Back in 2003, I had the honour to be awarded a scholarship to study jazz composition at “Newpark School of Music”, Dublin, with composer Ronan Guilfoyle. During the 14 weeks I spent there, I had the chance to exchange ideas and share my very first attempts to write music with some of the most talented young musicians in the Irish and European scene. Every week we’d write a new tune based on a new concept or style and and play it! How amazing….
How wonderful to work with a master of composition and performance who is not just a music teacher but also a world class musician and composer. Ronan guided all of us through some of the most exciting music ever written and gave us enough material for a whole life of intense study. At the same time, I was working on some really cool concepts of chromatic composition, inspired by a manuscript John Abercrombie gave me during a masterclass in his house in North Salem, New York. The tune is called “Spring Sons” and is published in “Open Land” (ECM records).
When Ronan asked us to write a tune based on those very same concepts, I thought I would be interesting to “steal” some of the ideas from Spring Sons. The tune that came out sounded to me like something that slowly evolves (perhaps like myself as a musician/composer) in an uncoventional, corky fashion. I wrote many versions of it over the years, humming the melody in my head everywhere I’d go, until I decided which the best version would be. With the help of my good friend Patrice Brun, I played the tune a few times live . It’s a really hard tune to play, with all those changes forcing you to change tonal centre at almost every bar….
Eleven years later, I’ve finally decided to record the tune in the company of Patrice, of course, bassist Cormac O’Brien and drummer Cormac Larkin. I absolutely loved to work with this super talented artists. We had a laugh all the way through and everything happened effortlessly. We met in a a nice and quiet studio around the corner from my apartment in Greystones, turned the heating on and started to record a few takes. With the assistance of Eoghan O’Brien and Gary Sheridan, some absolutely wonderful video producers, we just made it happen…