VIDEO PREMIERE: The Morning After by Malcolm Parson

“In order to properly see where you are going, you must first remember where you’ve come from…”

You could say that Malcolm Parson has gone places in life, both literally and metaphorically. Born in New Orleans, the cellist & composer moved to Atlanta at the age of 11 where where he began privately studying the cello as part a talent development program run by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He went on to get a degree in Contemporary Writing and Production from Berklee College of Music and become known for his work as a member of both Turtle Island Quartet and Carolina Chocolate Drops as well as performing with a truly impressive array of renowned artists (see the bio on his website for some serious name dropping). More recently Parson has taken his music even further, breaking into composition for film and solo album recordings, the most recent of which finds him putting paid to his words cited at the beginning of the article.

Parson created Letters From Home through the act of recording spontaneous ideas at his studio as a sort of daily musical journal. These improvisational sessions were then sculpted, refined, and fleshed out over the course of a few months using violin, cello, synths, piano, and guitar accents to create an album that feels much more immersive than its 23 minute runtime might suggest and which Parson hopes will create for others the feeling of nostalgia he experienced while revisiting his past and birthplace to which he has returned after 20 years away (spoiler alert: it does).

Letters From Home is permeated by a profound sense of place and self along with potent narrative thrust. This becomes clear from the outset with the sublime transition from the ethereal introspections of “Fleeting Thoughts”, which opens the album, to the jaunting cello lines of “Westbank” and “St. Charles” which makes us feel as if we are walking with Parson out into the streets of New Orleans to see the city come to life. Reflection & reminiscence remain recurring themes, personified in pieces such as “Ghosts” or “No Love Lost” which turn inwards with devastating poignancy. Across all the album’s moods, Parson masterfully blends tone, texture, melody, and pacing to create a vibrant musical portrait that feels rich and alive and is deeply affecting.

Here in an exclusive premiere is the video for the final track on the record, “The Morning After”, a tender piece “devoted to the exploration of self through revisiting past, present, and birthplace” which begins with a clip of a young Parson performing at a recital which abruptly snaps into the future as the he pensively walks the streets of New Orleans with his well-traveled cello case on his back interwoven with flashbacks to scenes from his childhood.

direction and cinematography by Harris Parson; editing by Nick Deliberto

Who am I if I take away everything that I do? Who am I beyond music? What is there when these roles are removed? I’ve done such a good job trying to keep up with these roles, I never got to simply exist…

Letters From Home is available for download and streaming via Moderna Records. The album was mastered by Martyn Heyne at Lichte Studio, Berlin and features artwork by Dora Lazarevic incorporating photos from Parson’s childhood.

Links: Bandcamp | Moderna Records | Malcolm Parson