For my friends and subscribers: Each month I'll be sharing with you a Sneak Preview of unreleased music (recordings and scores). This month:
1. Solo Piano (untitled)
2. Welcome To Life.
All music composed, arranged, performed, and produced by Brian Kelly.
I will be at Sherman Clay pianos in Roseville, CA from 3-5-pm this Saturday, September 15 performing my own New Age Jazz compositions as well as Spain by Chick Corea. I'll be giving away three free CDs.
Stop by if you're in the area.
Check out my website for audio samples of my work and more info about the concert: wwwjohnparismusic.com
New Release: A Day of Poetry coming October 1st 2012!
It's a return to solo piano and a new found interest in compositions for four hands, chamber string accompaniment, and tasteful reverb. A Day of Poetry is an expression and fruit of poetic moments lived and dreamed. Like the artwork on the front cover, this album has a somewhat ethereal nature to it. It has a fluent and gentle pace that every melody and phrase played embraces with ease and enchantment.
Marc Enfroy's fourth studio album, "Dreams of the Forest," is now available. Unwind with the album everyone agrees is Marc's best work to date. Enchanting. Dramatic. Cinematic. A soundtrack for your dreams.
This July, Donovan Johnson of Omaha NE and Richard Carr of St. Louis MO will be travelling to the deep south, to perform in the gulf areas of the United States. They'll begin their journey in San Antonio TX, continuing straight across the southern gulf, coming up through Memphis and ending their trip in St. Louis MO.
The two perform as solo artists and as a duo often throughout the year. Donovan hosts a local concert series in Omaha annually which includes his "Sounds Of The Night" concert in October, his "Vince Guaraldi and the Peanuts" concerts in November, and his Winter Solstice" concerts in December, along with many others. Richard has a year long program called "The Year Of Music" series, which he hosts locally in St. Louis. Both Donovan and Richard are very excited to be taking their performances to the southern regions of the United States.
Donovan Johnson is the owner and operator of Enlightened Piano Radio, an online New Age radio station. The radio station features the work of many contemporary piano artists around the globe, and Richard Carr is one of those artists. "Richard is known for his improvisational approach to composing." States Donovan. "The way he explains it to me, is that he'll sit at the piano during a recording session, start the recording, and simply start playing. He allows the piece to shape itself, and become what it will." And while Richard composes mostly improvisational pieces, there are a handful that he plays the same way every time. "I think Richard understands that people love the familiar, and that having some recognizable songs to play for your fans is very important. I know that some of those pieces are very dear to Richard as well."
Donovan's approach is almost the opposite, as he writes music in a very structured way. "Sometimes I write entire passages and a week later, throw them out completely so I can re-write them. I've got to be completely satisfied with my writing before I'll allow myself to play it in front of an audience." And while Donovan composes with concentration, and clear intention on his compositions, he does occasionally improvise pieces for his audiences as well. At Donovan's concerts, his fans receive a slip of paper. They're then instructed to write a "musical idea" for Donovan to improvise a piece upon, whether it be a powerful waterfall or a beautiful sunset.
Because the two piano players share some common ground, they're able to meet in the middle to create a diverse show, that is great fun for those who attend. "There's never a dull moment" says Donovan. "Meditative at times, but always full of inspiration and beauty."
The two currently have shows lined up in San Antonio TX, Houston TX, Baton Rouge LA, New Orleans LA, Natchez MS, Mobile AL, Memphis TN, and St. Louis MO. They're working on several more locations as well. Donovan expresses his excitement; "I'm thrilled. I think these concerts are going to be very well received, and with any luck, we'll be fortunate enough to visit this area again in the future. What Richard and I have to offer is truly a service to others. An experience that they'll be able to take with them, to keep in their memories for years to come."
For more information on the tour, please visit Donovan Johnson's website at www.donovanjohnson.net.
