Peter Cieslikowski, Toronto-based saxophonist, was the first person in Canada to purchase the Aerophone AE-10 – the all new digital wind instrument from Roland. We sat down with Peter to get his first impressions of the Aerophone.
Hi Peter – tell us a little bit about yourself and your background as a saxophonist.
I am a professional jazz saxophonist who plays tenor and soprano saxophones. I’m originally from Poland and started my career in 1989 in Warsaw, but I’ve been living in Canada since 2012. I’ve recorded 13 albums in Poland and 2 in Canada, toured with such jazz greats as: tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton (2001-2008), hammondist Dr.Lonnie Smith (1998-99 in Ft.Lauderdale, Fl., and big tour in Poland 2005), baritone saxophonist Ronnie Cuber (2010-2011 in Poland), and of course, I worked with the best Polish jazz musicians.
You mentioned that you are getting your master’s degree in composition. How has that experience been for you?
I have always been an instrumentalist, but I was also really interested in writing music. Pursuing a Masters degree has given me the opportunity to expand my general musical knowledge and widen my perspective on many music-related subjects, such as jazz theory analysis and methodology of serial compositions just to mention a few. Above all, pursuing a University degree at a graduate level allows me to learn, develop, and use more advanced and diverse compositional techniques that can expand my horizons well beyond the jazz genre, and what I already know.
What made you want to purchase the Aerophone?
I’m always searching for innovative means of expressing my musical ideas as an artist. When the Akai EWI came out in the 1980’s, and I heard Michael Brecker play it, I considered purchasing it. But the EWI obviously did not have the same instrumental possibilities as the Aerophone does have today.When I found out that Roland was coming out with a new synthesizer-like woodwind instrument I immediately got interested in it.
What do you think of the Aerophone so far?
I simply love it! Powered by Roland’s advanced SUPERnatural modelling technology, the Aerophone allows me to faithfully match the behaviour of the original acoustic instrument, especially all woodwind and brass instruments. The sensitive mouthpiece, mounted breath sensor, that also functions as a bite sensor, allows me to apply expressive techniques like vibrato and pitch bending. The patches are great!
How do you intend to use the Aerophone and what styles of music will you be using it for?
I want to use it mostly for contemporary and avant-garde jazz. I’m also interested in using it for varied funk grooves, soul and hip-hop. I would also apply the Aerophone to a more contemporary musical settings, like working with creative DJs, for example.
Have you played the Aerophone in a live setting yet? How do you think the Aerophone will enhance the live experience?
Yes. I have been using the Aerophone for my steady live performances on Thursdays and Fridays. I like using the muted trumpet sound on several ballads, and harmonica for Bossa Novas. Another thing worth mentioning is that the Aerophone stirs a tremendous amount of interest among my listeners. People always ask “what is it?” I have repeatedly gotten feedback that the looks of it come straight from a Star Wars movie!
What features do you like about the Aerophone?
I like the method of sound production, it’s so close to saxophone and the fingering as well. The variety of sounds I can use and the feature of being able to download a huge palette of sounds from an outside source via usb I really like as well.
Are there particular sounds that you like to use? What are your favourite sounds?
So far, the Muted Trumpet, Harmonica, Sine Lead, Tecorder and Wind Section are my favourites.
How do you find that the Aerophone compares with a traditional acoustic saxophone? What do you think the advantages are to playing a digital wind instrument?
The Aerophone fingering system is based on saxophone as well as method of sound production. This instrument is also very light and handy. The fingering is of course, based on saxophone.
I like that I can change settings of fingering hardness. Also, it’s comfortable.
Learn more about the Roland Aerophone AE-10