I’m very proud to announce the release of my new CD, Soliloquy Deluxe. It is a collection of some of my favourite classical piano pieces, a few things I wrote myself, and a gorgeous piece by Keith Emerson.
This CD may seem like quite a departure from my previous release, Butterfly Bones, which was made up of my own original songs and had me playing and singing on it. This one is solo piano, but it has a little bit of history behind it.
My first official CD release was the original Soliloquy. I chose the pieces I performed from ones that I love playing, some of them from back when I first began playing piano. It was a mix of styles, moods and time periods, including Bach, Chopin, MacDowell, Debussy, and some less well known pieces by other composers.
The initial run of Soliloquy sold out and not long after the record label quietly folded. I hoped that someday I could get the album back out on the market. So many people had told me how much they loved it, whether it was because they found it relaxing, emotional or just because it reminded them of their own childhood piano lessons.
This summer, I decided the time was right to finally bring Soliloquy back to life. I’m in a space between the last CD of my own songs and the next one, still recovering from my ankle operation, and this seemed like a good time to have another look at Soliloquy.
I had it re-mastered by the ever-fabulous Adam Helal at Q Sound here in London, changed the running order around a bit, and added a handful of bonus tracks.
These came from a solo piano demo I had completed at the urging of my then manager, way back in the early 90s. I gave this demo to the record company, Sundown, they then signed me, and produced the first version of Soliloquy.
I decided it would be fun to include these original demo tracks. There is an earlier version of my composition Silver Song, two others of mine, and the Emerson piece. I sent Keith the recording to check that it was okay with him to include the track and he very kindly gave permission.
Another change I made was to remove the one and only edit that had been put in the album, on the first track, Shepherd Song. Originally I was told it wasn’t long enough. It always bothered me the edit had been put in, because I intentionally recorded the album live so it would sound spontaneous and natural. I’m very pleased that it has now been restored to its original short but sweet self.
I hope you love the cover art as much as I do. The original is hanging on my lounge wall in pride of place. It is the creation of artist NM Burdikin, a multi-talented American friend of mine who now lives in Colchester here in the UK. I never get tired of looking at it – such a wonderful blend of colours and styles. Just look closely at the trunk of the tree, and what about those reflections of the trees in the water? Amazing. Please go look at her website to see more of her work at http://www.burdikin.homestead.com/.
I also want to mention Ricardo Memez who did the photography for the CD. I had a very enjoyable afternoon at his studio near Little Venice in London that resulted in the portrait in the CD and some great new promo shots. He also captured the brilliant clarity of the front cover art. He’s a very talented photographer, and you can see samples of his work on his website at http://www.ricardomemez.co.uk/
Finally, I just want to make a small mention here of how sad I am that due to the new RIAA restrictions on internet radio stations, the lovely Radio Samantha in Bristol had their final broadcast last night (Sunday 3rd September). This is a shame because everyone there has been very supportive of my music, and featured my CD Butterfly Bones regularly on several programmes. Thanks to PJ and everyone else at Samantha who has been so great. Of course, we artists need to be paid for our work getting airplay, but for those of us who fall outside the grand sweep of the performance rights societies’ sampling, the exposure is invaluable. Hopefully we can find a happy medium for everyone involved before too long.
I hope you enjoy the new CD.
All the best,