news & tidbits
Concert for album launch / Concert in January 2021
I am planning to hold an event here in Lyon for the launch of the album. The plan is to book a venue with a piano and hold a concert followed by a small reception. Also, copies of the CD, the vinyl double record and the sheet music will be available. Please check back here for any updates.
A concert has also been confirmed for the 10th of January, 2021, in the historic village of Vaugneray, about 20 kilometres west of Lyon. The concert is part of the Musical Sundays series at the Théâtre Le Griffon, Rue de la Déserte, Vaugneray. More details soon.
The sheet music
This was almost as exciting as when I first received the CD & vinyls of my album! The first piece, A Moment of Clarity, now has new life as sheet music. One down, 16 to go! I’ve started the process of producing sheet music for all of my pieces, thanks to a wonderful team of transcribers I found in Barcelona.
I could do the transcriptions on my own, but it would take too long and some of the rhythms and tempos are quite tricky to note down. This way I can just be across any corrections needed, to make sure the notation reflects what I play. The sheet music will be available here on my website, as individual copies or as a book of the complete album.
So the big question is: who will be the first person to play one of my pieces? That will be an amazing moment, to hear my music coming through someone else’s fingers!
The album was recorded over a couple of days at Studio Alys in Manteyer - near Gap in southeastern France - in July 2019.
The sound engineer was Pascal Perrot (editing, mixing and mastering) and the grand piano I played on was a Bechstein A228 (2m28).
The stories behind the compositions
"A Moment of Clarity"
Written for the play '4.48 Psychose' by Sarah Kane, performed in Lyon in January 2015. The play is about the days leading up to the suicide of a young woman. My composition is about the clarity we all need to cope with life, when we reach turning points, when vital decisions are made, for better or worse.
Composed for another
version of the play,
performed in Lyon a year later.
The piece imagines the rejection of those things that cause us pain.
"A Waltz in the Parallel Universe"
Written for my mother who passed away in December 2016.
Also dedicated to all the other loved ones we said goodbye to in a short space of time: Gilbert, Geoff, Trish, Bev, Kerry, Doreen, Liam. It's easier to imagine them dancing somewhere.
The theme I wrote for a play about World War II resistance fighters in France, performed in Lyon in 2017. Based on the true story of a 'résistante' who was forced to seek refuge in a brothel.
"Song for Sunglim"
A composition I dedicated to Sunglim, a wonderful woman I worked with in Seoul, South Korea, in 2010. The piece was also used in the play 'Soleil', written by Sébastien Joly, and performed in Lyon in 2011.
Composed in 2013 and used a year later in a play about Dorian Gray. Also titled 'Dorian's Lullaby'. It's about the big realisation that often only comes later in life: that we didn't take the time to really savour life's best moments.
"A Man in His Forties"
One of the themes completed for a 2019 performance of poetry and piano music I took part in. It's about the refining of our ideas, our outlook, our priorities and our dreams when we reach a certain age.
Another composition completed for this performance. The piece explores the universal question: are we living our own lives or are we letting someone else 'pull our strings'? This was originally written for a school play directed by Evelyn Vendittelli and performed in Vaugneray.
Based on a simple composition I wrote when aged about eight or nine in New Zealand. Erin was my original name. This full, expanded version was written for the play 'Une Histoire Cent Fins', performed in 2019.
"An Irish Boy"
A composition inspired by the story of my father, leaving Ireland as a teenager to fight in WWII. It was later dedicated to Daniel, the son of my cousin Maeve and her husband Dermot.
Dedicated to the Roma community, who fight discrimination on a daily basis.
This was written after making a small documentary about the challenges
they face in Europe.
"Return to Acadia"
Composed after a visit to
Quebec and New Brunswick in 2009.
Acadia was the name of the colony of
'New France' in North America.
The piece includes a theme earlier used in
a short film directed by Matteo Minetto:
'The Sunday Crossword'.
"The Siren of Absence"
Written in New Zealand
when I was aged about 18 or 19.
Dedicated to all of those who are
separated from loved ones, or who yearn
for places and imagine special moments
that are out of reach.
Written in 2008 and later used in a short documentary, 'Under', directed by Nuno Prudencio Pereira. This is the sound if you halt the bustle, the noise, the chaos,
the panic, the pain or the fear.
"The Path Not Chosen"
Written in Bristol in 1995, for all those who like to imagine where they might be if they hadn't taken a certain path.
"The Colour of Time"
Written in 1994 after my first ever visit to Ireland; the feeling of getting in touch with our roots/ancestry, the sense that everything is familiar.
Written in 2019, especially for the new album. Sunnyview Road was where my family lived when I was a toddler, before
everything was turned upside down.
The thank yous
Here's the full 'thank yous' text that appears on the inside cover of the CD and vinyl record ...
The logo for Seamus Kearney Piano is based on a tattoo I designed and had done on my right arm in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2018.
My musical side is combined with the traditional Maori art of New Zealand.
The logo is used for the CD tray and is also the feature on the third page of the vinyl record cover.
The spiral with a red background signifies constant renewal, with the three treble clefs representing the past, the present and the future. Constant renewal through music!
There are a total of eight turns in the clef, signifying my position as the eighth of nine children in my family.
The album design
The design of the album cover is my own work, including the painting, images and photos. The idea for the cover was to have a mix between the imaginary (the painted piano) and reality (the flowers). This is reversed for the back cover (a real piano and painted flowers). The cover was created and photographed at the country house of friends, Evelyne & Luc, using watercolours and things I found in their garden.
Thanks to Jérôme at Studios7emeCiel in Paris for the checking & finalisation of the layout and the overall production of the CD and vinyls.