SoundsBetter is a project featuring my piano improvisations in a post-minimalist style. This music is very personal and intimate…
From a very young age the piano has always been a safe and reassuring place for me to go. The symmetry and stability of the keyboard and the underlying matrix of rhythm is a incalculable source of solace.
I spin out patterns, endless melodies and harmonic progressions, allowing the rhythm to unfold and hold me in its strong arms. It has taken me a long time to embrace this kind of musical doodling as something artistic as it feels more like meditation than expression – something guileless and innocent – a way to stay with myself and my world exactly as it is, no matter how troubled or stuck I feel.
I improvise in other ways too – the piano is also a gateway to a fantasy realm which inspires me to make music full of virtuosity, passion, tenderness, light and shade. But I always come back to my stable, unfolding patterns whenever I need grounding or to break through some blockage, and it gives me hope and direction.
Tuning into nature’s patterns
When I improvise in this zone, the musical patterns that emerge are like those of nature itself: water, leaves, rolling hills, clouds. Such things unlock emotional healing and I believe that my meditative improvisations have the same power.
I find that to improvise effectively I must be in an open, connected state that tends to generate greater empathy. I think this is why people often find that the meditative patterns I improvise bring them solace or help them open up to new possibility and hope. I love to see how the musical path unfolds, how the patterns iterate and vary as I allow them to be steered not only by the motivation of my own mind and heart but by the expectations and yearnings that I sense in another person.
Hear an example of the musical style
Here is a short piece – the tracks for sale in the shop are longer – each one is about 20 minutes and you can listen short excerpts. I created this little piece, called Rare Butterfly, from some improvisation I was doing to help lift me out of feeling demotivated and tired. It has a light, fluttering, quality that awakens curiosity and wonder.
SoundsBetter Live Shows
A SoundsBetter improvised performance can be regarded as a musical outpouring or channelling for – and with – a small intimate audience. I aim to generate the kind of nurturing energy through the music that is transcendental or magical in its beauty. Rather like shamanic drumming or chanting, the experience can be somewhat mind-altering. Ecstatic or trance states are not the goal of these musical meditations but they can be an interesting by-product.
Details of future performances will appear here soon.
Buy SoundsBetter Recordings
I sell SoundsBetter recordings in the shop and will be adding more all the time.
Would you like your own personal recorded improvisation?
I also record improvisations specially for people who would like to have their own personal musical meditation to help them experience deep relaxation or solace or to deal with specific issues. If an exclusive SoundsBetter piece, just for you, is something you would like to try, you can order this here.
Just tell me what you would like the track to do for you and I will sit at the piano and allow the your music to pour out. Then I will master the recording and send it to you, usually within a few days. I will keep you informed about the progress and may ask you a question or two just to get a clearer sense.