Short Summary: David Nevue is a self-taught pianist who resides
in Eugene, OR. In 1992, David released his first album of piano works called
The Tower, written as a soundtrack for one of his short stories. In
the years since, he has released thirteen other albums including his most recent,
Open Sky. David's 2005
release, Overcome, won the title "Best Instrumental Piano
Album of 2005" at the Lifestyle Music Awards. Today, David promotes his
music almost exclusively via the Internet. He is the program director for
Whisperings: Solo Piano Radio, a hugely popular
Internet radio broadcast. He is also the author of the book How to
Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet. David tours five or
six times a year and has performed concerts with David Lanz, Wayne Gratz, Peter
Kater, Suzanne Ciani, Robin Spielberg and dozens of other pianists. Davidís
music can be heard on over 220 radio programs worldwide, as well as Sirius XM Satellite Radio, Music Choice and Pandora Radio.
The Details: With a
piano style somewhere between Chopin and George Winston, David Nevue brings melody and heart back to instrumental
music. Perhaps Heartsong Review said it best when they described his music as "hauntingly romantic."
David's music introduces us to a wilderness of musical ideas which the listener becomes anxious to explore.
Interestingly enough, if you ask David about his musical background he might surprise you. He comes not from a
background of polished piano music, but grew up a typical 1980's teenager strongly under the influences of such
progressive rock artists as Rush, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Supertramp, Kate Bush and Kansas. David pursued rock music as a "career of interest" throughout his college years. He wrote many songs (with lyrics, which he sang lead vocals for), and played piano/keyboards in garage bands comprised mostly of musical friends he made in college. (In those years, David performed on a Roland Juno 106 keyboard and a very cool Helpenstill Roadmaster 64 piano.)
It wasn't until David's college roommate introduced him to the piano music of George Winston that he began to take an interest in playing "just piano." Fascinated by Winstonís impressionistic style,
David began to explore writing in a similar style. While he did continue to ďrockĒ
with his musical friends, when he was alone, heíd go off by himself, find a
piano, and experiment.
During college, David wasnít really known for his
musicianship. Outside his small circle of musical friends, very few people even knew he
played piano. David did spend time in the spotlight, but not as a musicianÖ as
an actor. David was very involved in theater during his college years. He
played Demetrius in A Midsummer Nightís
Dream as well as lead roles in Oh
itís Just War, Coyote Goes Upriver
and a stage adaptation of C.S. Lewisí The
Screwtape Letters. The latter was Davidís favorite. He not only played
the lead human role, ďMichael Average,Ē he also composed the synthesizer-based score for the
stage play (the score included the songs Solitude
and The Assimilation which were later
recorded and released as solo piano arrangements on Davidís albums The Tower and While the Trees Sleep.) David was also a member of the six-person
improvisational theater group Intermission
(and for a short time, Chrysalis
Theater Group). If you were acquainted with David in college, you probably knew him as an
actor, not as a musician.
Davidís first public performance as a solo pianist
came in 1987, his senior year. David performed one of his original piano
compositions, The Princess, for a college-wide talent show. When he
finished playing the song, David requested three music notes from the audience
and proceeded to improvise a theme on the spot. David took first place at this
competition, winning $50 (a very big deal at the time!)
1987 was also the year David met Julie, the love of his life. She was an accomplished violinist and, like him, played the piano. She was, however, classically trained (unlike David), and spent ten years of her young life
playing violin with the Portland Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. Naturally, they
had music in common. They married in 1989, and David decided the time had come
to stop playing ďrock star.Ē He left his band to focus on his new marriage, earning a paycheck, and continuing his work at the piano.
Davidís early years were creatively strained. Once he left college, he no longer had easy access to a piano, making it a challenge to practice and even more difficult to compose new songs. Fortunately, he and his wife began attending a church near their apartment, and the church was gracious enough to allow him to stop in and practice on their piano after his work day (at this time he worked in desktop publishing at a print shop
in Portland OR.)
By 1991, David had a dozen original solo
piano songs ready to record, but had no idea where to record his music. He consulted with Pacific NW artist Jeff Johnson, whom David considered a great inspiration and mentor, and based on his recommendation ended up
at the home studio of Billy Oskay (of Nightnoise fame). There, he recorded his
first album, The Tower, which was released in 1992. The album was based on a short story that David
had written in college. He took that story and put it to music, making the
album a soundtrack of sorts. David sold the album to friends, family and co-workers initially, and played concerts at his church and local coffee shops. Any
money David made from the sale of his album, he put aside to invest in possible future
David continued to write for piano in his spare time (he was working 50-60 hour work weeks at his day job at this point). Eventually he saved up enough money (and composed enough songs) to record his next album, While
the Trees Sleep. Released in 1995, While the Trees Sleep was quite a departure from the more dramatic sound of The
Tower. While The Tower was an
exploratory, experimental album, on While
the Trees Sleep it was evident that David had begun to settle into the unique,
melodic piano sound he's known for.
