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A percussionist's songbook

Joby Burgess (percussion)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
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Label: Signum Classics
Recording details: Various dates
Various recording venues
Produced by Joby Burgess
Engineered by Various engineers
Release date: September 2022
Total duration: 51 minutes 38 seconds

Cover artwork: Photograph © Nick White.

Joby Burgess unleashes an arsenal of pitched percussion, electronic wizardry and unbridled creative imagination in a quasi songbook of multi-faceted inspiration: from poetry, novels and philosophical musings, to Peter Gabriel, UN population-growth statistics and a folk tale from the Orient.

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I was fortunate to grow up in home full of music; not a house of musicians, but of music lovers. Everything from Bach and Mozart to the operas of Philip Glass and John Adams. The Modern Jazz Quartet and Miles Davies through to the songs of Leonard Cohen and the Eurythmics are amongst my earliest childhood memories.

However, it is the pop song—that perfect short form music that sticks with me the most. I remember Saturday mornings during the mid-eighties, pocket money in hand picking out the latest seven inch singles for my first turntable. I love the narrative, the hook, the emotion and memories created in the tracks of my childhood, which I still return too.

I was thrilled to have many of my favourite musicians contribute to this album, bringing their own take on narrative and story in the short form. A Saturday morning find, Graham Fitkin’s Hook opened my ears to the marimba, whilst my then college-mate Dobrinka Tabakova wrote one of my earliest commissions, Urban Folk.

Since East London in the early noughties, myself and Gabriel Prokofiev have collaborated and travelled extensively. Yazz Ahmed and Tunde Jegede provide me with the opportunity to explore jazz-fused electronica and the sounds of West Africa, both hugely important musical influences on my playing.

I have performed a plethora of arrangements by John Metcalfe—most memorably touring and recording his orchestral reworkings for Peter Gabriel and have recorded on numerous film scores by Dario Marianelli, including his most recent project with director Joe Wright Darkest Hour.

I was gently persuaded into performing Bach on marimba, which provoked me to compose Come sweet death. My final track Take me home brings me back to Wiltshire, where I grew up within a few miles of Bath and Real World Studios.

Joby Burgess © 2022

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