From the Composer:

The collection of 16 pieces comprising Piano Noir  - Volume One introduces a somewhat new and unique approach to solo piano literature.  Simultaneously serious art music and background, atmospheric or non-specific programmatic music, one cannot ever find the exact moment when any of the pieces become strictly one or the other.  This has actually been typical of my general compositional style for many years but the Piano Noir collection, loosely paralleling a classic film genre, I feel has found an ideal artistic setting in bringing this tendency together with this particular title and collection of pieces. 

The “noir” element in this set of piano pieces is indeed a well-fitting framework as a kind of dark, haunting beauty is an obvious thread throughout this collection.  Also, classic film noir, a very popular but not precisely defined film genre, is also a personal favourite.  But in this set of musical compositions it is not at all my intention to merely try to imitate or express classic film noir or sound like this music might be derivative from various soundtracks in that genre, purely in a retro or nostalgic sense.  More so, the point here is to express the darker side of the piano in a variety of ways, some of them quite modern in tone and approach, some even humourous, and to perhaps somewhat expand upon and update what is referred to as “noir”.  (The visual counterpart to this music presented in my live concerts “The Piano Noir Experience”, consisting of specially conceived animations and moving images projected on a large screen, expands this notion even further.)

Stylistically, the music in Piano Noir is an organic step forward: Mostly neo-classical music written in simple structures and subtly coloured with various elements of blues and ambient music.  There are also obvious cinematic influences throughout this music but these are not always of a purely musical nature; I often endevour to musically capture the spirit of classic cinema, sometimes in atmosphere or moodiness, sometimes in playfulness or comedy.  These elements are all part of my artistic background and have been slowly integrated into my own expressions and style over several decades. 

Another noticeable element found in most of my piano music is the “symphonic” approach it often takes and this collection is perhaps the very best example.  Treating the piano more like an orchestra, with all its many sonic textures and tonal colours, rather than as a “solo” instrument or a platform for virtuosity, it is then often the basic compositional ideas themselves, and the rather understated manner in which they are performed on piano, that are the real focal point.  Achieving an overall tangible mood and atmosphere is always a high priority.  Having said that, a rare thing for me, several pieces in Piano Noir actually are a little dramatic or flashy, thus giving this collection a bit more variety than I probably originally set out for.

But perhaps the most outstanding thing, as I have heard from many people when performing this music over the years, is how strikingly visual the pieces are on their own, and how vivid their musical effect often becomes in the listener’s imagination, so much so that it seems at times one can almost walk right into them.  As one listener commented “this music is like experiencing, almost being in, a movie, without the movie.”