1. Forward Motion
The opening track of the album “Forward Motion” is also the first single, and really sets the tone for the new sonic landscape that the trio are building throughout the album. Driven by a pulsating mute piano and layered with pedal steel guitar and swelling synthesisers it’s a captivating opening piece. Composer, Trichotomy pianist Sean Foran says “I wanted to write something that only had 3 sections, something deceptively simple and let the layers of sound drive the work”.
Focused around a repetitive left hand piano pattern, Mercury takes simple melodic ideas and develops them, layering bass and piano with swelling dynamics to create dramatic tension. You’ll hear the drifting sounds of the Roland Juno under the trio, an inspiration for the title, drawn from the ‘otherwordly’ sounds of the classic synthesiser.
Study is co-written by Trichotomy bassist Samuel Vincent and drummer John Parker. It’s a detailed work, with contrapuntal bass and piano lines weaving throughout. “It was an interesting compositional process, with John providing the initial concepts and then passing it to me to takeover halfway”, says bassist Sam Vincent. The track has a sense of a classical etude, with a shifting piano harmonies passing to a beautiful bowed bass melody.
4. It Bodes Well
“I wanted to write a track that was a kind of off kilter groove piece…something with a rhythmic funky bass line and gospelish piano chords, but with melodic parts that had a sense of instability to them” says pianist Sean Foran. It Bodes Well opens with the broken up funk feel, but shifts midway into something unexpected, a soaring bowed bass line, with rising piano arpeggiated melodies, it’s a twist on what the listener expects to come.
The second single from the album Reassemble, is a track that highlights the trios ability to intricately integrate electronic effects with their acoustic instruments. Shifting rhythmic delays, pitch and tonal abstractions create surprising sounds out of just the piano, bass and drums trio. Recorded live in the studio, all the electronics sounds are created live from the acoustic instruments, with a hint of synthesiser bass layers for extra effect ‘This track feels like a classic Trichotomy piece, but gets deeper into the electronic effects, a concept we first worked on in our last album KNOWN/UNKNOWN… it’s more controlled and lush here, which I love’, says pianist Sean Foran.
6. A Sense of Ordered Chaos
This work was originally commissioned for a history project in Queensland Australia, where composers craft new works in response to historical musical documents of the region. “I wrote the track for quartet, piano, bass, drums and trumpet, and hoped that in recording it later as just trio it’d still work” pianist Sean Foran notes. It’s rhythmically driven, underpinned by an odd time groove in 7/4 and a drum solo that shows Parker hitting his stride.
7. To Vanish
The title track of the album, To Vanish can be described as a ballad, with an arpeggiated melody on the piano and Fender Rhodes, transforming into a shifting bed of electronic and acoustic sounds, with the bass and drums sometimes unrecognisable. It’s both beautiful and unsettling, a trademark element of the writing of drummer John Parker
The third single from the album is perhaps the most surprising from the 10 track collection. Bassoon? Yes, Bassoon features on this track, a surprising addition to the albums sound. We also wanted to bring in composer/producer/keyboardist Thomas Green on this work, so after recording it, we passed it to Tom to work his magic on. As the track progresses, the intensity builds, with synthesiser textures enveloping the trio playing and augmenting the parts.
9. In Times Past and Present
“In this track I also wanted to create a kind of 3 movement work, with an initial exposition, main section of improvised exploration and a concluding melodic wrap up. The intent is to take the audience through a journey, with each section being totally different to the previous, using varied performance techniques and sounds. It’s a journey where the past and the present inform each other, combining to create an engaging musical experience”, says pianist Sean Foran.
This piece is written for a dear friend of ours, Brisbane Jazz Director and Australian jazz legend Lynette Irwin. It’s vivacious, with a bouncing energy, much like Lynette herself!