27th October 2012: BIG NEWS for 2013!! The new album by world-renowned Pianist, Composer & Arranger ROBERT MITCHELL for Feb 18, 2013 release!
“I wish to encapsulate the feeling of endless upward progress – to remove the apparent divisions between inspiration, notation, deployment, and performance. And to appeal to the idea that there is no limit to the amount of beauty we can reveal in the universe” -Robert Mitchell
Whirlwind Recordings Ltd is elated to announce the February 18, 2013 album from world-renowned Pianist, Composer, Arranger & Steinway Artist Robert Mitchell, who will be releasing his ‘Left-Hand-Only’ Solo Piano recording titled ‘The Glimpse’ with us worldwide.
Over his nearly 20 years entrenched in the art of music, Robert has recorded seven albums of his own projects, participated in over 100 projects as a sideman and has performed in more than 30 countries, with such notable artists as Steve Coleman, Greg Osby, Courtney Pine and Steve Williamson. Robert has won awards in the UK – BBC Jazz Awards (Innovation, as part of the F-ire Collective), Best Jazz Album (BBC DJ Gilles Peterson Worldwide Awards) and has been nominated for many more.
Robert has always regularly performed solo piano, as it is at the heart of heart and origins of his approach. In 2003/4 Robert was privileged to open for Branford Marsalis (Barbican Centre, London) and Wayne Shorter (The Brighton Dome) – performing a solo set at both events. Since 2009, Robert has been a proud Steinway Artist and his debut WWR release has been recorded on one of their most prized instruments, the concert Grand ‘D’.
Robert’s solo piano recordings EQUINOX (2007), and THE GLIMPSE (2013 WWR Release), have both changed and expanded his approach as a musician. The new album THE GLIMPSE showcases Robert’s developing fascination with left-hand-only approaches to composition and improvisation. The live performance is also a chance to allow explorations into audience interaction as a basis for creating music/improvisations, and the creative use of the looping pedal. Free improvisation is also as likely as a completely composed piece. Robert will also be touring the UK extensively – his first as solo pianist – throughout 2013.
After curating a successful solo jazz piano festival at the Pizza Express, London in 2007 (Lifting The Lid featuring – Django Bates, John Taylor, Bheki Mseleku, Zoe Rahman, and John Escreet), Robert is also going to launch a new solo piano festival at The Forge in late March of 2013. This will be the first edition of Leftitude – a celebration of piano music for Left Hand Only. This festival will feature both Classical and Jazz artists performing new works, originals, and classic repertoire for Left Hand Only.
Needless to say, we are beyond excited to be working with Robert on his special and unique release, and he has taken time out of his schedule to provide us with some personal insights on the recording and what it means to him at this point in his career. We reprint his thoughts below:
“This album is a unique statement for me (at this point). I have been wanting to do this for a while, and was first inspired after a very satisfying experience, composing to fulfill a commission. I wanted to see what I could do in the challenging situation of writing for just the left hand only, at the piano. The piano – whose history has overwhelmingly been shaped by the performers use of two hands – its central design point. The place of single handed performance in piano history – is an extremely special one however. For me – it is one of the most powerful statements of creativity, and defiance – that i think there is in music. Which other instrument has had such a legacy of compositions arise from such a relatively compromised situation? Is there an equivalent to this for all other instruments? What does that do to the ideas of ‘expected’ methods of making sounds on instruments per se? If no one has told you the ‘correct’ way to play the tuba – and you develop a different method which still produces music – is that not just another form of ‘correct’?
The more I have talked to various people about it – the more I have come to view what occurs, as a change in perspective. A view that readdresses the relationship between sound and silence, between what is implied and made concrete, and also in the nature of absolute trust in improvisational activity. Its a particularly distinct tightrope, drawn in sound – keeping the reality at bay. This is present whether composing, or performing. It is present for the performer, and is definitely there for the audience (though it may take adjustment – which is wonderful to sense happening).
I have felt a multi-faceted relationship to the piano for a long while. The experience of composing, preparing, and recording this project, however, has almost been like interacting with another instrument altogether.
The subject matter draws on my interest in left handed social history. Again defiance looms big here. As a ‘left hander’ myself – the vestiges of a poorly skewed historical attitude to this – were relatively small in my youth. This is still not yet so – for many countries/cultures. It is however also programmed through the ages into most languages in the world – ‘leftover’, ‘ righteous’, ‘ right of way ‘ etc. I am inspired by what it may have taken for someone to have overcome this. More detail on this will be in the album notes!
It also was really wonderful to finally record on a Steinway D piano. So much hand-made passion goes into their creation – you feel they do have souls of their own.
It is fantastic to have this come out on such a great young label sprinting towards success, and to be presented as part of a catalogue featuring some legends of the music!”
Robert Mitchell (Oct 2012)
For more information on Robert, please visit his informative, beautifully designed website at: www.robertmitchellmusic.com
Stay tuned for more info on this special release!