Thomas Piper
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Thomas Piper

Brooklyn, NY | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Brooklyn, NY | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Electronic R&B




"SEP 23 2013 Stirring Solo Vocal + Ableton Push: Thomas Piper, Live at Webster Hall"

If the computer can do one thing, it is to vastly expand what a single musician can do live. Whether you rise to that challenge has everything to do with who you are as an individual musician. It’s about the person as much as the machine.
Thomas Piper, Jr. is at his absolute best in a soulful, no-holds-barred, energetic performance New York’s famed Webster Hall. (His son Zion, by the way, is also terrifically talented.) Here, his vocal is front and center far more than the computer, but the digital instrument also supports what he’s doing.
At the Kompakt pop-up recently, I was keenly interested to talk to Blue Hawaii about how they meld live electronics with vocals. We were footsteps from where Ableton Live is developed, but even that tool to me is a means to an end: the fundamental question was how they approach the vocals.
We’ll have the results of that conversation here on CDM soon, but it’s safe to say that Thomas Piper and Blue Hawaii represent different ends of the spectrum of how you might approach this. And that’s little surprise; the dynamic of a duo is very different than a soloist.
Blue Hawaii lets their singer control her own looping and effects separately, while her partner does arrangement. And since he’s only doing arrangement, he mixes, remixes, slices, and adds beats live. Thomas’ approach is more minimal, allowing him to keep his focus on singing – and, crucially, the audience. Live is essentially a machine for backing tracks; you’ll note how neatly-organized his scenes are, and how he keeps triggering simple.
But here’s where Push shines as a controller: you’re always one push-button away from switching between triggering scenes and controlling melodies.I expect that ease in switching modes is something people may emulate on other control layouts, too, once they’ve seen Push.
Thomas is also using Push in the studio; he’s uploaded a video in which he shows how he finishes the work. That’s interesting, too, as Ableton from their very first pitch for Push emphasized starting tracks with the controller. The implication was that you’d turn to the mouse to wrap things up, but it’s nice to see this in contrast.
In a video, he explains how he works with the hardware. - Create Digital Music

"Thomas Piper: This is my world"

What does it mean to be an independent musician today? How many roles and responsibilities can one person take on? And what defines ‘success’ within the wide variety of career paths that a music maker can take?

As Thomas Piper demonstrates in the video below, the old paradigm of working in relative obscurity until one gets ‘discovered’ is no longer the only way forward. The tools for making and distributing one’s own music are now available to anyone willing to learn how to use them. And while it may be daunting for one person to wear so many hats (not that Thomas has a problem with hats), the artistry and self-discipline fostered in one creative field can be applied to any other field. - Ableton


Still working on that hot first release.



Thomas Piper is an electronic musician and singer/songwriter in the traditional and nontraditional sense. He combines his "controllerism" skills with his trained knowledge of chords and soulful vocals to create a modern style of music. He grew up in Long Island, New York, with Trinidadian roots, and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. His strength resonates in his performance, beyond a DJ twiddling knobs.  Thomas has finessed the art of uniquely playing the Ableton Push by facing the controller towards the crowd, as he exploits the capabilities of this instrument as if playing the piano. 
Thomas is currently completing his debut album and looking forward to sharing his voice and musical sound with new audiences. He has created his own music and visual production company, The Peoples Republic of Sound, in which he harnessed his videography and photography skills to sculpt the other components of his musical vision. 

As an active member of the "controllerism movement," he has entertained audiences at numerous venues including Warper Party, Figment Festival NY, Art Basil Aqua Art Miami, Tender Trap, Webster Hall, Joe's Pub, Maker Faire NY and others locations. Thomas has produced music for Public Enemy, Amel Larrieux, Last Poets, Kelly Lerock and others. This musician was signed as a songwriter with Universal Publishing. Thomas has worked with jazz label Motema and artist Georgia Anne  Muldrow as a video director and director of photography. He's an exceptional artist who interacts and engages with his audience, while crafting beautiful lyrics and melodies.

Band Members