Spotted: Michael Llewelyn Barker – The Wind Shifts

Spotted: Michael Llewelyn Barker – The Wind Shifts

Today I’m presenting you to the track The Wind Shifts by the British composer and piano player Michael Llewelyn Barker, based in London, UK. Michael have played the piano for as long as he can remember, and has always created original music.

My initial introduction to the piano came from my great uncle, who loved George Gershwin and seemed to play like him. He had a lovely grand piano that took up the majority of his living room and he showed me how to play the easier pieces from Bartok’s Mikrokosmos and Tchaikovsky’s Album pour enfants. I resisted formal lessons however, preferring to dabble on whatever instrument I could lay my hands on and find my own way in.

The track The Wind Shifts was released as a single on the 16th of November, 2020.

Tell us something about your track The Wind Shifts!
Strangely for me, it was quite spontaneous. I’d been reading Wallace Stevens’ Harmonium, and a poem from that collection, The Wind Shifts, inspired (and gives its name to) this piece. Usually, I labour over each bar and carefully consider every note, but in this case I just put the sustain pedal down, started to play the B in crochets in the left hand and the rest just came from there. I refined it of course, and later added the melody that comes in half way through.

The Wind Shifts was recorded by a young Irish pianist called Stan O’beirne, who I’ve worked with several times before. He is a truly gifted player who puts his soul into every note. I feel my own playing to sometimes be a little rigid and heavy handed – fatal for a piece marked Gently, expressively, freely! Stan interprets my music the way that I imagine it when I look at the dots on the page.

Thank you Michael!

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