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by Mark Christopher Brandt
Released January 1, 2015
Mark Christopher Brandt: acoustic piano
©2014 All songs Mark Christopher Brandt. All rights reserved. Heart of the Lion Publishing Co./BMI. Recorded and mastered at Slipped Disc Audio, Ashland, Virginia.
Seven Moons is the first in a series of four completely spontaneous piano solo recordings by improvising pianist and composer, Mark Christopher Brandt.
On October 7, 2014, Mark went into the recording studio in Ashland, Virginia with videographer Scott Nurmi of Mojo Factory Productions and fellow musicians Shaun Jurek and Russell Lucas, both from the band No Explanations, and with recording engineer, Bill McElroy of Slipped Disc Audio, they produced this work of art.
As Scott filmed Mark at the piano from three different angles, Shaun randomly pulled from a bowl pieces of paper with previously written tonal centers on them. He then told Russell, sitting next to Mark at the piano, what key Mark was to spontaneously create a piece of music in. Using a stopwatch, Russell allowed Mark five minutes to improvise a piece of music. The entire process was repeated eight times and produced eight pieces of music, all captured on CD and DVD as it occurred.
Contained within the DVD and the Audio CD is a booklet describing Mark’s approach towards creating a completely spontaneous musical work that is shocking in it’s organizational sound despite the fact that none of the pieces existed prior to the recording. You Tube is saturated with videos that claim improvisation, but there are few indeed who truly create music in the moment without having prepared and/or decided what will be explored before the video recorder is turned on. There are fewer still who improvise in tonal centers other than those which they play in frequently, which calls to mind, all the more, the question of just how spontaneous the music they are offering actually is. The listener is always the last to discover the truth behind the curtain.
With a relaxed and often playful demeanor, Mark delivers each new piece on Seven Moons without fanfare or excuse. He does not claim to be equal to the classical or jazz “greats.” He does not claim to be greater than a simple child exploring the sounds that appear as they occur. This is a deeply inspiring video for those who hope to conquer personal fears or who just long to be more comfortable in their own skin. Sometimes watching a child at play is all the lesson we need to discover how we can go about solving the complexities of the human condition.
Mark Christopher Brandt is truly a child at play.
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