1995 was a transformational year for David. He took a job working for Symantec Corporation in Eugene, OR providing BBS support for software products. He found himself right on the front lines of the technology industry and still remembers
testing out Mosaic, the first web browser. At that time, the Internet was just a curiosity... not a lot of folks took it seriously. Even so, David was one of the first artist's to put up a web site to market his
music. He used it to promote his While
the Trees Sleep album and to experiment with marketing ideas heíd come up
with for selling his music on the "world wide web." Within two years, David was selling several CDs a week from his web site, and he began building up a mailing list of new fans from all over the world. As before, he saved up his earnings from CD sales and performances and in 1997, headed back into the studio to record his third album, The Last Waking Moment, an album
inspired by a dream his wife had about a face to face meeting with Jesus. David put the story of the dream to music.
By this time (1997), David realized he had found a real niche selling his music online. He was shipping CDs out every single week.
When he talked to other musicians he knew, they either werenít promoting their music online at all or else they had a web
site, but werenít selling much of anything. This gave David the idea to write a
book documenting his music marketing ideas. In November 1997, David released the first
edition of How to Promote Your
Music Successfully on the Internet, which he still updates periodically. The
book was a big hit with independent musicians. Between book sales and sales
of his first three albums, he was
able to very quickly start thinking about recording another album.
In July 1999, David released his fourth album, The Vigil. Influenced heavily by the Psalms, The Vigil follows the events of a single, sleepless
night spent in meditation and prayer. The album thematically begins at midnight, and ends at sunrise the next morning. David considers this album to be one of his personal favorites.
On March 9, 2000, Davidís first
child, Nathan, was born. This was life-changing to say the least, but lots of
changes were coming. By late 2000, David was making as much income running his
music business online as he was working his full time job at Symantec. With his Internet
business booming, David saved up a yearís salary and, with that in the bank, quit
his day job at Symantec in November 2001 to focus solely on his Internet music
After four albums, the time had come to release a "best of" collection highlighting some of his most popular works. So, in 2001, David released Whisperings: The Best of David
a collection of fan favorites from his first four albums. The collection includes a brief history of David's works in the liner notes. The Whisperings album has become one of his best selling CDs.
Shortly thereafter, David released another album of original works, Postcards from Germany. The music on
Postcards was inspired by Davidís travels to Germany
and Austria with his wife in 1998. Each song represented a "postcard" of
an event, place or adventure, making the album a musical scrapbook of sorts. Postcards marked the start of a new era
for Davidís music; it was the first album for which he was able to financially invest
in a global radio campaign. Over 200 stations worldwide picked up Davidís
music, as did music subscription services such as Music Choice, Muzak and DMX. Postcards
from Germany went all the way to #2 on the Zone Music Reporter radio charts,
a reporting system that measures radio play for the Classical/Acoustic/Ambient/New
Age music programs that Davidís music is frequently included in.
One of the biggest
challenges facing David as a solo pianist was getting significant, consistent
airplay on radio. After all, there werenít any "solo piano" radio stations in
existence and the only commercial radio programs that accepted his music were generally
of the "New Age" music variety. So, David decided to create his own radio
broadcast. In August of 2003, David launched Whisperings: Solo Piano Radio, an Internet radio station featuring
solo piano music exclusively. The broadcast was initially launched using Live365ís radio
hosting service, and its popularity exploded. Within eighteen months, Whisperings was the #1 radio broadcast
on the entire Live365 network, a position it held for seven years (until David moved his primary audio player to a new service.)
Late 2003 saw the release of O Come Emmanuel,
Davidís first (and so far only) Christmas album. A fan favorite, O Come Emmanuel features David's very
unique interpretations of both popular and traditional Christmas songs. O Come Emmanuel rose to #2 on the ZMR charts and stayed there for the duration of the 2003 holiday season.
In June, 2003, Davidís second
child, Noelle, was born. Having two small children in the house, David couldn't help but be inspired by the adventures that fatherhood brought. So in May of 2004, David released his eighth album, Sweet Dreams &
Starlight, an album containing
sweet songs, melodies and lullabies he wrote for his children. Sweet Dreams topped the radio charts at #5.
