Paul Cardall, the eight-time No. 1 Billboard charting pianist, has become the first Latter-day Saint to be nominated for album of the year by the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Awards. Paul’s 2018 album release, “Christmas” (produced by Jim Daneker), has been officially nominated as the Instrumental Album of the Year.
This year Paul is also celebrating the 10th anniversary of receiving a donor heart. To express his gratitude for receiving a second chance at life, he created a new instrumental piano album called Peaceful Piano. The album was released on Friday, 23 August 2019, and is available on most music platforms, including iTunes, Apple Music, and Spotify. You can also learn the backstory for each of the songs by going to Paul’s Peaceful Piano page on Pandora.
Paul recently sat down with Meridian Magazine for an exclusive interview. He began the interview by talking about the heart transplant that he received 10 years ago. He said, “I survived that heart transplant a decade ago and feel so grateful to be alive and living my dream. The Lord said to change your heart. I guess I took that literally. I love Him for it.”
He then talked about his album being nominated for Instrumental Album of the Year by the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Awards, stating that he was in shock. He remarked, “I’m grateful beyond words for the nomination. I’ve never treated my music like it’s for one denomination or culture over another. The music helps people of all cultures and faiths.
He also mentioned the record label that he used to own called Stone Angel Music. A couple of years ago, he sold the catalogue of music that was produced and recorded to Anthem Entertainment Group, one of the most successful publishing companies in the world “to preserve the recordings place in music history.” He also mentioned, “Our Christ centered instrumental albums from myself and the artists I signed debuted on 11 No 1 Billboard Charts, 21 Charts in the Top 10, with more than 25 million monthly listeners.”
He was asked about why he wrote his new single called “A New Beginning.” He said, “Each of us experience significant periods of our lives where we have a fresh start or new beginning. Life has a way of humbling us and in those moments, we make a choice. It’s either a time to give up or it’s a time to remember what is important, and to commit again to what is real and true. . .. It’s my desire to heal other hearts with my music. I want to encore confidence when there’s a new beginning.”
Paul also stated that Peaceful Piano is not an ordinary piano recording. He went into the recording studio with a few ideas for creating a new recording, but his main goal was to improvise all new material on the Steinway & Son Grand. He invited 10-time Grammy Award winner Michael Bishop to engineer the project at the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio. Prior to this album, he hired Michael to Master his Christmas album. After two full days of recording, Paul was able to lay down 42 improvised piano pieces, which would later be narrowed down to 18 magnificent compositions for Peaceful Piano. The album is unique in that it is the first time that Paul has created an album that is “only piano without any module effects or other instrumentation.”
Paul went on to say, “The entire album is a reflection of my journey since receiving the heart transplant. And yet, it’s universal emotions we all experience. The loss of a loved one. The joy of love. The innocence of a child. The determination to survive and adapt. Lots of emotions apply here. Hans Christian Anderson said, “Where words fail music speaks.” This plays like the soundtrack of the human experience.”