November 26 – John Farah Releases New CD

OK… I’m a bit late with this post ūüôā John and his good friend Attila Fias released their new¬†CD back in October. However, it IS brilliant and you should all go and buy a copy of it as soon as you can!

Pieces of the Earth

Toronto composer-pianists Attila Fias and John Kameel Farah present a CD of Earth-themed compositions and improvisations for two pianos.

PIECES OF THE EARTH is inspired by our planet in all of its manifestations: as a world of deep oceans and pillared mountains of natural wonder and majesty, as a precious island in our solar system, as a place of civilisations blooming and falling, and as a fragile, delicate environment in peril. Themes of the fluttering of birds, volcanic plumes, cosmic dervishes, dreamy gardens and trembling warnings from the Earth itself dance and intertwine throughout the album. Drawing upon their combined diverse backgrounds in jazz, free improv, minimalism, Electronic music, Early music and avant-garde experimentalism, the stylistic range of these new pieces and improvisations expand the boundaries of the piano duo repertoire.

David Dacks, an independent reviewer for¬†exclaim.ca¬†wrote in his¬†review: ¬†“…their incredible dexterity is much more than mere flash. With two pianos you get double the majestic chords, twice the number of contrapuntal runs and infinitely more possibilities for atmospheric effects.”

July 29th at the Arts & Letters Club, Toronto

Hi everyone – Paul here… just a little recap of how the show went from our perspective.

Unfortunately, John and Rose weren’t able to perform with us this time. ¬†Their cool sounds were missed!

For me personally, this was a big night.  The debut of new additions to my performance rig.  I have begun to use some of the wonderful synthesizers available for the iPad and also started using a new network based MIDI protocol in order to use it to control my soft-synths running on my laptop via a wireless connection.  About a year ago I started learning to play the Chapman Stick and this was my first time using it in a performance.  Yes РI was a bit nervous!

We waited in the bar and started the show from there (a great way to start a show BTW!) using my new iPad setup. ¬†After a few seconds of the audience wondering what was going on (in the recordings you can hear some talking at the beginning), I wandered in trying to play and make sure the audience could see what was going on on my iPad while at the same time trying not to drop it and shatter the screen into a million pieces! ¬†This went well, and the rest of the band along with our guest (Farhad Nargol-O’Neill – Piano & Cello) eventually followed me onto the stage and began to play.

We played 5 completely improvised pieces which were well received by the audience and had a great time.

Follow this link to find some recordings of the event. ¬†Unfortunately, there is quite a bit of distortion at times. ¬†We are reasonably certain that the distortion is as a result of the recording feed coming off of the A&L’s equipment. ¬†It did seem a bit under powered for our style of playing. ¬†This is too bad, because there are some very tasty bits in there and the distortion is very distracting.