Over the past six months I have written some new piano pieces. These “Songs Without Words” are relatively short and are unashamedly romantic in style.

Each track is a composition in its own right. However, they are connected to each other emotionally and intellectually. They are sincere expressions of my inner world, my “inscape” as it interacts with the “landscape” around me.

As I write this, we are still experiencing the demands of lockdown but, at least, there is a semblance of a return to some kind of normality in the not too distant future.

Music is a wonderful gift of communication and I have been touched throughout the pandemic by the way so many people have danced, sung and played music in order to keep everyone’s spirits high, bring us socially together and provide us with dreams of a better tomorrow.

I rather suspect it will take many years for people to absorb the enormity of the pandemic and its effects on our lives. Slowly but surely we will become less “anaesthetised” to the full social, psychological, cultural and economic damage and gradually awaken to the full horror of the death toll and of a world changed utterly. As with all change, however, it will bring positive outcomes as well. One thing for sure is that we will awaken gradually to a fuller awareness of the fragility of our existence.

I have always believed that communication through music can help us to come to terms with loss and bereavement and begin to dream again. It is in this spirit that I wrote these little pieces of piano music.

The songs have a different feel to my last album “Requiem” (2020). Whereas “Requiem” was about a world of loss and sorrow, hurt and anger, my latest set of songs is about a world of conciliation, new beginnings and tenderness.

“Where?” is a little melody that I found myself whistling. I wrote the melody down and then added a simple chord progression. I don’t do words – I’m useless with lyrics. This annoys me intensely because sometimes my little tunes suggest words and I hear little phrases in my head as I hum the song. As is characteristic of me, I select one of these little phrases as the basis for a title. Funnily enough, “Where?” seems to fit perfectly the sense of searching which I often experience as I walk in the woods.

If you are interested in my little piece “Where?”, it is available on most channels – Spotify, YouTube, Amazon, Apple and many more… click HERE

The Beauty of Your Smile

The Beauty of Your Smile, original piano solo by John McGuinness

I went to London in May 2019 to catch a couple of musicals and visit the Tate Modern. I had the most enjoyable extended weekend. The shows reminded me of cosy childhood Sunday afternoons watching the old movies featuring artists like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers or going with my family to the local cinema to see “Mary Poppins” and “The Sound of Music”.

So enthralled was I by the spectacle of these stage productions, I decided to write a solo piano piece in the style of a West End musical. The result is this composition entitled “The Beauty of Your Smile”. I wrote it for Carol whose eyes light up like gems when she openly smiles. A number of people who have heard me play it not only enthuse about the melody but say that it is screaming out for lyrics.

I don’t do lyrics myself but I think the piece has a great deal of potential as a song. If anyone out there would like to write some words to go with the melody (or even sing your own lyrics to the melody) it would be lovely to hear from you. The composition “The Beauty of Your Smile” can be found on my “Wedding Album”. It is simply and unashamedly romantic. I hope you like it – No, I hope you love it!

A Reflection of John & Carol at the Tate Modern
Can you find another link between the blog, the music and the picture?