Jordan Rudess wears many hats - Dream Theater keyboard player, solo artist, music app developer via Wizdom Music - but one of his lesser known jobs was as one of the keyboard players on David Bowie’s 2002 album Heathen.
In a forthcoming interview with Blunt Magazine to be published in September, Rudess says he contributed to a number of sessions on a variety of vintage and otherwise interesting keyboards. “One day I walked in and there were two pianos, a baby grand and a really funky upright,” Rudess says. “I thought “Okay, I’ll definitely be playing the baby grand.” But no, David’s piano was this funky upright and he was having it especially tuned for this album. Then producer Tony Visconti said “Y’know what? Don’t play the upright, play the baby grand but we’ll mic the upright which is right next to it, we’ll tape the sustain pedal down on the floor and we’ll mic the resonance of the upright piano.”
Rudess looks back fondly on his time working with Bowie. “I had a great time with him,” he says. “He was very verbally-descriptive and he was great at putting together verbal scenarios to put me in the mood to play whatever track he wanted.”
Dream Theater’s world tour resumes in September in Santiago, Chile, with more South American shows before concerts in Japan and Australia.