Ori Baruch - "Artists are society’s storytellers, and by getting exposed to different cultures & backgrounds, our perspective broadens." - Stereo Stickman

Ori Baruch “Artists are society’s storytellers, and by getting exposed to different cultures & backgrounds, our perspective broadens.”


In celebration of the stunning and newly released EP Strangers, we were blessed with the opportunity to interview composer and pianist Ori Baruch, to find out more about his musical journey, his Israeli heritage, what inspired the music, and what his greatest ambitions are right now. Here’s the conversation in full.

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Hi Ori, thank you so much for the interview – incredible music; I’m excited to learn more about your journey! For those new to your work, when did you first start learning piano, what was the first piece you ever composed, and how much has your approach changed since then?

Thank you for interviewing me, it’s my pleasure!

My journey with the piano started in third grade. I had a playdate with one of my friends, and at some point, we had to stop playing because she had a piano lesson. Luckily, I was offered to stay quietly in the room and watch the lesson. That same night, I came back home and asked my mom to sign me up for piano lessons, and the rest is history.

The very first song I’ve ever written was probably around the same time, it was a little song called You’re Not Alone. Later in my high school years I started composing instrumental compositions on the piano, and I’d say that’s really when I started developing my own sound.

When it comes to writing, I always say: “write what you wish to hear yourself.” And that has been my approach since my very first composition. The only difference is that now I have a broader musical pallet and theoretical knowledge than I had before, so writing comes with more precision. 

Congratulations on the Berklee College of Music Scholarship – in what ways did your experience there impact your creativity and/or goals as a musician?

I am forever grateful for my time at Berklee. I can be quite reserved and shy by nature, so making such a bold step – moving all the way to the other side of the world from my hometown, Jerusalem – has made me a stronger and more resilient musician and artist.

Perhaps the thing I am most grateful for is the opportunity to surround myself with such a diverse community: with a population of over 40% international students, I got to meet musicians from all over the world.

“Artists are society’s storytellers, and by getting exposed to different cultures and backgrounds, our perspective broadens.”

Tell me about the EP Strangers – what inspired you to make this, and why the reworking of the project more recently?

The story with my EP Strangers started three years ago. Those pieces were first conceived in early 2020, and as we all know, a few months later we found ourselves dealing with a global pandemic and several lockdowns. With the constant turmoil in the world back then, I put these songs away.

Deep inside, I knew these pieces hadn’t reached their full potential yet, so I kept coming back to them from time to time. It was this year that I decided it’s about time to “set them free”; so, I finally brought them out of the closet.

The core of the pieces is the same, but just like children, they grew a bit taller and needed new clothes. I reworked them and turned them into a cohesive piece that feels like a story.

I am glad I made this move; we need let go of something – sacrifice it, even – to allow new energy to come in. Working on this EP was like a cleansing for the soul and creative mind.

Which composition from the EP would you recommend to new listeners, and why?

The overall EP is very short, so I recommend listening to the whole project from start to finish. But Solitude has a special place in my heart, as it is the one that started the whole project. This was the first piece I came back to, and after completing it, I knew I had to release more pieces.

How does your Israeli heritage play into your musicianship and mindset when composing?

I am sure it is similar for every person on the planet – we are who we are because of our background and history. It’s not just biological, but also a cultural DNA.

Israel is an amazing and beautiful country, rich with culture and history. You can literally sense the energy in the air if you go there. It might appear very intense to some, but on the other side, the people are so welcoming, warm, and loving.

Israel is a melting pot of cultures and different religions, and such clashes of culture give birth to new and exciting discoveries and inventions.

When I play or write music, I try to evoke flavors of my homeland, be it by usage of special musical modes or forms, or by drawing inspiration from local stories and legends. I want to bring my own voice to this rich culture, as to push the music forward and add a new layer to it.

Also, the fact that it is such a small country, I believe I subconsciously cultivated my desire to see more of what the world has to offer. 

What’s the live scene like in Boston for this kind of music and performance?

People usually overlook Boston when thinking about music cities. Sure, nothing compares to NYC, Nashville, or LA, but there’s so much culture in Boston! Plus, we’ve got one of the best orchestras in the world – the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

By having some of the best music schools in the country located in Boston, there is a constant influx of musicians from all over the world. Almost on a daily basis, I am inspired by the amount of talent I get exposed to.

How does working as a music educator impact your own creativity, and what’s the best thing adults and artists can do to inspire interest and passion for music in young people?

As a classically trained pianist, I grew up studying “The Great Masters” – Bach, Beethoven, Schumann, Debussy, and many more… One thing about them is that they all were music educators as well as prolific composers.

“I believe it is a crucial step for every musician, to pass the passion and knowledge on to future generations.”

I can only speak for myself, but teaching keeps me invigorated, and I constantly learn and develop as a musician. Students, especially young ones, can be gracious, but also quite ruthless with their honesty. It keeps me humbled and forces me to be a better musician.

Your working repertoire is extensive, and extremely busy by the look of things! How do you maintain balance between different roles and objectives – and which role do you feel the most passionate about?

I won’t lie, I am still learning how to maintain balance between my different roles and objectives. I’ve learned that concentrating on one project at a time is very helpful, and I get the best results out of it. But I will be honest, I accept the reality that some days will be busier than others, and I will have to push through the obstacles and deadlines. But you know, there’s nothing like a good deadline!

I am equally passionate about all my roles; I wouldn’t have done them if it wasn’t the case. I love the fact that they are different in nature – when I compose, I am by myself, whereas when I direct musicals or teach, I have company. It’s a good balance that allows me to appreciate the perks of each situation.

Composing can be very lonely, so being part of a community brings me a sense of belonging and togetherness.

You describe yourself as a dreamer – what’s your single biggest dream or ambition right now, and how will you take steps towards achieving it?

I once heard a beautiful saying that really resonated with me: “dream as big as you can and aim as high as possible, worst case you hit somewhere else.” Obviously, some things in life are out of my control, especially in the music industry, but if I don’t set the biggest goals for myself, there is no possible way to achieve them.

“From experience, the only way to achieve your goals is by staying active and prolific. Cultivate the hunger for success. Write even if you feel stuck. Ignore the inner voices of doubt. Stay centered.”

I would like to see myself in the future working on several productions, both in films and on the stage, and releasing my own original music. Becoming an EGOT would be a blast. But more than anything, I hope I always stay creative and curious, and healthy.

What’s something about you that might surprise your audience or even your creative circle of associates?

I’m a huge fan of pop music. I believe good pop music is just as genius as any classical symphony. Sometimes less is more, and a well written and well produced pop song clearly demonstrates that.

If you could collaborate with anyone at all, past or present, who would you choose, and why?

That is a tough question, as I’m afraid that you should never meet your heroes. But if I must choose, I’d love to meet with Tori Amos, as she is probably my biggest inspiration, and David Bowie. Both are forces of nature, whose talent impacted the music world forever.

What’s next for you, and what’s the best way fans can connect with you?

This year I will musically direct a new musical production at Marblehead Little Theatre, continue teaching, and write more music. I would also love to meet with new people and artists and start new projects. Best way to connect with me is through my website (oribaruch.com), or on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.

Is there anything else we should know?

I am always happy to collaborate with other artists, both from the music world or from other mediums, and I look forward to bringing more of my music out to the world.

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Find Ori Baruch on Instagram, Facebook & YouTube or visit his Website.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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