with an enigmatic radiance & magnetism that defies comprehension; it is the voice & instrument of nature, and has been an archetype for all of humanity since the beginning of time. Without any needed translations, explanations, or elaboration, it simply is the language of the soul.”
I had the awesome experience of spending a good part of my summer with this man at his house as he taught me things about my own musicianship, the beauty of his personal world view, and the effect that Christ has had on his life. I am honored to feature this expose’ on his life, and invite you all to enjoy the music of Jaime Malagon. For more information, or how you can get a copy of The Sweet Spot send an email This Intangible Existence at firstname.lastname@example.org.