I love Christmas piano music. But I could never find just the right meditative, contemplative timbre that matched my frame of mind around the turning of the year. So I decided to write some, and the creative journey of making my latest CD began.
Finding Sanctuary: Christmas
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A Contemplative Christmas…
Much Christmas music is exuberantly joyful. But for me, the few weeks around the turn of the year offer a time of contemplation, of considering where I’ve been and where I’m going, and of thinking about those things I’ve done right as well as those I wish I could have done differently.
I like to put on a heavy sweater, pour a little whiskey, and settle down with a view of the misty day outside. This is a time to think, dream, plan, regret if necessary, remember those who have passed, and be warmed by the love of those with us still.
That’s the atmosphere I wanted to create in this album, ever since getting started in the hot days of August in Naples, Florida. But I’ve loved it. It’s been a glowing ember that I’ve carried in my heart since the day I began selecting the pieces I would play.
I chose the piano for its beauty, expressiveness, and simplicity. But I also wanted a fullness and a lightness to the arrangements – more than I could do with two hands alone. So I have layered the piano parts on top of one another. In some places there are up to four pianos at work, each with its own voice, it’s own expression, its own part to sing.
I want this collection of songs and carols to be worthy of active listening, and yet gentle enough to abide in the background. It’s not party music. Rather, it’s music for a more solemn, deeply joyful celebration – a celebration of the life and breath we live and breathe every day.
"A beautiful instrumental EP with lush arrangements and finely tuned production, The Clearing is an expertly crafted piece that is both uplifting and at times deceptively melancholy."
"Very listenable with palpable emotion..."
"Calming, peaceful and great to listen to on the way home from work while stuck in traffic..."
The Production Blog
Hey there – I just got back from some travel and I wanted to give a quick update on my Christmas album.
I was at the High Point Furniture Market with my interior designer wife, and I’ve seen more furniture than any man should see in a 3-day period. I have to say, though, I’m surprised at the level of sophistication that my taste in furniture and accessories is attaining. Of course, any level of sophistication is something of a surprise.
But now it’s over, I’m back home, and the time has come to finish up Finding Sanctuary: Christmas. [Read More…]
My wife started talking about this book. It’s a diet book. One of her friends lost 20 pounds, is still losing, feels so much better, and all of that. The next thing I know the book is in our house, my wife is reading it, and I have agreed to accompany my wife on this journey. She looks amazing just as she is. I, on the other hand, look not unlike an overstuffed body pillow. [Read More…]
Philip Stephen Allen on Soundcloud
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