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Anomalie finds boundless expression with Seaboard RISE 2

Embark on a musical odyssey with Anomalie, the Montreal-based keyboardist and producer known for his unique electronic-jazz sound. Discover his evolution as an artist and the pivotal role played by ROLI's Seaboard RISE 2 in his creative process.

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In the ever-evolving landscape of music production, artists often embark on journeys that are as diverse and unique as the melodies they create. Anomalie, a virtuoso keyboardist and producer hailing from Montreal, Canada, has crafted a captivating blend of electronic-jazz music that resonates with listeners worldwide.

ROLI caught up with Anomalie to delve into his sonic world and explore his artistic evolution, musical influences, and the transformative role that ROLI's Seaboard RISE 2 has played in his creative process.

A musical odyssey begins

Anomalie's musical style is coloured by a myriad of influences and a diverse range of experiences. He remarks on the beginnings of Anomalie as a project that allowed him to tell his musical story. "This project is kind of a melting pot of influences that have marked my life as a musician,” he says. “From classical repertoire early on, to electronic production and jazz harmony throughout my high school years, as well as funk and hip hop elements through the different projects that I’ve been a part of. I’ve been making music my entire life!"

Anomalie reflects on his earliest creations and recalls a humble piano track created when he was little as a key moment. “I’ve since then learned and keep on learning from every single musical experience, whether it’s in jam, production, or a listening context."

Anomalie's creative capabilities took a significant leap forward when he got his hands on a MacBook. He recalls, "the first MacBook that I bought came with GarageBand and introduced me to music production as a whole - I was immediately hooked." It was the beginning of a lifelong fascination with crafting sounds and exploring the endless possibilities of music creation.

Anomalie: Virtuosity, Harmony, and Expression with Seaboard RISE 2

Seaboard: A catalyst for creativity

Anomalie’s introduction to ROLI's instruments was a transformative experience, with Seaboard RISE 2 as the catalyst. As a pianist, the Seaboard's unique key texture initially posed a challenge. Anomalie comments, "It was slightly disorienting as a pianist given the mushy texture of the keys, but I immediately understood the scope of what was possible in terms of expression and was inspired to explore the instrument in depth." The instrument's boundless expressive potential sparked his curiosity and drove him to explore its depths.

RISE 2 seamlessly integrated into Anomalie's production and performance setup, primarily for crafting wind and string-like timbres, setting it apart from his other gear. Anomalie elaborates, "It unlocks expression and adds life to those wind and stringed virtual instruments in a way that could only be matched with hours of automation."

RISE 2's unique ability to slide between notes adds a dynamic and fluid dimension to Anomalie’s compositions. The revolutionary Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression(MPE) has redefined his production process, and with a simple hand gesture, he’s able to shape his music with precision and spontaneity. “It makes what would have previously taken hours of automation instantaneous,” he says.

Exploring a world of sound in Equator2

The dynamic duo of Seaboard RISE 2 and Equator2 further bolstered Anomalie's creative workflow, especially when crafting sounds with intricate motion, timbral changes, and dynamic shifts. With these parameters accessible at his fingertips all at once, Anomalie’s means of composing and producing music changed completely.

Equator2’s rich and dynamic soundscapes added a new dimension to his sonic palette. He found a particular affinity for its wind instrument presets, but also its intuitive ability to spark inspiration.

In this sonic exploration inspired by the sound of the cello and RISE 2’s intuitive ability to replicate the sound of the stringed instrument, Anomalie showcases just what makes the RISE 2 so special.

In the video, you can see how Anomalie is able to evoke the cello's resonance and dynamic qualities through RISE 2. His expert piano playing transforms into a cello performance with fluidity and emotion. He explains, "Whether it’s wind or stringed instruments, so far it’s what has resonated the most with me on the Seaboard because it felt like I couldn’t achieve that through other means."

Production wisdom

Having gathered many years of experience through live performances and studio production, Anomalie imparts some valuable production tips that shaped how he approached music making. Firstly, consistent creation is key. "Create and produce as often and regularly as possible, as you would when practicing an instrument. It makes you more efficient, and even the 'bad' ideas end up making you progress on the 'good' ones or just experimenting with more possible creative avenues."

Anomalie also looks at embracing limitations as an alternative form of creativity. "Creating with a limited amount/selection of tools – whether that’s effects, sounds – forces you to make something that you potentially would not have made if it weren’t for that limitation, while also making you master those tools more quickly for example, knowing how and when to use them in a context without limitations."

As Anomalie continues to push the boundaries of his music, he reminds us that the journey is as important as the destination, and the tools we use can transform our creative process, breathing life into our sonic expressions.

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