This week I received the news that my former piano teacher, Boyanna Toyich, passed away. When I saw the news ...
Album Release Week kicks off today with Me to We, an album of three of my chamber compositions in the neo-romantic vain. It’s sort of a rarity to release an album so short in duration in the classical world (under 30 minutes) but it always felt right to compile only these 3 pieces into one album. That’s because Me to We is a concept album.
As we go from piece to piece, we follow the journey of our protagonist who starts off being alone in life (Me). After much soul searching, our protagonist realizes that they wish to have someone to share their life with, thus beginning the waiting and yearning (I Wait For You). And finally the album ends with our protagonist finding their life partner (Piano Piece No. 4, For Me & You), and revelling in the joy of that. Yes, all this through just the sound of a violin, cello, flute and piano.
Me to We was recorded in May of 2016 at the Canterbury Music Company in Toronto. I was very fortunate to have such wonderful musicians record the pieces. They really brought the essence of the emotions to life through the sounds of their instruments.
The first 2 pieces (Me and I Wait For You) were both composed within the last few years and very much reflect my compositional interest in imagining unique sonorities between instruments while touching the heart of the listener.
The final piece (Piano Piece No. 4, For Me & You), was composed way back in the late 1990s. After all these years, it still feels relevant and worthy of standing side by side with my more recent works. It was my first purely minimalist composition so it has a special place in my heart. Piano Piece No. 4 is a piano duo and is also special because it is a piece I composed for my wife, who at the time, was taking piano lessons. The hope was that we would have played it together, but it quickly became apparent that it was a bit too technically challenging for a student (even I have a challenging time playing the piece:)). But what the piece stands for has far transcended who plays it. When we listen to it, we hear us, our relationship. It’s nice to have a fabulous recording for posterity – by a husband and wife piano duo no less!
Special thanks to the following talented individuals who brought this album to life: Jamie Thompson, Edwin Huizinga, Erika Nielsen, Lisa Raposa, Gregory Millar, Julian Decorte, Jeremy Darby and Dennis Patterson.
Click here to listen to the album in it’s entirety. I would love to hear your thoughts!