This recording come to be for a few reasons. I am so often caught up in different projects, performances with groups all over the place, other musician’s recordings, music for a specific event or whatever it may be that it is unfortunately relatively rare that I just sit down and play. This disc is me just sitting down to play for anyone that would like to listen. The music is of no particular style, but many all at once. I can hear so many musical influences that come to the surface, things I’ve listened to, things I’ve performed or things that I’ve written, all mixed together.
Another motivating factor was a need to reflect return to the source. The world can at times seem very challenging, and this past little while has been full of changes and challenges for me, and it is very grounding to go into the studio, in the silent cocoon of the basement, and just play.
Another desire was to give a personal and thoughtful gift to friends and family. Not especially the gift of music as such, but more to make available the chance to reflect and ruminate that music so readily facilitates. Many of the people I know are fortunate enough to not really need anything, and the only thing we all need at some point is an excuse to slow down and reflect.
‘Sol’ is what I would call a ‘rustic’ recording. You can hear the groaning of the piano mechanism, the clicking of the pearl keys on the accordion and the breaths and vocalisations when I’m playing the different wind instruments. I don’t think recording needs to be sterile, these extra sounds remind the listener of the physicality and the presence of the performer and the instrument.
Making appearances on the record are several instruments from my (ever growing) collection. A 1938 Hohner accordion that I found in a flea market outside of Graz, a bamboo flute that I found in São Paolo, Brazil, a French Noblet Bb clarinet that was in an antique store in Keszthely, Hungary, a Chinese xiao (an end-blown bamboo flute similar to a shakuhachi) that I bought in Shanghai, my wonderful Selmer baritone saxophone, and a 120 year old Viennese grand piano (unfortunately not mine) that was found (and recorded) in a basement in the south of Austria.
These instruments have their own histories, cultures, and sounds. They guide, filter and inspire my own musical imagination and together they combine to make something new.
This music isn’t designed for the hit parade, or for the concert stage, or for a music festival, it just is. It’s for you, to listen to, to meditate with, to reflect upon, to send you to sleep or to give to someone else.
Wishing you all the best for the coming year, looking forward to seeing you somewhere soon.