With the release of his new album, Asheville’s Aaron Price has tapped into a lifetime of music, including 14 years as music director of the West Asheville Presbyterian Church. The album of instrumental piano music, Offering: Hymn Improvisations vol. 1, comes out of his being part of a family of church musicians and his years of experience as a performer, sound engineer, composer and teacher across a range of musical styles.
“The hymn tunes themselves are in my musical DNA,” Price says. “I was raised singing and hearing them.” Born in Illinois, Price grew up in Raleigh and settled in Asheville in 1997, after attending Appalachian State University.
Price accepted the position at West Asheville Presbyterian when his daughter was in the Parents Morning Out program. At that time, he had not attended church for a while. “I have made many friends in the congregation and cherish those relationships and that community,” he says. He rediscovered the music of his childhood as well. “I was glad to discover these melodies were easy to bring back into my repertoire and I integrated these old songs with my then-current interest in improvising music.”
Price is a classically trained pianist as well as a composer of all kinds of music. Along with his improvised old favorites, the new CD contains one original song as well, Heaven Now, written to honor the passing of a fellow church member. Price’s first album, Bouquet, was released in 2005.
“Personally,” he says, “I find an emotional haven in sitting and witnessing where the music takes my mind while I play, and I actually sort of get into a meditative state while allowing the music to happen.”
Aaron Price will perform at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Hendersonville on Wednesday, March 7, at 6:30 p.m. The CD will be released February 18 and will be available at cdbaby.com/aaronprice.