For information on Richard Carr, visit his website at www.richardcarr.com
And to tune into Donovan's online, New Age radio station, visit www.enlightenedpiano.com
Piano As Art, a three-way collaborative art exhibition between 2 Connecticut-based artists (Penny Putnam and Shauna Holiman) and Faust Harrison Pianos, the leading restorer of high-end pianos in the nation, will open at the Faust Harrison Pianos showroom and Gallery, 207 West 58th Street, Manhattan, on March 10th. The show will have traveled to New York City after runs at the Flinn Gallery in Greenwich, Ct and Faust Harrison Pianos in White Plains, NY.
The art is inspired by piano parts and in many cases composed of the parts themselves (antique ivories, hammers, oddly shaped inner mechanicals and bits of casework). It is, except for the earliest pieces, totally collaborative: the artists conceived of and executed each one together, combined their artistry with other skills honed earlier in life (graphic design, music and business) to create a distinctive and surprising vision of collaboration and abandoning any notion of individual authorship. The artists’ relationship with Faust Harrison represents a new and entirely positive model for collaboration and community building between artists and business.
This is a new venture for Faust Harrison, which is in a period of major expansion, having recently opened a major new showroom and factory in White Plains and a smaller showroom on Long Island. Sara Faust, President of Faust Harrison Pianos said, "This is a spectacular exhibition. Piano As Art is truly transformative post-modern art. Without a trace of cynicism, it is alternately beautiful, thought provoking, rhythmic and musical, often moving and, in several cases, quite playful and funny. Even after 30 years in the piano business, this art has changed forever the way my staff and I view the piano."
Several pieces are made out of reclaimed ivory from old piano keys. (One piece, Elegy, contains 1,640 pieces.) Considering the material’s origins and the music made upon it by countless pianists most of whom are now long dead, it is both poignant and priceless and is now living a third life as art.
To read all about it, follow this link to a review in the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/12/nyregion/piano-as-art-exhibition-in-white-plains-review.html
And to see the artists at work, follow this YouTube link:
Opening reception: May 10, 2012, 6-8 PM.
Show runs until October 27, 2012.
2011 / Boxhouse Music Co.
October is pianist/composer Donovan Johnson’s fourth release, but is a first for me. I love finding artists who have something a little different to say through the medium of music, and Donovan is just such an artist. Often more energetic than many recordings that fall into the new age/contemporary piano genre, I like the way Donovan has alternated the faster tracks with those that are quieter and more peaceful. Some of the pieces are solo piano and some are more orchestrated with percussion and strong rhythms backing the piano. The eleven tracks include the three-part “Islands of October Suite,” which effectively combines pop, classical, and new age elements. In addition to composing, teaching, and performing, Donovan Johnson owns and operates EnlightenedPiano.com, an internet radio station that features an international roster of new age pianists. He has been playing the piano since the age of two, and started formal lessons shortly after that, continuing into college where studied performance and composition.
October begins with “Summerland,” a joyful and energetic piece that swirls and dances to a lively beat - an enticing opening piece! “Forward In Time” starts out mysteriously with a single repeated note setting the tempo. This theme weaves in and out of the 6 1/2 minute piece, alternating with a contrasting second theme that features a smooth and graceful piano with strings. I really like this one! “Andromeda” picks up the tempo again with a driving percussion track behind the effervescent piano. The title track is more on the wistful, dreamy side with light percussion and atmospheric synth sounds behind the piano. “Forgiveness” is another favorite - a slow, graceful piano solo that comes from the heart. “Resilience” is a beautiful ballad, this time accompanied by flute and strings. The more classical “Islands of October Suite” begins with “The Island of Japan,” a dramatic piano solo with themes that range from very dark and spare to a lively and sparkling flow. The second movement is “Castaway Island,” again a piano solo. Donovan demonstrates some very impressive playing chops in this one! “Isle Du Massacre” sounds pretty grim, but the piece is anything but. In the first theme, the left hand plays a driving rhythm while the right dances all over the piano. The second theme is slower and less structured, and then the first theme returns, taking the album to a joyful and breathless ending.
October is a great find if you like spirited pieces mixed in with the more contemplative music (I do!). It is available from www.donovanjohnson.net, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Recommended!