“For You” I conceived of as musical portraiture for the solo piano. Each piece was composed for a specific family member or dear friend of mine and entitled accordingly. All except Kachaturian’s beautiful “Ivan Sings,” which presumable follows my theme (and I couldn’t resist taking some liberties with) and “Missing You” which I wrote while my wife was in graduate school. What follows is my attempt at saying something that is both specific and rife with metaphor for each person I am interpreting. I hope you enjoy!
The album begins with:
“For Loren” which phonetically sounds like it portends to be melancholy but in actuality it has an irresistible quirky sense of humor and classically handsome features. Can you see a resemblance? He is, after all, my nephew.
“For Maxx,” my mercurial goddaughter dancing her way through a musical childhood. Can you see her twirl?
“For Isabel,” a precious child from courageous and gifted artistic parents. Isabel is blessed with an ebullient song carrier for a father and a graceful, vertically integrated trapeze artist for a mother. Weeks before she was born and androgynous angel appeared to me in a dream singing this song.
“For Melissa,” my adorable wife, partner and a lifelong learner, a mysterious yet compelling ostinato that aspires to be irresistibly endearing regardless of occasional harmonic sophistication that can lead to challenging yet intriguingly rewarding intentional dissonance. She is endlessly stimulated by voluntary complexity in most things: recipes, friendships and thinking. By embracing internal contradictions, understanding and even welcoming her shadow, she radiates the beauty of wholeness while the limitless generosity of her spirit dances around our minds and hearts like a bubbling fountain or a hidden spring that can quench the terrible thirst of the ignorant even if they lack the courage to drink.
“For Gwen” a ravishing beauty of lyrical simplicity juxtaposed with compositional density, the confluence of which opens a window into a multi-dimensional art-scape that seductively invites us to constantly be surprised. As she effortlessly traverses vast distances in the sea of synethesia, she collects ocular honey as well as both polished and edgy stones that she will magically, and sometimes menacingly, incorporate into one of her many masterpieces that she gratefully shares with us all.
“For Judy” my sonic sister, a vibrating tuning fork meandering easily along, who almost always takes time to enjoy the ride and appreciate the view. She knows the secret of elegant simplicity that calls attention to timbre profundity. She plays with space and relationships, adding depth and dimension while simultaneously weeding out the toxic ticks of digital detritus. She’s a sonic gardener who meticulously relishes in grooming her fruits yet is always eager to share a sumptuous harvest with anyone willing to imbibe and partake.
“For Teresa,” my wonderfully sweet mother-in-law, a poignant odyssey of self-discovery that travels a circuitous route, eventually winding up where it began, in a peaceful and contemplative place at home in the trees. If you squint you can see her chasing deer out of her rose garden.
“For Dorothy” my dear sister who in spite of conspiring circumstances earlier in her life, prevails, survives and thrives. She’s an organic evangelist and a politically progressive stalwart who tirelessly tirades against the ravenous beast of exploitation and commodification. Here I offer her a bittersweet interlude that hopefully, or at least temporarily, relieves her from her struggle allowing her a moment of precious and abiding peace with the unmistakable perfume of sadness.
“For Andre” a jewel mind moving too fast for words. Luckily, as our devotion to each other has deepened, we increasingly don’t need them. Our upstream telepathy more than suffices and affords us the adventuresome opportunity of free diving into each other’s imaginations and harvesting only the most deserving and innovative of sounds and insights. Percolating with rhythmic nuance, syncopated with subtle, shifty, sneaky and communicable grooves, Andre is a champion of balancing diligent work ethics, spontaneous play and an unrivaled editing acumen. And let us not forget the fun-loving family man and dearest of friends.
“For Emily” she had kindness in her heart and trouble in her soul. She was a devoted and dearest of friends, always quick to laugh. An unfathomable sadness, however, was lurking behind her smile, sometimes surfacing in anguished turmoil. For forty-one years she managed to keep the haunted voices at bay, succumbing eventually to the tragic cacophony. Here is a loving epitaph of a heroic goddess. Rest in peace, dear one.
“For Mike” my beloved brother-in-law, as strong and close a friend in death as he was in life, maybe even more so. His anthem is a triumphant return after a vigorous and tumultuous journey. His heart so big and his mind so keen as to leave no doubt to his majestic magnificence for all who were lucky enough to know him. This mighty, understated testimony to strength concludes this recording with all the grandeur I could conjure.