It is said that "you don't find your passion, your passion finds you" - and for Gary Girouard that passion has always been the piano. His first piano was a blue 'junkyard' upright that his parents bought for $50 from a local flea market - and from that moment on, Gary's life has always revolved around black and white keys.
Gary cites an eclectic background of musical influences including Debussy, Bill Evans, Pink Floyd, Beethoven and Kitaro - but he also credits art (Fiorentino) and literature (Emerson) as having an equal impact.
Girouard’s musical career began after living and backpacking through Europe - writing music on a battery-operated keyboard. When he returned to the US, he landed a job at a Boston piano store - developing his style "after-hours" on a fleet of Steinway pianos.
Girouard began honing his writing skills in bars and clubs around Boston - focusing first on the ‘feel’ of a composition - as Girouard describes it: "a memorable, timeless melody that resonates with listeners and an expression that can be felt".
The Naked Piano series evolved from this sentiment to capture timeless themes and to allow people an escape from an otherwise hectic lifestyle - with the intention to provide a method for introspection, analysis and understanding. Girouard comments; "People lead increasingly stressful lives. The Naked Piano is a simple response - highlighting a beautiful instrument in its most pure and natural form. Whether it's cooking, dining or driving in your car, there are times when we all could use some refreshing piano music."
Paul Breeden, the editor of Boston Live, hails The Naked Piano as "a masterpiece...a testament to the gracious sounds of a fluid live recording" and Wilton Syckes, President of the Piano Travelers Association heralds The Naked Piano as "the most expressive, relaxing piano music I have ever experienced". The Naked Piano has been featured on such prominent media as CNET, FCTV (Cape Cod), WMVY Radio and Whisperings (solo piano radio).
Giving a nod to past experiences and worthy causes, Girouard donates a portion of all album sales to charities including the Team Bryce Charity (www.brycefund.org) - and The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp (www.holeinthewallgang.org) - two organizations that benefit seriously ill and disadvantaged children.