composer (21)

Read Pianist and composer Danny Wright's inspiring story of regaining control of back catalog, and plans for 20+ album  updates, re-issues and new compilations.

http://www.prweb.com/releases/DWNewReleases/2012/prweb9965825.htm

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YOU NEVER KNOW . . .

A few months ago, I was riding up an elevator with a sad looking woman. I asked her if she was okay, and she said she and her husband were worried about their son in Iraq. I felt sorry for her, and reached in my pocket, handed her one of my CDs. She thanked me, and the elevator door opened and closed.

Today, I happened to see the same person in the office building today, and she remembered me. She reminded me that I had given her the CD months ago. She said, "I bet you don't know what I did with your CD. . . I sent it to my son in Iraq. You didn't know your music has gone overseas. It has entertained our service men and women in Iraq!" Her story touched me deeply.

Well, I never dreamed such a small act of kindness to a stranger could turn into a huge benefit, especially give a taste of home to our brave troops!

YOU NEVER KNOW . . .

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Suddenly A Great Silence

Forgive me father, it has been 5 months since my last blog post.It is a bit hard to keep an audience when you disappear. But you know, blogging does not come easily to everyone. Musicians tend to speak with notes rather than words. Songwriters are excluded of course but I know many a songwriter that can’t write a paragraph. Hooks yes, prose no.So for those of you who were actually following my exploits in trying to put together a new CD I apologize. Life seems to come at you from so many angles that things get lost. Of course, life doesn’t come at you. You are life so it really comes from you and with you. But that is what it feels like. I guess the real feeling is being out of control.I am not sure we are ever really in control. We certainly want to believe we are. It males us feel safe to think that we con control events. But how much control do you really have? Most things happen on their own. Like planets orbiting or hair growing it all seems to happen with zero input from me.This is as true for creating a CD as it is for digesting food. I think I am controlling the process and then it all starts heading in a direction that seems quite wild and unpredictable. For example, I was certain that this album would be a mixture of solo piano music with ambient New Age floating kind of music. Some with piano some not.Well the powers that be decided otherwise. All the solo pieces seemed to beg for my attention. New ones appeared that seemed to be right for the album. Unfinished pieces finished themselves. And I found a studio nearby to do the mixing, with a very gifted engineer and the two of us came up with a process that had us mixing 15 songs in about 12 hours.It became clear that this album will be nothing but solo piano and I have nothing to say about it. I really thought it would be otherwise but then there I was with 15 piano pieces completed, mixed and ready to go. My original plan of 7 piano pieces and then more ambient and atmospheric material just vaporized. Then I saw where the state of everything was and recognized that I wasn’t really controlling this process, I was just participating in it. And it was apparent that going with the solo piano pieces was not only the right choice, it was the inevitable one. It was never really a choice at all.So there it is. The album has taken its final shape. Emptiness Dances, 15 pieces for solo piano. You can preview it here if you like http://gpwalsh.com/latest-releases.php. Hopefully it will not be 5 months before my next post. But since I don’t really have that much to say about it I will only say that that is my intent. We will see.
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Congratulations to Fiona Joy Hawkins for being the first Australian indie artist to release an album in SA-CD format. She's been receiving top reviews for the BLUE DREAM SA-CD from the hi-fidelity reviewers at SA-CD.net and elsewhere. Please contact me if you'd like a review copy, and specify CD or SA-CD.BLUE DREAM debuted at #1, and is in its fourth month in the Top Ten on NAR's (Zone) Radio Charts. It was recorded with Grammy® Award-winning producer Will Ackerman and features Luka Bloom, T-Bone Wolk, Jeff Oster, Heather Rankin and many notable musicians.

Fiona Joy Hawkins is a New Age composer and pianist whose music crosses genres from classical to world fusion. She has won the 2008 MusicOz winner for Best Jazz or Classical Artist, Best Piano NAR Lifestyle Music Awards 2006 and Best Dance Dub/Club 2008, and has been a finalist in over 32 Indie Artist Awards across 9 countries. Her latest album, BLUE DREAM, received the highest ever ranking in the history of the New Age Reporter International Radio Charts, debuting at #1. Her musical influences include George Winston, Michael Nyman, Chopin and Mendelssohn, but she also admits to being a “bit of a folkie” in her free time.Discography:PORTRAIT OF A WATERFALLANGEL ABOVE MY PIANOICE - PIANO SLIGHTLY CHILLEDBLUE DREAM (IN BOTH CD AND SA-CD)Website: http://www.fionajoyhawkins.com.au/SA-CD: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/FionaJoyHawkins1Official Press Release: http://billboard.prweb.com/releases/2009/08/prweb2789184.htm
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What's In A Name?

