Tuesday 6 December 2016

Writing the Instrumental Music Album 'LANDS' and what it's all about.....

From about 1995 to 2001 I had spent a lot of time writing piano solos.  As a pianist I found that I would want to play a certain type of music but was unable to find that music in music shops.  I focused on writing music that I could play on the piano that would not be 'classical' or 'jazz' but would be reflective, moving, background, tuneful and interesting.  My inspiration for writing was in the titles that my sister would give me.  Each title sparked my imagination and I would try to reflect this through music. 
My earliest pieces were titles such as 'Fawn in the Valley', 'Vineyard in Flower', 'Wine of the Pomegranates' so I began to get into the habit of imagining beautiful landscapes, flowers, animals, vast scenes, panoramas, lakes, rivers, fields - the beauty of earth.  Sometimes I would print out a picture of a natural scene and stick it on the piano for inspiration too. 
With about 60 pieces under my belt I set about taking several pieces and expanding them into instrumental CD tracks.  I used first a keyboard and then a Clavinova digital piano in order to add other instruments.
I spent a couple of years working with those original piano solo ideas and created a beautiful style of reflective, atmospheric, calming and tranquil pieces which formed the albums 'Worlds' Dreams' and 'Journeys'.
After this I wanted to do something different and I embarked upon 'Lands'.  At the time the 'Lord of the Rings' films were coming out and what I liked about them was the scenery.  I had imagined for years this type of ancient, mysterious world, panoramic views of canyons, green hills, forests, and presented this through music. 
Now I could actually see the type of images I had been writing about and I felt even more inspired.  With 'Lands' I was able to embrace this further and write with more drums, recorders and a more ancient English style.  'Lands' to this day remains my favourite album. 
There is so much in it and it's just what I like to hear.  Lord of the Rings added that fantasy element, a slight mystical and magical dimension which added more depth to my music.  Some of the track titles for 'Lands' are:
Empire of the Kings
Valley of the 12 Tombs
and now writing and imagining these vast lands and empires, I also could imagine those ancient statues which reflected the past; with the idea of elves and mystery I could add an almost magical fantasy dimension to the idea of the pieces and it just generally enhanced the atmosphere. 
'Empire of the Kings' track encompasses not only imaginative vistas but a whole history of Kingdoms and people, instruments and a way of life, plus a spiritual and otherworldly atmosphere.  This was all important groundwork to eventually writing soundtracks for the Mary's Dowry Productions films.  Imagination is key.
Lands has 13 tracks, all of which were written with instruments on the Clavinova.  The album takes a more 'ancient English' or 'Lord of the Rings Medieval' tone, with a depth of mystery with a great deal of stories and history being told through the pieces.  The track listing is as follows:
1. The Valley of the Twelve Tombs (3:48)
2. City of the Jagged Mountains (4:44)
3. The Hollow of Mists (4:15)
4. The Winding Grassland of Rivers (3:56)
5. The Kingdom of Sands (3:37)
6. Country of Frost (3:00)
7. City of Reeds (5:47)
8.  The Forgotten Realm of Rhyme (3:52)
9. The Land of the Trees (3:34)
10.  The Empire of the Kings (5:58)
11.  Collapsing City of Clouds (3:42)
12. Kingdom of the Grey Lakes (5:02)
13. Cobweb Deserts (3:41)
I had been in touch with a really nice man who ran a 'Reflective Music' website and was promoting my albums.  He suggested making my tracks a bit longer and this was great advice.  Now that I was not taking piano solos which I had already written, and re-arranging them, but writing whole new pieces instrumentally, I could keep this in mind.  Notice how the track length times are longer on this album. 
The album LANDS is an assemblage of imaginative pieces. Each tune takes you into a land of visual imagery. As you listen, let yourself be taken through winding grasslands, past rivers, across deserts, on top of mountains. Visit new realms where kings once feasted and battles were fought, but all that remains is the moving memory of the history that once was. Travel to Egypt in the Egyptian themed 'The Kingdom of Sands' where the native Oud gently accompanies playful yet haunting flutes. Hold back the tears as you explore the deserted streets of the 'Forgotten Realm of Rhyme' as the sweet and mystical melody of the piano tells its own story. This album will gently relax and inspire you to meditate while escaping into new lands. The perfect mingling of instruments, from Spanish Guitar, flute, bassoon, clarinet, piano, drum and panflute contrast perfectly touching on the medieval and the mysterious. Tender Gothic choir and charming nature sounds are certain to arouse the spirit within
In 2007 I enhanced this album even more and upgraded some of the instruments to VST sounds.  'LANDS' is available to buy worldwide on CD at www.marysdowryproductions.org.  To listen to samples visit my You Tube Channel!


  1. this album sounds intriguing - I'm a LOTR fan myself

  2. Thank you. If you take a look at my latest post about 'Worlds' album I go into a little bit more detail about some of the reasons why I like LOTR as a starting point, as well as fantasy art and lands.