I mentioned my cousin, successful jazz pianist Martin Litton in a recent blog post. He’s been kind enough to share some of his reactions to my album Valentine Court (which you can listen to on the music page of this site.

Its interesting in terms of a critical analysis of my music, and later he later presents contrasting takes on what we are each trying to achieve with our music:

“I liked your piece Lyndall and the Debussyan intro to the Cello Song and the major-minor shift towards the end of Gudonya. This last, like So Steve has a perpetuum mobile effect, of which you seem fond. Sensawunda does what it says on the tin and Just Sitting could be your tribute to John Cage.

Beyond this I don’t feel qualified to comment because my aims appear the polar opposite of yours. You achieve a trance-like ambience through a harmonically static medium with motivic repetition, whereas I follow the jazz dictum “the sound of surprise,” where I try to challenge the listener within a swinging framework. My heroes are people like Earl Hines, teddy Wilson, Willie “The Lion” Smith etc whereas your points of reference are just names to me.”

Its interesting to note that two of the composers mentioned in the wikipedia entry for perpetuum mobile (defined as “pieces of music, or parts of pieces, characterised by a continuous steady stream of notes, usually at a rapid tempo”) are Beethoven and Schubert, two composers close to my heart, although I often to credit the minimalism of Steve Reich as having had an effect on my penchant for fast, repetitive rhythm.


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