The winter is coming and the British pianist and music teach Simeon Walker released this week with his debut "Mono" the perfect soundtrack for the fourth season of the year. His first full-lenght album follows the musical and compositional roots of his previous EP "Preface" (via 1631 Recordings), and represent for the Leeds-based modern classical musician "both the end of a long journey, and an exciting new beginning."
This long journey was characterized by several collaborations in the last years with musicians or bands like Chequered, Portmanteau, Bruno Merz Band or Cottonwoolf before he decided to focus more on instrumental piano music a few years ago.
Inspired by pianists like Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm began Simeon to experiment with a lots of new compositional and musical ideas on his favorite instrument and shared via Soundcloud in 2015 his first piano pieces like "Awake" or "Eulogy", which received a lot of recognition and smoothed the way for many new projects like the already mentioned "Preface EP" or the Piano Day special "Compline" and "Drift".
This album represents both the end of a long journey, and an exciting new beginning." - Simeon Walker
While the snowflakes were falling softly outside composed Simeon in his living room in Bramley those nine wonderful piano pieces for his album "Mono". "There is a coldness yet beckoning quality to the music, said the Leeds-based composer about the those compositions and the quality of this new solo piano recordings is brilliant. The tense and melancholic melody lines of his opening piece "Turn" introduce the listener to the warm, evocative modern classical soundscapes of "Mono". Piano soundscapes full of intimacy and proximity, and without any clean and flawless recordings. Creaky and grinding noises of the piano or the sounds of the street scenery on compositions like "Hush", "Froze" or "Lull" giving this album its edges and tenderness.
His musical contrary to this cold and dark season are pieces like "Drift" or the feathery, airy piano ballade "Breathe", which is truly "music to hunker down and hibernate [...]." A record with melodies and harmonies as an antidote to the stress and the chaos of this world.
The creative mastermind behind the beautiful artwork of Simeon's debut album is the Minnesota-based Gregory Euclide, who is known for his unconventional, stunning depictions of North American nature and landscapes. His evocative assemblages that are often made with organic materials like moss or roots has been featured at several exhibitions in New York (Museum of Arts and Design), Reno (Nevada Museum of Art) or Ohio (Toledo Museum of Art).
Therefore, he is also known for his artwork designs for artists like the Grammy Award winning Bon Iver ("Bon Iver" LP) or the legendary Erased Tapes composer Lubomyr Melnyk ("Corollaries LP" and "Evertina EP"). Music has been always another important source of inspiration for the multiple awarded contemporary artist. Especially modern classical soundscapes became in the last years his soundtrack to his works. So it was not a coincidence that Simeon and Gregory collaborated for this special album.
So if you want to enjoy Simeon's music, you can listen to it on Spotify, Soundcloud and iTunes or buy it as a 12'' vinly or CD on Bandcamp. Futhermore, Simeon is currently on tour and present his new album in several British cities live. The official album launch show will be at the 300-year-old Holy Trinity Church in Leeds. Find more information about his concerts on his Facebook page. Enjoy!