Spring 2020

Above is a link to the first single in my “Run for Cover” Lockdown 2020 series . It is a beautiful melody called “Hurt”, written by Christine Aguilera, Linda Perry and Mark Ronson . I hope it resonates with you.

I get the impression that things will never quite be the same again. Each of us, in hIs or her own way, will have been touched in some way by this pandemic. Many people will have lost loved ones, many their livelihoods and others their health and way of life. My heart goes out particularly to those who, for one reason or another, had very little to lose before the pandemic and have even less to lose now. All has changed utterly.

As for me, I will gradually return to some semblance of “normality” over the next few months. I feel humbled by the experiences of the last few weeks and sense more deeply than ever before my own vulnerability in the face of forces outside my control. I hope, however, that this deeply rooted sense will make me, in some lasting way, a better and more considerate person.

I have become aware of my changing perspective on life and of the things I should not take for granted: family, friends, the interconnectedness of people and the beauty of the world . Of course these changes did not begin with the pandemic – I’ve always seen myself as a pretty reflective kind of a guy – but somehow things have been brought into sharper focus.

Something I have always believed is that an awareness of my own vulnerability and fragility can provoke compassion in me for others. By being in touch with my own vulnerability, I can be more intensely aware of the vulnerability of others, making me, hopefully a little more attentive, empathic and compassionate towards them. Compassion has been much in evidence recently as many people put their lives on the line to nurture, care for and protect those more vulnerable than themselves. To me this is where hope and courage spring from and it is this, more than anything else, that restores my faith in the sheer “goodness” of humankind.

I try to express some of these feelings, thoughts and experiences through my musical compositions and to do this with immediacy. By this I mean that I do not spend endless hours creating a piece of music and crafting it to perfection or adding twiddly wee bits to make it sound clever. I simply compose directly from the heart with honesty and hope that there other hearts out there that not only listen but hear something of themselves reflected in the patterns of sound. It is in this deep sense that I consider music to be one of the profoundest forms of human communication and why I am, at rock bottom, unashamedly romantic.

Over spring I have been involved in a number of projects. Firstly, I have recorded a series of piano covers of popular contemporary music. They will be released over the next few weeks. Each reflects a mood of the times we live in and they have grown in meaning for me. I hope this is reflected in my interpretations of them.

Secondly, I have compiled two new albums, “Towards the Other Side of Nowhere” (Solo Piano) and “Pastoral” ( Piano with Orchestration) and these will be released later in the year.

Finally, I am in the process of writing a modern requiem in memory of two lovely friends who died recently due to Covid-19. This is still in process.

Run for Cover – a series of piano covers of popular contemporary music:

Max Richter Ticks All The Boxes

My first musical thrill of the New Year in 2020 was to listen to Max Richter’s re-imagining of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”, a Christmas gift from my son, Julien. Richter refers to his work as a re-composition and in many ways it is. Although one recognises the more familiar melodies of Vivaldi, it is no mere re-arrangement.

For me, he navigates a difficult pathway between the splendour of the past and the beauty of the modern, in a piece dripping with exhilarating musicality. Right from the beginning, one is flying with the birds in the sky and soaring over an ever-changing landscape of musical images and sounds. Whatever your musical tastes, you will most probably find this a thrilling and fulfilling experience. Richter really does tick all the boxes. Although written some time ago, it is fresh and new and has amazing sound quality.

I highly recommend this Deutsche Grammophon recording (2012) which features Daniel Hope on violin, Raphael Alpermann on harpsichord and the Konserthaus Kammerorchester Berlin, conductor Andre de Ridder. The composer himself is on moog synthesiser.

So why not sit back in a comfortable chair with your favourite drink and be transported, in your imagination, to a world beyond your dreams. Enjoy!

Listen here on Spotify