Ronald Van Deurzen is a pianist, composer & music teacher from The Netherlands with credits in soundtracks for films, documentaries, games and other media projects. His music covers folk, jazz and contemporary. Ronald Van Deurzen is also a progressive rock keyboardist having recorded on various prog albums and released 2 solo albums in calming music.
Born in The Netherlands, Ronald grew up with piano and organ as a child. At the age of 10 he was able to play back any song he heard by ear. Naturally drawn to creating new music he composed his first piece of music when he was 11 years old. He received lessons from a Dutch jazz pianist, improving his technique and sense of harmony. At the age of 15, Ronald was lucky to start his professional journey as a live-pianist, playing live with Dutch-Belgian folk/country band "Oregon" in connection with its "Oregon Dance Company". As the youngest musician in the band, he performed at venues in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg and some in France until he was 18 years old, playing American style country/folk music in bars, restaurants, festivals and other venues. This allowed Ronald to gain lot of experience and grow musically, such as comping, live-play and improvisation. Eventually it was this that led him to a spot as keyboardist on several CD albums produced in the USA., both independently and through label. The country/prog influenced Euphoria Station and Primitive Overflow, which was released on the label Progrock Records. The albums feature several profilic musicians such as '80s MTV era vocalist Donnie Vie (Enuff Z' Nuff) and harmonica player Tollak Ollestad, who played with Seal, Andrea Bocelli and Chet Atkins. The music got airplay on popular online and FM radio stations and received positive feedback in magazines such as Fireworks UK, Prog Sphere, Background Magazine, Swedenrock and iOpages The Netherlands, giving acclaim to Ronald's contributions on keyboards.
For Ronald, however, only performing piano in a band felt limiting, as he searched for a calm and inspiring environment to compose his own music. This led him to move to Sweden, where he could be surrounded by nature. Here he built his own studio at the art collective 'Italienska Palatset' in Växjö, from where he got involved in composing for various film, documentary and contemporary art music projects. He also produced several albums of calming music, Imaginations (2012) and Tale Of Dreams (2013). Ronald was furthermore the composer of the 2-hour soundtrack for the '05 indie-game 'Minions Of Mirth', back in its time considered the world's first one-time fee MMORPG for Mac and WIndows. "MoM" was developed by PrairieGames Inc. an American company consisting of former members from Sony, EA and Atari. Ronald's soundtrack music has been well-received by mediacritics such as Strategy Informer, Gametunnel and RPGDOT.
Composing film music sparked a passion for ethnomusicology, including worldmusic instruments and working with live orchestra. This led Ronald to work for a period in South-East Asia. Here his arrangements have been performed with orchestra in Thailand, live in concert with several vocalists of 'The Voice - Thailand' (such as Thai-Chinese Anchee), featuring guest-musicians of Bangkok Symphony Orchestra. Ronald has also instructed and lectured at university in Sweden (at the age of 21) and Thailand (Faculty of Fine Arts) as part of ASEAN's international program. He taught music for students of Bachelor and Master's Degree levels and composed various pieces combining the orchestra and Asian instruments, such as Saw-Duang, Saw-u, Khim and Thai Percussion.
After his experiences in Asia, he started working on his upcoming book 'Ear Training In Context'. It is currently in development for teacher and student use and concentrates on multi-part solfege of multi-timbral arrangements to prepare students for real working-life situations in bands, orchestras and in the recording studio. It features an audio disc containing over 2 hours of audio exercises.
Next to piano and composing soundtrack music, Ronald has been a boardmember of Media Artes in Växjö, one of Swedens primary concert-organisers for contemporary music/media art, supported by the municipality and the Swedish Ministry of Cultural Affairs (Statens Kulturråd). He attended various academic lectures/masterclasses in Stockholm in contemporary music composition, such as with Brittish composer Natasha Barrett, whereafter he was commissioned to compose music for Media Artes' contemporary sound-art project 'Soundsight'. A few years later, he built his own studio 'Static Noise Studio' inside the cultural building The Italian Palace (Italienska Palatset) in Växjö, Sweden: an artist collective, housing various established Swedish and international artists.
At 'Static Noise Studio' Ronald composed a lot of his music, while at the Media Artes' Blomdahl Studio, he regularly experiments with electro-acoustic music, sound-art and synthesizers. A less traditional musicmaking process, often away from the piano, his contemporary art music is similar to that of composers such as Philip Glass, Natasha Barret and Arnold Schoenberg. He's been a member of the board of directors for both Media Artes and IPEK (Italienska Palatset Ekonomisk Förening). His experiences with contemporary art music allow Ronald to immerse himself with the role of technology in abstract noise music/sound art, prefering to use techniques such as granular synthesis, sampling, FM/additive/subtractive synthesis and divergent composition techniques.