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Customizing your signature Seaboard sound with Celia

From musical mashups to jazz influences, Celia Tewey keeps experimentation at the heart of her creative process.

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Celia Tewey is a pianist, multi-instrumentalist, and content creator, whose musical roots go back to the serene landscapes of Boulder, Colorado, where her journey began. After many years of musical exploration, starting with curious mashups and an affinity for jazz compositions, Celia is now based in New York City and working as an Assistant Producer at NBC Dateline, and continues to seek sonic innovation wherever she can find it.

Watch below as Celia shows us how she customizes a signature sound with Seaboard RISE 2, and read on to learn more about Celia's musical journey.

Customizing your signature Seaboard sound with Celia

Musical beginnings and mashups

Celia's musical journey began at the tender age of five when her fingers first touched the keys of a piano. "I learned traditional music theory and performance," she recalls, describing her early immersion in classical training. However, it was the allure of improvisation that sparked her passion, leading her to explore jazz piano and eventually join the high school jazz band. "There, I found a love for playing with and for others," she adds, reflecting on the pivotal moments that shaped her musical identity and citing artists such as Elton John, Jacob Collier, Chick Corea, Oscar Peterson, Jon Batiste and Cory Henry as major influences.

Her creative expression really got off the ground when she made her first track — a heartfelt mashup of Elton John classics, crafted as a birthday gift for her father. "Since then, I’ve learned how to make my creations through a DAW using MIDI," she explains, highlighting the evolution of her music-making process. With each composition, Celia embraces experimentation, pushing the boundaries of her sonic landscape.

When she received her first piano, a Yamaha P145 88-key, this was a milestone moment in her artistic journey, laying the foundation for countless hours of practice and exploration. "One of the first things I bought was Logic Pro," she shares, reflecting on her dorm room studio setup during her college years. Through meticulous recording and manipulation, she honed her craft, unraveling the intricacies of her musical style.

A new world of experimentation with ROLI

The introduction to ROLI's innovative products marked a transformative chapter in Celia's musical journey. "I remember when I was about 14 years old, I saw a video featuring ROLI’s Seaboard on YouTube. I was instantly mesmerized," she recalls, "I thought to myself, 'Someday I’m going to have that.' The summer after I got my first job out of college, I purchased my Seaboard RISE with one of my first paychecks. Within the first few minutes of experimenting with sounds I had never been able to make before, I was instantly hooked."

In acquiring Seaboard RISE, it heralded a new era of creativity for Celia. "Right away, I saw how many doors this instrument could open for me. Having the majority of my musical background in traditional classical piano, this instrument offered so much more!"

The love of improvisation and experimentation she had developed through her years immersed in the world of jazz music manifested in an instrument. "Its versatility and ability to create moving melodies that blended from one note to the next was so much fun to experiment with," she enthuses, highlighting the instrument's unique capabilities.

With the recent upgrade to the RISE 2, Celia finds its precision frets enhance her accuracy and control while she plays. The integration of MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) technology has revolutionized her production process, infusing her compositions with authenticity and depth. "Being able to create those expressions manually with the Seaboard gives a much more organic feel," she explains, emphasizing the importance of genuine musical expression.

Her exploration of Equator2, ROLI's cutting-edge software synthesizer, is a testament to her boundless curiosity and creative spirit. "I love exploring all the possibilities Equator2 has to offer," she declares, citing favorites such as the ‘Dulcimer of Anlandia’ and ‘Nylon Guitar In A Golden Room’. As a fan of the ‘Chillwave Drifting’ soundpack, part of ROLI's Motion Dance Collection, she has noted that she’s grown fond of the ‘Cloud Drifting’ sound as she delves into a realm of endless ethereal melodies and sonic innovation.

Keep chasing experimentation

For aspiring musicians and fellow members of the ROLI community, Celia offers invaluable production insights. "Test everything," she advises, urging experimentation and discovery. “Spend quality time trying out a bunch of different sounds and customizations before you settle on your final choice. You never know what you might like until you experiment!”

Celia further emphasizes the importance of learning the technical functions of playing with Seaboard that gives more nuance to your playing and expression. “Learn about the left-hand adjustment faders! Adjusting your Glide, Slide, and Press by hand while you play can offer a world of new possibilities, and manual operation makes it feel much more genuine.”

And finally, Celia recommends that artists use what we have learned from the instruments that started our respective musical journeys to break new creative ground with the Seaboard. “Think about the Seaboard as a ‘blender of instruments’ ", Celia explains. “Use basics of what you may know from regular instrumentation on guitar, piano,bass, or drums, and apply it to the Seaboard in ways that challenge you and break the mold.”

As Celia's melodic journey continues to unfold, her passion for music remains unwavering. With each composition and collaboration, she weaves a tapestry of sound that transcends boundaries and inspires all who listen. In her music, we find not only a reflection of her journey but also an invitation to embark on our own voyage of self-discovery and artistic expression.

Find Celia on TikTok, Instagram, Spotify and Apple Music

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