Video Premiere: “Flying the Nest” by Danny Mulhern

Danny Mulhern is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer from London. His film and TV scores include long-running forensic crime drama Silent Witness (BBC Drama), BBC wildlife documentary strand The Natural World, major arts and science documentaries for the BBC including How Art Made The World and Alternative Medicine, plus entertainment shows with Derren Brown, Matt Lucas and Simon Pegg. Much of his recent work has been with members of the London Contemporary Orchestra on the award-winning short The Dead Sea as well as developing three EPs of solo and small ensemble music which have been picked up for release by 1631 Recordings.

The first EP, entitled Metanoia, will be available on May 26 and is heralded by this beautiful new video presentation of the short but very sweet “Flying the Nest” directed by Antony Barkworth-Knight with bird animation by Rachel McMahon and guest musicians Violeta Barrena-Witschi and Nathaniel Anderson-Frank on violin, Helen Sanders-Hewett on viola and Miriam Wakeling on cello.

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Sound Impression: Yonder by Sophie Hutchings [1631 Recordings/Hobbledehoy]

The release of a new album by Sophie Hutchings to coincide with Piano Day 2017 has been one of the year’s most pleasant surprises. Having beguiled us with the dreamy abstractions of Wide Asleep (Preservation) which only came out last summer, Yonder finds Sophie in a more ebullient mood as radiant melodies ripple and flow from her piano with pure élan.

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Sound Impression: Clem Leek – America [YEN]

There always been something quite personal in the music of Clem Leek. Trained as a pianist from a young age and now a developed into a composer, sound artist, sound designer, and multi-instrumentalist, he has drawn heavily on his surroundings and life experiences from the very start; consider the misty, overcast reflections of growing up in England on Holly Lane (2010) and the intimate piano & guitar based sketches of Lifenotes (2011) and Rest (2013). The past year has apparently been on one of significant change for Leek and this is reflected in his latest opus and third studio album entitled America. 

“America is a reflection of Clem’s personal transition from Europe to the U.S. Each track refers to new experiences, both information and sensory. Moving from the countryside to the city brought about a plethora of new friends, landscapes and routines and this is reflected in the new styles, instruments and techniques that have bled into the album. “

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Hauschka – What If [City Slang / Temporary Residence]

One of the most recognizable 21st Century proponents of prepared piano music, Volker Bertelmann aka Hauschkareturns with his first full-length studio album since 2014’s Abandoned City.  It is not as if he has not been otherwise occupied during the intervening time. Quite the opposite in fact. He has been touring, curating festivals, collaborating on special performances, and composing soundtracks such as the Oscar-nominated score for “Lion” with Dustin O’Halloran, not to mention releasing a live album, a collection of remixes, and an EP. So, perhaps it is remarkable that he ever found the time to create What If which is now on the cusp of its official release.

“I definitely decided with What If to make a record that might be my most radical. The lyrical piano has disappeared, and the sounds I’m fascinated by – like noise and electronic elements – have taken over”

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Daigo Hanada – Ichiru [Moderna Records]

Based in Montreal, Québec, Moderna Records is a recently founded label that has quickly established itself as a home for wonderful new voices in experimental and modern classical composition. Having introduced many listeners to artists such as Veronique Vaka, Ed Carlsen, and Tim Linghaus, they do it yet again with the debut solo album by Japanese composer & pianist Daigo Hanada. Written in Berlin and Tokyo over the course of a year, Ichiru is a collection of intimate vignettes recorded with only an upright piano, a pair of microphones and two hands.

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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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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

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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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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