I have been lamenting the whole process of making an album for a while now. Interspersed with my philosophical ramblings regarding music, where it comes from and why it does not obey my will. In the meantime some actual, concrete things have come to pass.Most notably I have finally settled on the title for the work. And that is no small matter. The title, while just a small phrase has the imposing job of expressing in just a few words what will amount to just shy of an hour of sound. That title will either capture the imagination of a would be listener or send them scurrying back to old favorites. And if it does win the attention of a prospective customer and the title does not match the content, there will not be any repeat performances. So the title is something you gotta get right!And here it is. It is going to be called “Emptiness Dances”. I promised myself I would not go off in this blog about anything metaphysical so I won’t go into a discussion of what Emptiness is and how it can Dance (being empty and all). Of course, if you ask I will be compelled to elaborate. Its up to you.So leaving the whole non-dual thing out of it (I was going to call it “The Shunyata Shuffle”), the title gives the picture of what I intend to convey with my music. Music is such a strange thing really. Simple vibrations in the air have such power to move us, bypassing the brain and going straight to the heart and body. It does seem to come from nowhere and spin its magic so effortlessly. “Emptiness Dances” seems to fit both the solo piano pieces that will make up the majority of the record and also the more ambient pieces that will hopefully punctuate the solitary journey.I reached another milestone as well. I finally achieving a sound on the mix of the title track that captured the energy I was after. As you have all heard me complain about before (uh… and often), I am not an engineer and certain aspects of the whole recording and engineering process I regard as black art, bordering on evil. But somehow by chance and stupid persistence I have finally managed to come up with a sound that I really like. No, more than that. Its a sound that fits me. And its a sound that seems to do that magnificent instrument, the piano justice. It is staggering to me just how much life and subtlety there is in a piano. You have 10 square feet of vibrating surface producing a bewilderingly complex sound. And every square inch of it sounds different from every other. Finally capturing that makes this project possible.So now the album has a title, a theme, a characteristic sound and a title track. I do find it interesting and a bit perplexing how these things work. For a over month I have been stumbling around in the dark looking for a light (praying for guidance) and then suddenly there it is. The whole thing begins to come into focus and the path starts to become clear.Please check out the new mix http://emptinessdances.com. Click on the solo piano section then on Emptiness Dances. I hope you hear what I heard.G
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Why Did You Write That?

I get asked that question a lot. Every composer does. I get that question and others like “What were you feeling when you wrote that?” or “What is this piece about?” Interviewers have to ask questions like that. And musicians have to make up interesting answers like “I’m trying to create world peace”, “I am vibrating the heart Chakra to clear your blocks”, ‘I am protesting the war in ________ (conflicts vary by era)” or “I lost my _____ (girl, boy, mom, car, job, dog, faith, way)”Unfortunately the real answer is not so interesting. “Uh… I dunno. Its what I thought of when I was sitting at the piano”All the answers, I’m afraid, are after the fact. First I write the music and then I figure out why I did it. Or more accurately I make up a story as to why I did it. Well, that does not make for an interesting interview so we music types are obligated to go on all day about the shades of sound, the vibrational centers in the body and the importance of reducing carbon emissions. But is there really a connection between that and the act of writing a tune?Not for me. Even if I really want to write a piece about something. If that particular something appears in the piece it is not because I wanted it. It is because the music gods wanted it and one of two things happened. I just happened to want what they wanted at that time or they made me want to do that in the first place so I could think I actually had some say in the process. Which, as far as I can tell, I don’t.All the explanations come later. I am really convinced of this. So if there is a connection between what I think I did and what actually happened it is pretty much a coincidence. Actually, its a bit of a delusion, a pretty delusion to be sure but a delusion none the less. I suppose we all want to believe we have control over things. We want to see a connection between what we do and what happens. It makes us feel safe. But is it true? Uh… not that I can see. But hey, it doesn’t have to be true to make me feel safe. As a matter of fact the more delusional it is the better I feel.So let’s look at what really happens or better said what I really experience. A bunch of events occur, one after the other. I sit at the piano. My fingers move, sounds appear in my mind and a piece of music happens. I play it. I record it. Someone hears it. All of that happens of course. But did the one thing happen because of the previous? Or did it all just happen? I mean I could have sat at the piano and no new music happened. So sitting at the piano does not cause the song to happen. Nor does a song happening mean that someone other than me will hear it. So exactly where is the causal connection? I assume a connection but looking closely at my actual experience there is just a series of events.So I will continue to answer people’s questions about my music, although I’m not really sure it I can rightly call it mine. Calling it mine is the tail wagging the dog. None the less, I won’t buck convention and I will continue to explain how I am saving the whales, ending global warming, bringing peace to heavy hearts. And I actually hope all that will happen. But the real answer?I didn’t. It just happened.G – http://emptinessdances.com
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