When Andy Iorio delivers his “Composing Music” lecture to aspiring composers, he likens the process to photography and tells students that while photographers use images to freeze a moment in time, composers use musical notes to record an event or a feeling. He then explains that, for him, the beauty of this is that each time he plays the piece he is plunged back into that moment in time.
One of Andy’s first musical memories was when, at age five, he climbed up on his mother’s piano bench and taught himself to play a traditional lullaby that she often played for him. His keen ability to learn, and then play, music by ear improved, as he grew older, and expanded as he included more contemporary artists like Billy Joel and Pink Floyd.
The ear-opening experience offered by the movie “The Neverending Story” and it’s magical web of images and sound, opened his eyes to the possibility of a career in composition and inspired Andy to pursue more formal training. Given his skills, it was no surprise when, by the time he was in high school, he had taught himself to play everything from rock to metal to classical compositions on multiple instruments and began looking outward for a place where he could hone his skills and learn more about the field and process of film scoring.
At Berklee College of Music, Andy found kindred spirits in his fellow students and contributed his talents to a globally diverse musical community that pushed traditional boundaries and inspired him to new heights in both composition and performance. He went on to earn a BA in Music with a focus on composition and film scoring, and now serves as the Musical Director for the Department of Theater and Dance at Union College where, in addition to his programming duties, he offers students a look into the process of composing through his informative annual lecture series. His wide range of talents make him not only a popular solo performer in venues such as Proctor’s GE Theater, Empac Theater, Prime at Saratoga National, and Café Lena, but also a sought-after private piano instructor.
In 2010, Andy released his first album “After the Rain,” a stripped down solo endeavor that he described as a tribute to his origins. “Me and a piano—no special effects or extra instrumentation to take away from the piece,” he wrote in his liner notes, and explained, “I knew as I was laying down basic tracks, I felt the piano alone was conveying the intended emotions beautifully.” The album received enthusiastic reviews comparing him to George Winston, Ludovico Einaudi, Yann Tiersen and Phillip Glass and declaring “He plays the piano as one would delicately touch the petals of a flower…one at a time.” Fans lauded him for creating “original compositions [that] give quiet impressions of serenity while carrying simple tonality. Its harmonies fluid and controlled run toward something both bare and natural.” And reviewers praised him for composing an album in which “he brings music to life, every track has its own story, but is a part of a great masterpiece.”
In 2014, Andy composed the score for Justin Halstead’s short film “The Perfect Color,” a quirky story of love, obsession and paint. As they worked on composing the music, Halstead was “excited about the talent and sensibility [Andy brought] to the project,” and felt Andy’s compositions were the best musical representation of the film’s message. In early 2015, Andy was among the small group of highly talented and often sought-after session musicians featured on Benjamin John’s ethereal story-telling debut album “Son of Grace.” In an effort to maintain his sharp performance skills and stay connected to his listeners, Andy regularly plays in a variety of local venues and performs personalized soundtracks of his original compositions for weddings and special events.
Andy’s new release, “II” is grounded in his trademark emotionally moving melodies and taken to new heights as he weaves them together with a lush, vibrant string section—bound to pull at listeners’ heartstrings. His goal is, and has always been, to engage, inspire and underscore the emotional connections between people and to compose music that speaks a universal soul-stirring language that “takes [the listener] along on a deep emotional journey that resonates within all of us.”