By LEIGH HOOVER
Beautiful music can be heard softly through the slightly cluttered hallway – flutes trill softly in unison, voices swell together and, slightly muted by the closed door, a piano is being played. This is to be expected on a typical day in Pollard hall, where student performers and audiophiles alike can come to hone their musical crafts.
Andrew Kraus, hailed by the prominent composer Robert Dick as “the pianist who listens,” can be found here as well as all over the web for those who care to look. Most notable, perhaps, is this adjunct instructor’s recent success with the Internet streaming site Pandora.
Kraus, an accomplished independent performer, is well aware of the fact that a sound Internet presence will do wonders for one’s reputation as an artist. Through an independent CD-publishing firm, he was able to expand his visibility, not just through physical media, but into the digital realm as well.
“The company gave me the option to allow them to publish my work online, where you could pay to download it from multiple sites,” Kraus said.
However, Pandora was not the only site he was published on. He contacted them independently, with the idea that it could be something he could add to his credentials. According to Kraus, he figured that the more places he could be seen, the better.
Submitting music to Pandora in and of itself is very simple, with the submission page available on their website. Adding the appropriate metadata, or “tags,” to one’s music can be done by the artist as well. From there, a committee will listen to the sample recording sent in, and, if approved, will perform any sorting left to be done as well as notify the artist. This process can take months.
“The hardest part is just waiting,” Kraus said.
The title on Pandora is “Music from the Golden Age of the Piano,” which features pieces from famous pianists such as David Saperton, Frederick Chopin and Leopold Godowsky among others. Kraus was fortunate enough to study under Saperton for some time.
Making money directly from his music was never the intended goal for Kraus.
“You’re lucky to recoup the costs of recording it,” Kraus said.
Astronomical studio prices can be a deterrent for any would-be performing artist. However, through ingenuity and thriftiness, he was able to cut recording costs to a mere fraction of what a professional studio would charge, with identical results, using a modified flash recorder and a few hours with a friend’s audio program.
“We were able to make it sound like you were in the room with me,” Kraus said. “Which is what we wanted.”
With this accomplishment under his belt, Kraus has no plans to stop where he is. The adjunct instructor plans to release several more CD’s in the future, both on his own and with other artists.