a song by an Irish river
riverrun, take one
I was talking to a friend the other day
about just how exhausting it is to watch or listen to much of anything these days.
I meant it in the literal sense: it fatigues me to be subjected to endless splices and edits and noises and sampled sounds that accompany much of music and film these days.
This is why, for the past year, I haven’t listened to much of anything except instrumental jazz (Chet Baker, Bill Evans) and classical music (Chopin, Satie), and it’s why I’ve been playing a quieter kind of music to accompany static, extended videos of places I’ve discovered that remind me to take my time and be radically present.
The idea behind this song & video is simple: to remind myself of being radically present and taking my time, if only for 4 minutes and 37 seconds.
I captured the above scene on the River Dargle in County Wicklow, Ireland, where& I spent a few days exploring. We were walking along a small dirt path called Lover’s Leap Lane, outside of the village of Enniskerry, whereupon we came across the faint melody of a rushing river somewhere down below. After descending down a steep slope via the faint contours of a path, we arrived on even ground and looked for old stones along the banks of the river.
The song is called “riverrun”
because I like the analogy of a flowing river when it comes to playing music. Quite simply, I don’t believe it’s possible to play a song the same way twice.
Just as a flowing river is always changing,
so too is the way I place my fingers on the keys.
When I remember to pay attention to the river, I start to notice the subtle changes in the river’s current and in the way the light changes behind the trees and in the way the trees sway in the wind.
Many of you know about my indie pop band named after my debut novel, Slim and The Beast. We had many-a-joyous adventures and musical experiences. Me, my twin brother(he's the best singer-songwriter I know) and friend Aurelien Amzallag can be forever proud of the 3 EPs we released.
As with all great musical adventures, though, in August, 2022, that particular project came to an end. It’s not a story I’m in need of telling yet, less so because it’s a sad story than because it’s a long story about life and unforeseen circumstances and creative differences and, most importantly, knowing when to move onwards. I’ll write that tale one day.
But the reason I’m bringing this up is decidedly happy:
For the past few months, I've been quietly working on a new solo set to perform in Paris, a compilation of jazz covers, old folk songs, and various original pieces composed for piano and voice.
If you’re a paying subscriber, you can expect to hear recordings from this recent work, which means more frequent videos and recordings of my solo musical journey.
For back catalogue fans, you can even listen to an early version of “riverrun” down below,recorded on a grand piano and complete with picturesque scenes from a Château in the Loire valley:
But heregoes the announcement this postscript is for:
On Wednesday, May 3rd, I’ll be sharing a new rendition of my musical self at 15 Rue Saint Sebastien, where I’ll be playing two short sets on an upright piano in a bar owned by a badass from Burkina Faso who named her cocktail bar after Nina Simone: