The impulse to create this music came after recording an album called Preludes & Holidays (which I’ll be releasing in early 2012), where the Holidays represent nine songs written for the various holidays that mean something to me, and the Preludes are jazz improvisations on, or interpretations of, preludes by Frederic Chopin. I have adored Chopin for a very long time, and found myself able, through the magic of multi-tracking, to really do something with a few of his things. But so much more remained out of reach! And of the few I could play, I only managed one of them (the E-flat minor prelude) in an honest live performance.
Well, he wrote for piano. And I’m a guitar player. I love my instrument, but it has some limitations compared to a keyboard, and hard as I’ve worked over the course of my life to breach the difference, it is not a keyboard and keyboard music will at times be out of reach.
But Chopin’s harmony, and melody, and sensibility! I made up my mind to write music of my own that could express some of what I feel when I hear him, music a guitarist could play, and play live. So I borrowed a focus of his (which I believe he borrowed in his own turn from JS Bach, whose Well-Tempered Clavier he is reported to have known well) and wrote 24 preludes, covering the whole major and minor key cycle.
It is not, of course, Chopin. But I think you can hear his influence here, along with that of Bach, and the early Scriabin, and also Lee Konitz and everything else I ever loved.
I haven’t got all this music in my fingers today. But I’m proud to say I really played this. There are no edits, no fixes, no punch-ins, or anything of the sort. This is all as I really played it.
Hope you enjoy.