Audeze interviews pianist and composer Joshua White

September 09, 2023

Joshua White is a pianist / composer currently living in Long Beach, California. He can most often be heard with his critically-acclaimed TRIO (featuring Karl McComas-Reichl, bass & Tyler Kreutel, drums), as well as the The Mark Dresser Quintet, Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble, The Daniel Rosenboom Quartet, Steph Richards & Super Sense, and LANCASTER (featuring Eric Revis, bass; Jeff Parker, guitar; & Guillermo Brown, drums).
Joshua was raised in San Diego and began taking piano lessons at the age of seven, when his love of the arts was nurtured by his parents, subsequently turning into a career that has afforded him the opportunity to travel across the globe and play with so many great and influential artists.

 Joshua White with his Audeze LCD-XC headphones

"Audeze headphones have made a tremendous difference in how I approach my work..."  - Joshua White
Here's our conversation with Joshua:
Can you pick out any highlights from your work that you're particularly proud of?

In regards to my work, I don’t particularly care to dwell on any past projects (whether performances or recordings) because each project just represents an assemblage of musical decisions made at a particular point in time.  The most invigorating part of the process for me, as an improviser, is in the act of creating a work, not so much the perceived success or failure of an outcome.  It is the urge to explore new musical ideas that motivates me to develop new projects.

How would you define your main role on most of the projects you work on these days?

In my role as a musician / composer, I feel that my objective is to always make contributions that best serve the music in that moment.  And my contribution could take many forms; from being a catalyst to spark change, to providing supportive accompaniment in preservation of a mood.

How did you get started in music? What kind of music did you listen to while growing up and how has that progressed?

I don’t believe there was any single event that propelled me into a life of music.  More likely, my life in the arts was cultivated by a deep sense of curiosity about the many people, places, and things in the world around me.  My childhood was filled with music from an early age; whether through hearing traditional Gospel music at church, my parents and their expansive record collection of classics at home, or experiencing Hip-Hop and R&B through local radio stations.  My tastes have grown considerably since those formative years to include many musical traditions; however, my primary interests have always been firmly rooted in Black American Music.

Can you name any factors that influenced the course of your musical life? Heroes, role models, moments, interactions, etc?

I definitely attribute much of my love for music to my first piano teacher, Jennifer Martin Faulkner.  Through her care, she focused my enthusiasm for the piano and helped to provide the groundwork for the tools and methods I now use as a professional musician / composer. Jennifer was an incredible teacher!

Is there any gear you find yourself turning to most when working on a project? What are some of your favorite tools/instruments recently?

The Xkey AIR 37-Key Bluetooth MIDI Controller is my “go-to” piece of equipment for writing music and it makes the use of my notation software an incredibly efficient process.  I am very, very happy with the Xkey AIR.

Do you have any words of wisdom for people who might aspire toward a similar path for their own careers?

My advice for anyone pursuing a career in the arts is to find your passion and stick to it because this path demands your commitment, your time, and your patience.

How long have you been working with headphones, and how do you typically use them in your workflow?

I’ve been working with headphones for quite a long time, and I typically gravitate toward a pair that provide deep isolation with a dynamic range.  These qualities are necessary because my primary "can" usage is centered around transcribing audio recordings into music notation software.  Oftentimes the audio is of poor quality, so a pair of great headphones can make all the difference in deciphering difficult passages within the music.

How have your Audeze headphones affected your work?

My Audeze headphones have made a tremendous difference in how I approach my work because the ease at which I am now able to clearly hear a wide range of frequencies has helped me to save time and effort when working on my music at the computer.

Can you tell us what you've been working on with them recently?

Most recently, I have been using the headphones to listen to playbacks of my original music (in final form) when it is entered in notation software, as well as when transcribing older recordings to use for teaching materials with my students.  It all comes down to detail.  These headphones provide a high degree of audio clarity, which facilitates my accuracy when making corrections during the writing process.