A Dance at Twilight - The Album
My debut album recorded at Clement Piano’s recording studios in the summer of 2014, intended originally as an audition CD for submission to Whisperings Solo Piano Radio in the US but subsequently made available as a digital release. There are also audio CDs available which can be purchased either at concerts or alternatively through enquiries via the website or Facebook.
This is an up tempo joyous and uplifting piece written in a major key, with both hands weaving interlocking patterns designed to produce an energetic driving composition. The only contrast is where the bridge section falls back into a more reflective passage. The principal melody then returns which to me is reminiscent of the sound of a peal of bells, and resumes the original tempo before concluding the piece on the introductory right hand melodic motif. A great piece to play live.
When a Child Sleeps
This piece always reminds me of those nights of trying to induce slumber in our young daughter through the use of various devices attached to the cot as a means of achieving it! The melody itself contains a passage which seems to suggest climbing a staircase so that in itself would appear to resonate with the overall bedtime theme. A relaxing tune to play.
One of my favourite compositions, as it has always been an ambition of mine to write a piece in a complex time signature which in this case is five to the bar. I initially came up with the left hand figure which was then overlain with a fairly simple melody line and seemed to work well. The piece itself seems to have an almost hypnotic presence, akin perhaps to being on a train and gazing into the distance as the world races by. The title seemed an appropriate one given the style of the piece.
A Dance at Twilight
The title track of the album and an oblique reference to our daughter’s prowess as a ballet dancer at the time. This delicate piece is almost classical in approach, with the use of the left hand pedal point adding to the atmosphere of a slightly mysterious but graceful tune.
Above The Clouds
The title evokes a sense of freedom and movement, underpinned by a melody which is scalar in approach and an arpeggiated left hand format maintained throughout the piece. I get the sense of being in a plane and seeing the moving clouds below when I play this, which provided the cue for it’s title.
Hide In The Shadows
The most melancholic sounding track on the album with quite an intense melody, but works well sandwiched between two of the more optimistic pieces in the collection.
A tune which in the opening bars is suggestive perhaps of new beginnings and the heralding of a fresh start as the title suggests. Originally composed for inclusion in a production library music CD but sits well in the context of the album generally.
Les Deux Cypres
French for "The Two Cypress Trees". We are fortunate to own a property in the South of France, and I wanted to compose a piece of music in celebration of that and come up with an idea that would perhaps give a flavour of the country and echoes of it’s decadent past at the time of the French Revolution. The melody itself is quite stately in places emphasised perhaps by being in a waltz time, and has the fingerprints of a French musician I admire called Yann Tiersen all over it.
Walk In The Mist
This piece was inspired by a trip some years ago to the rainforests of Southern Uganda to see mountain gorillas in the wild during my travelling days. It was a magical experience, and I wanted to come up with an idea that would both include a left hand approach indicative of us trekking through the forest to find them, dovetailing with a melody line that was slightly mysterious to reflect this surreal experience. The mist over the tree canopy in the forest enhanced the overall mystique of this unique occasion. I was pleased with what I eventually came up with, and feedback seems to suggest that it is the most popular track on the album.
Sea Of Light
A random title for this piece which I like, and it is very much "Einaudiesque" in approach when I play the opening bars. I use the simplicity of space a lot in this piece as does Einaudi in his work, as it is not just what you play but what you leave out that counts. The rousing climax to this tune does seem to hint at a sense of conclusion, which is why it was listed as the last track on the album.