CD – Ikkyu’s Dream



Solo Piano Reflections

Philip Swanson




“Born like a dream

In this dream of a world

How easy in mind I am

I who will fade away

Like the morning dew.”

— IKKYU SOJUN (1394-1481)

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This album offers a series of reflections on Ikkyu Sojun’s poem. It includes both original works and interpretations of works of other musicians. The musical world of the impressionists—Debussy in particular—pervades much of this music.

Ikkyu’s Dream establishes the atmosphere of the album. “Neptune’s Canvas” is a musical rendering of the colors of the ocean I witness in my home town of Gloucester, Massachusetts. “Crystal Silence” has always been a favorite tune and fits this landscape perfectly. “Loss” is just that. “InteriorWinds”, the longest selection, traverses numerous musical worlds. Portions of this work bring to mind the language of Rachmaninov. “The Impending Death of the Virgin Spirit” is a poignant, tender, heart-breaking work by Will Ackerman for 12-string guitar—this ismy rendition for piano. “The Other Side” is a set of variations of increasing rhythmic complexity on the simple three-chord progression stated at the opening. “Blue in Green” is one of the all-time great ballads—just a simple 10-bar tune, but what worlds it opens up! “Peace” is another rich ballad, full of developmental possibilities. “My Funny Valentine”, the classic standard, is presented here in a complex polyrhythmic manner—a new take on an old chestnut. “Blue in Green”: “Which take should we use?” is a question I asked Richard Price, my great recording producer. “Use both,” he said. We did. “Into the Mist” returns us to the emptiness from whence we sprang. Enjoy…

— PHILIP SWANSON, October 2009