Keyboard Player Special: Rob Watson

CCM Magazine January 1990

Rob Watson

Keyboard Player Special

CCM Magazine January 1990

by Bruce Adolph

Rob does a broad mixture of live and studio sessions as well as producing. He started with Tamarack, and did studio work with Tommy Coomes' album; he's been with Da for years, as well as the infamous Swirling Eddies, the Rapsures, Body & Soul, and a solo project, 'Great Hymns Of Faith' (a synthesist's delight). Rob both played on and produced Mike Stand's 'Do I Stand Alone' and co-produced The Altar Boys' 'Gut Level Music,' and tours with Tonio K.
Starting very early writing on piano, his formal instruction began at age seven. During high school he began to seriously consider the career of a concert pianist. In college he diversified from classical into harpsichord, pipe organ, percussion, settling on a composition major. He did industrial and counseling film scores and helped design the college's electronic music studio.

Rob primarily uses Korg's M-1 keyboard. He also has a Roland U-20, a Roland MKS-70 Super JX modules, a Prophet 5 and a Yamaha DX-7. In the studio, Rob has a Mac SE computer and chooses Performer as his software. He uses no sequencers on stage. "I like authentic sounds, instead of sounds that don't resemble a known instrument. I like B-3 organs, or Wurlitzer piano, or a great authentic sounding Rhodes."

When Building layers, he likes something acoustic in the patch and leans toward a "real dark warm sustain texture." He gets that big pad feel from the Prophet and the MKS-70.

"Music to me is as if someone is in love with the Ocean, the Lord is still first, but they wanted to spend their life working and living at the sea."
Rob's answer to the question, 'What would you say to other musicians out there?' "People have a responsibility to play it as they feel it, to have the music come from them, to have something important to say."