All of the songs in this set involve the subject of family. There are songs dedicated to children, parents, spouses as well as ancestors from many generations ago. They all share the unifying theme of family and the deep bonds that come with it.
During the March and April of 2017 I recorded 106 piano improvisations that were directly inspired by stories and images sent to me as part of this kickstarter project: www.kickstarter.com/projects/shnabubula/the-piano-storybook-images-brought-to-life-through
Here is the official website for the project that also contains individual write ups for each of the songs as well as videos of the performances: www.pianostorybook.com
If you just want to see the videos, here is the YouTube playlist of the entire project: www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtgCxM6Vh_5bC61v3Mt_toUGgAtv9u7V9
When I first launched the project, I wasn't 100% committed to improvise all of the songs, I had initially planned to go on a case by case basis and give myself the option to compose some of them before hand if I felt it was warranted. For this reason I didn't state specifically that the songs would be improvised, since I didn't want to lock myself into that.
Initially I wasn't sure if I'd be up to the challenge, I was very concerned about not meeting up to the expectations of the backers. The idea of improvising this many pieces of music and oftentimes the subject matter was very heavy and person, I must admit it was incredibly daunting.
While the process was definitely challenging, it was also incredibly rewarding, and in the end I ended up improvising every single one of the songs when I eventually decided, this was definitely the optimal method for giving the most emotional and connected performances. Using improvisation I was able to directly react to what I was seeing and feeling directly in the moment without any filter. I felt that this yielded the best and most personal results and I never once regretted the decision.
released December 8, 2017
Artwork by Seltaire (Max K. Lam)
Recording Engineer: MP Kuo