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From The Liner Notes...
"duc in altum"
the response to uncovered keys was really far beyond anything I expected and more out of a sense of deep gratitude than anything else I have held back from recording again until I felt very ready... until now that I am almost compelled to single out these newer thoughts before wading any further into the deep!
you hear it said almost every day that the world is a very different place than it was when I released the first recording... and I suppose in many ways that is true... but what I am about in the music pertains to what remains constant amidst the turmoil, those things which anchor us and are permanent even when the very notion of permanence seems to be in doubt...
this genre, for want of a better word, contemporary, hand-made solo or acoustic piano music, demands an attentiveness not easy to come by in a media saturated age... each of these pieces will only really make sense like a completed sunrise, which is easily glanced at but needs to be stared at calmly for some time before it reveals the fullness of the new day...
music that lives in audacious simplicity, in localized universality, created from a wooden and metal box singing my thoughts, (and grunting and clicking and cracking, at times, too, "no extra charge" my mother would say!)...
("duc in altum", "Put out into the Deep" Luke 5:4)
About some of the Selected Tracks...
1. out walking... (3.47)
I walked for years, almost every night... and you build up a sort of rhythm, a step that you look for each time you go out that helps you think and recollect and put things into perspective... occasionally, too, there are little skips or hops to give physical expression to the exhilaration one feels when out walking in your own neighbourhood. I am striving in my playing to achieve some of the guitar techniques I hear in the playing of significant artists like Leo Kottke and Dan Crary. The melding of these guitar-like elements with the necessarily different structure of a piano-playing style creates the result you hear on this and other tracks on this album.
9. sons of the blue funk frontier (for Mr Bill Binkelman)... (4.07)
a blues inspired rumble that threatens to break into a barrelhouse boogie style... a picture of grandpa and his cousins is associated with this piece in my mind... how cool were these guys!? The strength of youth and the great joy in life these guys had I think were dealt severe blows by, first, the The Great(?) War, and then the Great Depression, but you can still see here that very Australian psyche, a combination of bravado, cheek, confidence, innocence and cool appropriation of style characteristic of these ordinary, decent men...
13. distant starlight... (3.27)
My younger brother and I would lie out on the back lawn with grandpa on a rug and look up into the summer night sky, watching for satellites and falling stars. Much later in life you realize that you learnt more about life and your place in the universe then, than at any other time. Sometimes I miss grandpa so much it writes itself into a tune. Looking up into the night sky as a man you realize that although he and the light from those nights are long gone, the light from some other distant star, just arriving here, is a comforting link to those well-remembered days...
15. gaudeamus... (4.36)
I wrote this a few weeks before my 45th birthday, and its full title is gaudeamus dum iuvenis sumus igitur which sort of means let us be glad while we are young!
From the Artist...
I have been a piano player for thirty-five years, and while I play in a number of bands which range in style from rock to jazz, I have always felt most comfortable just sitting at a piano and playing solo.
I especially like the responsibility for what comes out when you are on your own - and you can dictate the pace, the style, the leaps and jumps, the highs and lows, and just talk with and to and through the piano...
My own influences have really been guitarists - Leo Kottke, Doc Watson and most Bluegrass styles - although I don't think it intrudes too much into my playing that is where I always am in my head - trying to create a Bluegrass sound.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Out Walking
2. The Spaces in Between
3. Joie de Vivre
5. Before I Knew
6. From the Balcony
7. Sashi Waiting
8. Dry Creek Breakdown
9. Sons of the Blue Funk Frontier
10. Ruby's Counting Days
11. Dusk at the Window-Sill
12. You Belong To Me
13. Distant Starlight
14. Twelve String