Video Premiere: Composer Michael Price talks about the process of ‘Diary’


Diary is a new collection of thirty solo piano improvisations by Bafta-nominated and Emmy award-winning composer Michael Price, a bounteous and enchanting offering that any lover of contemporary classical music would be more than happy to take at face value. But, Diary is more than a simple collection of songs; it is a window into very creative process of the composer. Compiled over a six-week period, Price began each working day with a new improvisational piece recorded in a single take, allowing the project to unfold as an unguarded and unedited musical journal of his thoughts, mood, and level of inspiration.

In this video, the disarmingly self-effacing Price pulls back the curtain even further as he talks about the project and the sometimes surprising patterns and insights it had to reveal.

 

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Through a musical lens: øjeRum – He remembers there were gardens [KrysaliSound]

Originally released on cassette in 2013, Italian label KrysaliSound has remastered and reissued a mesmerizing long form composition by Danish collage artist & musician Paw Grabowski under his artistic pseudonym of øjeRum. An undulating, hypnagogic organ-based drone, He remembers there were gardens was conceived as an alternate soundtrack to the 1962 “photo-roman” (photo-novel) La Jetée by Chris Marker which is still recognized as a unique and highly influential experimental cinematic work

The film, presented in a series of stills, paints a dystopian vision of post-apocalyptic Paris where survivors live underground below the galleries of the Palais de Chaillot. Its protagonist is a man who is held captive and forced to travel time in a quest to find a source of energy to regenerate a decimated society. The man is chosen because of the power of his obsession with the past, specifically the allure of a fragmented, pre-war memory of a woman on the observation platform (“the jetty”) at Orly Airport and a tragic incident that occurs there which becomes the focal point of the story’s haunting denouement.

“Those familiar with the film with have no difficulty in recalling the flashes of a destroyed world, the status of the museum, and the moment on the platform. Even if you haven’t seen the film, the breathing of Grabowski’s organ will conjure similar images and moments. It fluctuates between the drifts and falls and the throb and hum of a person lost in time and place.” – KrysaliSound

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VIDEO PREMIERE: Hinterland by Garreth Broke and Anna Salzman

Among the many compositions, albums, and events coming our way for Piano Day 2017 will be the release of the third in a series of beautifully conceived EPs by composer Garreth Broke featuring special watercolor and ink artwork by partner and frequent collaborator Anna Salzman. Entitled March, these four new solo piano pieces underpinned by subtle organ textures are an exploration of “cycles and returns”, in particular coping with grief and the journey from loss and disappointment to renewal and hope.

“Even when it’s not apparent, grief is always there. Once you have it, it is always a part of you. The challenge is to allow it to be without allowing it to rule. Nature shows us how.”  – Garreth Broke

Featured here in an exclusive premiere is the video Anna created for the song ‘Hinterland’ which moves across an abstract landscape she created in watercolor and ink on a three meter long leporello (a concertina style fold-out book), once in the initial presentation of the melody and again from an inverted perspective as the melodic hues turn a darker shade. Continue reading

Sound Impression: You Are Here Now by Heron

Hailing from Northwestern Pennsylvania, instrumental quartet Heron arrive like a rush of fresh mountain air on the post rock scene with You Are Here Now, a magnificent debut album bursting with melodic invention, infectious energy, and arrangements that demonstrate meticulous attention to space, tone, and texture.

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PREMIERE: Lucien by Freya Lily

Enjoy an exclusive premiere of the beautiful new song “Lucien” from the forthcoming debut solo piano EP by Freya Lily. Due for release on March 23, ‘The Dream’ will be available on Spotify, iTunes, and other digital outlets. 

Born in the Devonshire countryside and now based in London, Freya Lily has been studying classical piano and composing for years, but due to stage fright, she had never played her work to others until a chance encounter at a party where she discovered an upright piano in a side room and decided to test out some recent compositions. After playing, she turned around to discover the rest of the house party now in the room and received an overwhelming response to what became an albeit impromptu first outing for her music.

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James Murray – Killing Ghosts [Home Normal]

The origin of the latest work by James Murray goes back to 2014 when he and his wife Anne were set to vacation in a remote log cabin in the mountains. Unfortunately, Anne took ill from the moment they arrived, but as it turns out James had packed a laptop, small midi keyboard, and hard disc recorder, and while she recuperated the eerie beauty of the surrounding landscape invoked his creative mode which he now had time to indulge.

