It is one of life’s ironies that, if you want freedom, you have to impose limits.  Nowhere is this truer for me than in my work.  Unlimited options often lead to paralysis, whereas the right limits, artfully imposed, allow creativity to flourish.

It was with this in mind that, at the end of November last year, I set myself the task of writing and recording as many pieces of music as I could in a 4 week span, using only a piano.

Four weeks is only 28 days, so I worked all of them.

By the time the deadline rolled around I’d created 15 pieces of the most beautiful, unique, and emotionally unexpected music that I’ve ever been a part of.  I picked the very best of these and, 2 days before Christmas, under a sky pregnant with snow, mixed them in Post Electric Studios with my favorite engineer.

The mastering process took a lot longer than the mixing to get right (hence the delay) but, like all good things, it was worth the wait.

When I was a child I was fascinated by Michelangelo’s pencil sketches.  I love their fearless rough beauty, the vitality and living possibility of them.  It is only when you are truly free of expectation that the best things can happen.

These four tracks are my sketches.  They are beautiful, flawed, honest, and real; snapshots of shining moments in time, captured, polished, and presented through the miracle of modern technology.

Polaroids of light and sound.

Available right now.

Get It Here.

I believe that there exists in each of us a need for things that are real and true and meaningful.  And that the artist’s task is to dive down and find those things, then bring them back and polish them up with craft, before offering them to those people who’ll get the most from them.  I believe that art can be a touchstone to something greater than ourselves, can help us evolve, to heal, and sometimes, even to transcend.

That is what I always aim for in my work. That is what I aimed for with these pieces.  I’ll let you be the judge of whether I hit my mark.  My hope is that, wherever you are, they can be of some small use to you.

Still on the fence?  Here is the first track from the E.P.

If this is something you feel you may connect with, please buy the music.  Buy it to feed your soul and support independent art (because then I can make more for you).  Join this growing community and be part of the solution.  Because together we can make the world a better place, a little at a time.

I hope this finds you well.  Feel free to get in touch and share your thoughts and reactions with me, I am ever curious to hear what you think.

We are in this together, speak soon,

– J x

The people on my mailing list got to hear about this first.  They also got first shot at the patron tier and will shortly  be receiving a free track from the EP.

So what are you waiting for?  It’s free to join, it’s an awesome group of folk, and there are gifts.  It’s a no-brainer.  Come.  Join us

Oh, and Buy My Record (Because you’re worth it.)

38 thoughts on “ Polaroids of Light and Sound / The Piano Sketches E.P. ”

  1. I just re-read this post and there is a lot in here that resonates as we make our way through an altered world, especially your thoughts on freedom and imposing limits. Why did I re-read this post, I’m waiting for more of your beautiful words, James!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always love hearing from you. And this comment made my day.
      I will be posting more frequently on the blog from now on. You words have helped this along the way, and I am grateful for it.
      I hope you are well, please do write and tell me how you are doing.
      All the best,
      – J

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m keeping safe and working hard to feel positive throughout my days…I walk each day for an hour or so by the ocean and through our now oxygen-rich forest…night finds me reading or meditating (and dancing through a vast CD collection!). But still I falter and realized yesterday that my new physical world doesn’t align yet with my inner world…I’m not totally at peace yet with this altered world. Seeking out inspiring words as I wander through WordPress helps a lot…I’m looking forward to your future and much needed offerings!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I am glad to hear that you are still taking your walks through ocean and forest. These things are good for the soul and must not be neglected. And, strange as it may seem, I am glad to hear that you are not at peace with this new world yet. I am suspicious of anyone who claims to be. It is a big change. But there is no change that does not bring with it some good, so I remain hopeful.
          I will get to work on some more words for you – I hope these help in the meantime. It is lovely to hear your voice.
          Big hug,
          – J x

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Real talent. I loved listening to your ‘Music for a film that never was.’ What an original title too! It is emotional, engaging, bringing the listener on a poetic journey with you. I love how simply the melody begins and how independent the hands are in your writing. Reminds me of a river flowing in the left hand and rain droplets in the right hand! Thank you for sharing this. :)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great sample track. And you’ve done precisely what I want to do – hole up, create on piano, record TV/film worthy cue(s) and songs, then mix it. Where are you? UK? I’d be interested in collaborating. I’ll send you some links to rough new piano stuff. I’m also a vocalist (you maybe know this??). Nicely done!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great sample track. And you’ve done precisely what I want to do – hole up, create on piano, record TV/film worthy cue(s) and songs, then mix it. Where are you? UK? I’d be interested in collaborating. I’ll send you some links to rough new piano stuff. I’m also a vocalist (you maybe know this??). Nicely done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey there,
      Thanks a lot – that’s really kind of you. You should do this. Hole up, do your thing, make your thing.
      I am in Edinburgh, where are you?
      If I had the time, I’d love to collaborate but, at the moment I am 24/7 on my new pieces in the studio.
      I’d love to hear your stuff tho, mail me.
      Have a good one,
      – J x


      1. Hey James – weird times! I’m near Vancouver, BC, Canada. I do music 100% and writing (neglected little daughter/son)! Recording again now – i could send you upcoming stuff to “review” casually/or not ha. Have 3 neglected blogs. Would LOVE to get one running well, or combine a page with three styles… hmm! Np on the too busy to collaborate bit. I get it!! Be well, take extra care, create & have fun!


        1. Weird times indeed.
          You mention a few things you’re neglecting here, which is interesting.
          Things do not grow well without your attention, so maybe show them some love.
          Hope you are well, best of luck with everything,
          – J


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