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EP Launch at The Late Shows in Newcastle

‘Pitch Black Piano’ – A Late Show Release From An Award Winning Newcastle Composer.

Newcastle based composer Steve Luck is set to release his brand new solo piano EP called ‘Home’ on Friday 13th May 2016. The release will coincide with the ‘Late Shows’ in Newcastle and Steve will be giving free performances of tracks from the EP from his studio on level 2 of 36 Lime Street, NE1 2PQ throughout the Late Show weekend.

Home EP cover art

The EP is a follow up to last years critically acclaimed debut album ‘Sailing On The Big Sea’. The music is uniquely atmospheric. It is beautifully simple and direct. Contemporary piano music that has a wistful, longing quality but at the same time is  uplifting, joyous and life-affirming. It is a gorgeously melodic collection of work.

You can get to experience these wonderful pieces played live in the dark, as part of the launch of the EP at the Late Shows in Newcastle.

‘Pitch Black Piano’ will take place on level 2 of the historic 36 Lime Street building in the Ouseburn. There will be a total of eight separate performances, scheduled for every half an hour beginning at 7.30 on both Friday and Saturday, the 13th and 14th of May 2016

Every light source in the studio is blocked out to create a very special atmosphere with the focus firmly on listening to the music. The only light in the room comes from a sound sensitive multi-coloured, moving light placed inside the piano, illuminating  the action of the hammers inside of the piano in time with music.

pimped piano

It will be a wonderful shared experience, in an intimate, atmospheric setting. Each performance will last approximately ten minutes and the maximum audience size is just 25.

Steve said “I am very much looking forward to the launch of my EP at the Late Shows. The event creates a unique atmosphere around the city and I’m delighted to be part of it again. I think that the pieces I have composed will suit the intimate setting of the performance space in the studio, and hopefully people will enjoy a memorable experience, hearing the music close up, as part of a small audience sitting in the dark”

To listen to the title track of the EP ‘Home’ visit  www.steveluck.com

CD’s will be available for sale after each performance and downloads of the EP will be available from www.steveluck.com  from Friday 13th May.

 

Cinematic show reel

I recently added a show reel to soundcloud featuring some of my most cinematic music. Some older tracks sit alongside some that were composed more recently but all have a cinematic feel – that is…  they conjure up images when you listen.

Do let me know what you think of the tracks I selected and what images you see when you listen.

If you are a film director and would like to work with me on your next project do get in touch – click the contact button above.

Peace Process-ion

I have spent the last month or so working with the lovely people at Skimstone Arts in Newcastle on a project entitled Peace Process-ion.

It was part of an international movement in the arts exploring and celebrating peace. It has been a wonderful, inspirational experience, working closely both with fellow professional artists and Skimstones Young Artist Collective, to produce a wide ranging multi-disciplinary piece of work incorporating installation and live physical theatre performance.

One of the tracks I composed is entitled ‘War Is A Racket’

It is written for string quartet and recorded sound featuring quotes from an audio version of a publication by Major General Smedley Butler called ‘War Is A Racket’.

Smedley Butler was a highly decorated US Marine who, after a long military career, leading his men into battles on behalf of the US government came to the conclusion that his role had been primarily to further the interests of the very few at the expense of the very many.

Listen to the piece here…

You can watch  ‘behind the scenes’ footage of the build up to a performance of Peace Procession in this video put together by fellow Peace Procession artist Sophia Gardiner

Behind the Scenes of 'Peace Process-ion' (a video made for Posterity) from sophiagardiner on Vimeo.

 

French Carousel

In 2013, on holiday in France, we had a couple of travel stopovers in the city of Troyes. On the journey back to England, we arrived in Troyes tired, and left the hotel in the early evening in search of something to eat.

In a backstreet on the way into town there was a small pizza takeaway with a couple of tables outside. Inside, the owner was a genial French man with a ready smile and a bottle of Pastis, and a parrot on his shoulder. This was a good start. We had a hilarious meal with great food, good wine and fantastic entertainment from the combination of the owner and Harry his green feathered friend, whom, so the story goes, had been rescued from a bar where he was being mistreated – or was it that he had won it in a bet – I think both stories came out at different times.

Anyway, giddy from the hilarity of the evening, we strolled into town and as the sun went down and the moon hung silently above the cobbled streets, my wife and daughter rode on a carousel in the town square.

Here they are on the way to the ride.

 

french carousel

 

 

I was thinking about that night whilst improvising and called the piece that emerged I called ‘French Carousel’.
It’s in three time which, as a time signature has a ‘circular’ feel about it and it is often used on old fairground rides.

The left hand opening chords turn around on themselves.

The melody has, I think, something of an old fashioned quality to it – distinctly European – the regularity of the phrasing, helps with this and the harmonies don’t stray far from the original root.

In the middle section the right hand embellishes the melody with the addition of an arpeggio figuration which attempts to represent a little of the giddy excitement of the ride as well as the bonhomie of the evening with the parrot and his owner.

Folk Dance (Dreaming With Your Feet)

The county of Northumberland is only a few miles from my house. It is extremely beautiful and I enjoy regular trips there to experience the sense of space and serenity that its sparse population and ruggedly magnificent countryside gives rise to. It has a rich history and vibrant cultural tradition including many types of folk music.

A good friend, and fine musician, Jim Hornsby, let us stay in his holiday home in the village of Alwinton in the summer of 2012. Long walks and bike rides were the order of the day with plenty of time for unwinding, relaxing and reflecting – the perfect’getting away from it all’ experience.That was where the idea for this piece first appeared.

In my late teens the only Northumbrian folk music I remember listening to was an album called ‘On Kielder Side’ by Kathryn Tickell which I borrowed on cassette from the local library and would listen to on my Sony walkman. Although I never knew her, Kathryn was about two years ahead of me at the same school in Gosforth and when I think about it now, I suppose her success at an early age may well have sown the seed that it may be possible to earn a living as a musician, even if I never remotely considered that prospect at the time. Sometimes you need role models in your community to help you to see what is possible.

The music of Northumberland betrays a lot of Celtic influences. Some use of the five notes that make up the pentatonic scale, relatively simple harmonies and the triple time signature contribute a lilting cascading feel to this piece which has its roots in Northumberland. Sometimes it feels like the music of the local area gets into your bones without you even being aware of it.

Pitch Black Piano – Late Shows 2015

pimped piano

Beautiful solo piano music played in the deepest darkest depths of 36 Lime Street as part of The Late Shows 2015.

Come down to level two of this amazing John Dobson designed building, sit in comfort in a darkened studio and experience this intimate musical event.

Enjoy ten minutes of audio enchantment. Let the magically illuminated piano beguile your senses.

Free entry.

Friday 15th May 2015
Performances every 30 minutes at 7.15, 7.45, 8.15, 8.45, 9.15, 9.45, 10.15 and 10.45

In between piano recitals there will also be screenings of short films with pre-recorded soundtracks.