“Pines groaned in the woods all around us, walls and floorboards continually creaked and china rattled on the shelves. I recorded everything that made a sound, then manipulated and distressed those recordings, letting them bleed into one another, forming their own shifting rhythms and gritty, grainy textures. I added deep sub-bass sines, electronic washes and gently improvised motifs that felt in step with the strangely watchful energy of the place. Between the crackling of the open fire and the wild, wide landscape outside, I seemed to have stumbled into the perfect environment for exploring these unsettled yet tenderly nostalgic feelings I’d been having. The music flowed…” – James Murray

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Paddy Mulcahy – The Words She Said

On his most fully realized album to date, composer/producer Paddy Mulcahy offers up eight beautiful experiments in juxtaposing solo piano minimalism with vibrant synthesizer constructions. While some of his previous releases demonstrated Mulcahy quite capable of inventively sketching and improvising in a compressed time frame, the music on The Words She Said was cultivated over a two-year period

The album was started in the Summer of 2015 during a recording trip around Germany and London. Paddy then continued to work on the album while finishing his BSc degree in Music Production at Limerick Institute Of Technology. The album was inspired by the similarities and contrasts between pianos and synthesizers, and this relationship was conveyed through the use of various recording and mixing techniques.

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Travelogue 2017.02.27: The Piano Music of Akira Kosemura

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The past six months has seen a small flurry of solo piano recordings from Akira Kosemura , a Tokyo-based recording artist and composer & sound producer for film, stage, and television. This travelogue features a quartet of releases, two from Kosemura’s own Schole Inc. label along a with a pair that find a fitting home on the prolific 1631 Recordings, each with its own unique character & charm.

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Sound Impression: No Home of the Mind by Bing & Ruth [4AD]

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No Home of the Mind is the third album by Bing & Ruth, a critically acclaimed project formed by Kansas-born composer David Moore while studying music in New York, and represents the third configuration in as many outings. Eleven became seven between City Lake (2010) and Tomorrow Was the Golden Age (2014) and the ensemble has been streamlined once again, this time to five.

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Through A Musical Lens: CEEYS – Concrete Fields [1631 Recordings]

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After giving us a taste last year of their new modern classical project with The Grunewald Church Session, brothers Sebastian and Daniel Selke are about to release their full-length studio debut album entitled Concrete Fields as CEEYS. The moniker they chose is a neologism forged from references  to their respective instruments – a combination of the French spelling for cello (‘violoncelle’) played by Sebastian and ‘keys’, of which Daniel uses a wide variety in constructing their distinctive narratives including a 1912 Steinway and some intriguing vintage gear. But sound is only part of the story the Selke’s have to tell. Concrete Fields is in fact the first installment of a triptych and incorporates images & videos to resonate their experience growing up in a prefab estate in East Germany and navigating dramatic personal, political,. and cultural change.

“It is our remembrance of a childhood growing up in Europe’s largest prefab estate Marzahn-Hellersdorf, Berlin, East Germany…After the ‘quiet’ revolution in 1989 and the fall of the wall, and throughout the 90s, the region always kept a blend of an edgy feeling of departure and a vague melancholy. We like that the politics tried lots of things to bring more colour and life into the post-revolutionary landscape, but the strange feeling never fully left us. To carefully handle all the different facets of this time period we decided to release our musical version of what the Germans call ‘Betonfelder’ in the form of a trilogy spread across the next few years.” – CEEYS

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Sound Impression: Deepness by Francesco Giannico [Manyfeetunder]

Francesco Giannico‘s latest album presents itself as “an unlikely acoustic bio-marine chronotope through a collaborative mode”. The collaborative aspect is the incorporation of sound samples collected from participants around the world, a concept that worked a treat on Agoraphonia (2016, Dronarivm) but with a change in focus from the urban to the aquatic. Giannico then takes these samples and weaves them into complete and immersive soundscapes that exist in a time & space of his imagining, e.g. a chronotope albeit a musical rather than literary one.

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Sound Impression: Lunar by Madeleine Cocolas [Self Center Records]

Last year, classically-trained composer, musician, and sound designer Madeleine Cocolas released her debut album entitled Cascadia, but it was no nascent work.  Rather it was a stunning distillation of sounds and ideas drawn from a project where she created new music weekly over the course of a year. Prior to that she composed a new live score for Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film The Birds and worked on a variety of multidisciplinary projects with numerous choreographers, musicians, and visual artists as well as being a music supervisor for a number of award-winning Australian television programs. That is a lot of creative momentum and it continues unabated with her exciting new EP Lunar about to be released by Seattle-based Self  Center Records.

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