Much Christmas music is exuberantly joyful. But my holidays rarely feel like that. For me, the few weeks around the turn of the year offer a time of contemplation, of considering where I’ve been and where I’m going, and of thinking about those things I’ve done right as well as those I wish I could have done differently.
If you know me, you know I’m putting on a heavy sweater, pouring a little whiskey, and settling down with a view of the misty day outside. This is a time to think, dream, plan, regret if necessary, remember those who have passed, and be warmed by the love of those with us still.
That’s the atmosphere I wanted to create in this album. And it’s been my challenge to go there, starting in the hot glaring days of August in Naples, Florida. But I’ve loved it. It’s been a glowing ember that I’ve carried in my heart since the day I began selecting the pieces I would play.
I chose the piano for its beauty, expressiveness, and simplicity. But I also wanted a fullness and a lightness to the arrangements – more than I could do with two hands alone. So I have layered the piano parts on top of one another. In some places there are up to four pianos at work, each with its own voice, it’s own expression, its own part to sing.
I want this collection of songs and carols to be worthy of active listening, and yet gentle enough to abide in the background. It’s not party music. Rather, it’s music for a more solemn, deeply joyful celebration – a celebration of the life and breath we live and breathe every day.