NOW PLAYING "PASSIONATA" BY MAXX SILVER
Musicians, as most people, come as various types. Some spend their lives following a narrow musical track, rarely deviating from the area they work in. Think of those bands who release a third album which sounds much like the first.
But others, such as Maxx Silver, can follow up Electroclash and Pop (still Maxx's main area) with an album of mostly, ahem, piano music and classical music.
So, Maxx, tell us about this change in style...
"Well I was originally trained in classical piano up to Grade 8. I used to perform some pieces at a friends house, and she really liked them, this led to doing a few local performances.
So I decided to record an album of classical music that I had written.
I suppose the style is similar to piano music written between 1830 and 1900... It is very melodic, not discordant. But I also wanted
to have more experimental aspects to the production. With the addition of some more synthesised pieces it is a varied collection"
On "Empty Room", the piano is recorded with the microphones right next to the hammers, it makes for a different and disquieting atmosphere, and then other effects appear, including samples. It is then quite experimental in its middle section. There is a beautiful edited (2 minute) version on You Tube.
"That piece was recorded at my Dads' house. The idea was to try and reflect that in a now empty room, and while he is gone, the memories remain.
It was am improvised work, I didn't know what I was playing before I played it, save for a tune I had in my head.
You are hearing my thoughts translated into to music in real time as in most of these pieces"
Its very beautiful and melodic, with a darker middle section.
"Summer Dreams" is another nostalgic piece, mores structured, with a stunning video shoot on location at Lake Como, Italy which you can see on You Tube.
On "Sundew" Maxx performs with "The Labyrinth Orchestra" It is a slow, reflective almost "New Age" piece which also seems initially quite fragile and atmospheric but builds to a real climax with horns and strings.
"I love Sundew!" he says, " it is the "single" for the album so it is quite simple. Probably the only single I will do that is 20BPM as I'm normally 100 more than that!"
On the full version of "This Must Be The Cure", the synths are less orchestral, more Vangelis. Its a passionate and dramatic piece.
"Classical Hip Hop is not a term often used, but the idea was to integrate mechanical elements
into up to 16 separate parts to create an impression of a ferry boat on a lake surrounded by mountains. It works for me but it was a slow burner, took well over a year to write and complete that piece. It took me over 200 attempts to mix it"
However I prefer the intimacy of piano pieces such as "Passione" which are more successful as pieces - though you tend to wonder when the passion will happen, its a slow start Maxx!
"The original piece was going to be about fog. Whilst improvising it I suddenly went in a different direction as I ran out of anything to say about fog! So it just evolved to this slow burner piece that builds as it goes along.
It builds tension which then resolves itself...!
The climax (the only word to use! ) of "Passione" is one of the most beautiful moments of music you will hear, ever, featuring three piano parts and a synthesiser backing that sympathises rather than intrudes, ascending like a rocket into the sky only to plummet back down to earth at the end.