published: 18 /
Excellent EP from pianist and contemporary composer Simeon Walker proves the perfect introduction to his music for new fans and a treat for those who are already familiar with his work.
Leeds is home to the world renowned Leeds International Piano Competition every three years. It is also home to Simeon Walker, a pianist and composer who is working in a contemporary genre that may be familiar to those of us who have become fans of Radio 3’s Unclassified programmes and presenter Elizabeth Alker’s playlists.
He has also appeared at Timber Festival, a celebration of trees, nature and music held in the National Forest in July each year.
Simeon Walker released an album, 'Winnow', in late 2020, with the help of lockdown funding from the Help Musicians and PRS Foundation.
Talking about this new release, he says:
"My previous album 'Winnow' featured lots of additional instruments and was a big project to manage. 'Imprints' offered me the opportunity to return to my first love – the felted solo piano that means so much to me."
The upright piano played on these tracks is the one he learnt to play on as a child.
His debut album, 'Mono,' also featured delicate and intimate solo piano recordings.
By returning to shorter pieces, while keeping a sense of spaciousness and sparseness, Walker has left behind the complexity of recording 'Winnow'.
"I feel this is how I made my mark in the industry at first, and so to strip everything back and go back to this style of performing and recording felt the most natural step for me at this stage of my career."
Self released and recorded in his living room, this collection of 4 pieces is the first in what will become a series of EPs under the name 'Imprints'. Eventually they will be gathered together and released on vinyl and CD.
Individual tracks 'Gleam' and 'Ache' were released in September, with 'Bewild' following in October. The end of October sees the release of the final track Whist with the full EP.
Artwork is by regular collaborator Gregory Euclide, who has also worked with Bon Iver and Erased Tapes.
I met Simeon Walker recently when he played a short set at my favourite local venue.
The focused and reflective mood of his music was perfect for me as I made a cautious return to live events. This is the type of music that has helped me through the second lockdown and the winter of 2021. I’m aware that my listening habits have undergone a change since March 2020, and I’ve become a big fan of Radio 3 and the contemporary music and composers highlighted on some of their programmes. Simeon Walker’s music is melodic, contemplative, unhurried and soothing. The perfect antidote to the anxieties and insecurities of recent events.
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