Tick, tock, tick, tock...
I feel like a kid at Christmas waiting for Santa! This persistent sense of anticipation that I am constantly trying to ignore is only pushing my energy to peak levels. It's done nothing but add extra bite to my practice and work routines, which already don't need extra motivation!
Even though it's now my second go at releasing an album, this one feels particularly special. Since I am currently based out of the Netherlands, tentacles and resources are spread across the board and around the globe - first recording in Germany at the Loft studio (with skillful workmanship and insight from tonmeister Georg), then collaborating with England for the wonderful cover design by Livia at three29design, and finally across the ocean to homeland Canada for manufacturing. This occasion truly marks the first time I have been able to arrange such an independent project virtually as sole coordinator. Everything from the choice of recording venue, recording date, instrument, repertoire, cover designer, distributor, right down to the finest details has been exclusively my responsibility.
I often still debate in my own head what the trajectory or evolution of an artist/musician is. While I was studying at the University of Western Ontario many moons ago, my follow aspiring student pianist colleagues and I would often (in our obviously very young, naive ways) envision what life in the future would be like as a concert pianist. "Every pianist's technique will peak by 25 years old", said one pianist during one of these conversations. "However 'good' your technique is at that point is as good as it will ever be." Where and how he was able to precisely pinpoint that completely arbitrary age boundary was never thoroughly explained, especially since that line of thinking has absolutely no basis or merit. Without doubt, he is not alone in his line of thinking, though to even get past the concept of technique never improving beyond a predetermined age would require any two or more musicians to even begin to agree on the definition of what "technique" is. In spite of those friendly anecdotes, we would often muse about this or that pianist's playing style, dissecting and contrasting the various periods and performances of their respective careers, so on and on these animated discussions would go...
Over time, I've come to realize that one of the best parts of being an artist is enjoying the journey of personal growth and evolution. We are constantly in search of new, different, better ways to maximize our potential, isolate and improve our "weaknesses", and express ourselves through our artistic vices. Handling all of these components mean different things to different people at different times, and our approach to the task at hand is also likely to evolve. There are moments when on projecting technical dexterity and brilliance is the top priority, and other moments when we completely allow ourselves to enter inside the music and channel it outwards - an almost out-of-body experience. No matter what the frame of mind, however, a recording serves as a snapshot - a moment in time that (ideally) captures indescribable expression through sound. To some, a recording remains alive - capable of extracting emotions from the listener on multiple playbacks, though to others (most often the performer) it represents a codified moment on time. It therefore captures a freeze-frame imprint on the artistic journey, and I hope the result is enjoyable for all!
It's so pleasing to official reveal that the album's official release date is Friday March 3, 2017! Especially now knowing the big release day is just around the corner, my unbridled enthusiasm continues to overflow!
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more details on the upcoming release!