James Heather`s Stories From Far Away On Piano elicits emotions akin to the orchestral scores of Craig Armstrong, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Clint Mansell, Wim Mertens, Max Richter, and Hans Zimmer. The arrangements of Phil France and Matt Dunkley. Melancholy yet uplifting, wordless songs inspired by current world news. Topics of terrorism, torture and imprisonment. Injustice and contrasting compassion. Compositions that create images of crashing tide and time that wait for no man. Starcrossed lovers. Struggles for pleasure. A requiem for the vivid colours of a post-impressionist master. “Where discourses on madness and creativity converge.” Heather manages to do all this with just his piano.
The press release calls James` music Post-Classical, but really its simply Modern Classical. His playing receiving no manipulation or processing. Grand chords. Pathos marching. Repeating motifs colliding concentrically like the ripple of raindrops returning to Earth.
*I can also hear Poppy Ackroyd and Sebastien Tellier`s acoustic La Ritournelle.
Extracts from Stories From Far Away On Piano debuted at this year`s Glastonbury Festival, and James is now about to undertake a short solo tour. The first instalment of which takes place this Wednesday (October 4th) at Servant Jazz Quarters in Dalston. James is signed to Coldcut`s relaunched Ahead Of Our Time label, and Jonathan More appropriately provides DJ support on the night. You can purchase tickets through Gigantic and Ticketweb. You can purchase the album here, or stream it via Spotify here.
Two further gigs are booked for the National Concert Hall, Dublin and the London Jazz Festival on November 4th and 13th, respectively.
James has also put together this excellent “Influences” mix for Coldcut`s Solid Steel radio show.