Davidís life was about to change
again, but this time, it wasnít an addition to his family, but a loss. In October, 2003, David
lost his father, a missionary, evangelist and street preacher, to cancer. Many of the songs David composed during this time reflected his coming to grips with this loss. In 2005, David released Overcome, a tribute to his fatherís unwavering
faith and a musical testimony to relying on Godís sovereignty during difficult
times. Overcome went to #2 on the charts, and was nominated for Ė and won Ė "Best Instrumental Piano Album of 2005" at the Lifestyle Music Awards.
2005 also marked the beginning of
Davidís touring career. One big element of Davidís vision for Whisperings: Solo Piano Radio was to
create an opportunity for solo piano artists to perform concerts together. 2005
saw the first Whisperings concert in Bellevue, WA which featured not only David, but also pianists Joe Bongiorno, Joe Yamada, Mike Strickland and Alexx Carnathan. A
big success, this show led to others, including a concert in St. Louis, MO. David
had never played a concert so far from his home before and didnít want to lose
money on the trip. So he sent out an email to his fans in the states of Missouri,
Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin asking if anyone wanted a "David Nevue"
concert in their home or church. To his surprise, David got many responses and
was able to put together a short tour that included eight performance dates. That was the first "David Nevue
Concert Tour." David now tours on a regular basis, going out to different parts
of the country three or four times a year. He still books all of his own concerts simply by reaching out and connecting with fans across the country.
One of the tracks included on Davidís Overcome album was a heartfelt piano
arrangement of the hymn It is Well With
My Soul, which was one of his fatherís favorite hymns. David's time working on that inspired
him to create arrangements of other favorite hymns as well. This led to David's 2007 release, Adoration: Solo Piano Hymns.
Adoration quickly rose to #1 on the Zone
Reporter charts, becoming David's first #1 album. Adoration was also the first album David recorded at the now famous
Piano Haven recording studio in Seattle, WA (Adoration was only the second album ever
By this time in his life, David was
regularly leading worship (on guitar) at his church, so he had become
intimately familiar with contemporary worship songs and melodies. While in the studio
recording music for Adoration,
David took frequent breaks to improvise on contemporary praise and worship melodies.
This was done on a whim, but by the end of the recording session for Adoration, David had completed
recordings of nine additional songs, all improvisations. David returned to Piano Haven a year later to record more improvisations, original melodies and hymns.
The result was Davidís eleventh album, Revelation:
Solo Piano for Praise & Worship, released in 2009.
With work on Adoration & Revelation completed, David was freed up to return to his first love; creating original music. It had been five years since he'd released an album of original compositions (Overcome) and he was busting at the seams with new music and ideas. After releasing Overcome in 2005, David put thousands of miles on the road touring and performing his music. Often he had his family along for the ride. All that time they had together, the adventures, the fun and fresh air, the life experiences... inspired music, and lots of it. In 2010, David returned to the studio to record his next album, A Delicate Joy, a celebration of life, family, faith and living every moment to the fullest. The album was released in November 2011 and went to #4 on the Zone Reporter Music charts.
January, 2012 saw the release of Awakenings: The Best of David Nevue (2001-2010). Like Whisperings before it, Awakenings was a "best of" collection of fan favorites. While Whisperings covered the years 1985-2000, Awakenings was a collection of musical highlights from albums released during the years 2001-2010.
May 2013 saw the release of David's latest album project, Open Sky. While his previous album, A Delicate Joy, featured the "sweet, peaceful, happily-ever-after" style tunes that he had composed (but not released) up to that point, Open Sky took an entirely different direction, featuring songs that were more driving, edgy, experimental and even melancholy. As a result, Open Sky is probably one of David's most diverse albums, musically speaking. The album included 17 tracks; 13 original compositions and 4 arrangements.
David continues to promote his music
on the Internet on a daily basis. You can follow his progress on Facebook,
Twitter and/or sign up for his mailing list. If you think you might be
interested in booking David for a concert in your home, church, school or other
venue, you can read up on how to book David for a concert here. Finally, if
youíre also a musician, check out his book How
to Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet.
When David started his journey
writing music for piano in the mid 1980ís, "solo piano" was an obscure, relatively unknown label for piano music. Today, there are hundreds of solo piano artists all around the world.
Even so, David Nevue stands out. He has a unique, melodic sound, which soothes
and calms in this busy, noisy world.