SoundsBetter is a project offering carefully improvised 20-25 minute solo piano tracks in a post-minimalist style. Each track is like a meditation, offering solace and healing.
From a very young age, I’ve found the piano to be a safe and reassuring place for me – a kind of refuge. The symmetry and stability of the keyboard and the underlying matrix of rhythmic structure in music provide an 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. This kind of musical doodling helps me be with myself and accept my world exactly as it is, no matter how troubled or stuck I feel.
As an artist, 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 these stable, unfolding patterns whenever I need grounding or to break through some blockage, and it gives me hope and direction. By offering them here, I hope they may provide similar comfort and transformation to others.
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 hope and trust that my meditative improvisations have the same power.
I find that in order to improvise effectively, I must be in an open, connected state that tends to generate greater empathy. This state is necessary for the meditative patterns I improvise to bring solace or healing to people 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 my own heart and mind but by the motivations, expectations and yearnings that I sense in others.
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.