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Global Skies by Timothy Cooper
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 11/30/2017
An album to raise the spirits
Timothy Cooper is a man after my own heart, a tireless traveller, one who loves to listen to people’s views and opinions from different cultures, he also has a passion to bring the world together through music, I seem to have heard that somewhere before as well. So with all the stars in alignment, let us take part in yet another masterful musical journey of the piano.
Our voyage begins with the thunderous Singapore Sunrise, I adored this beginning, and Cooper’s proficiency on the keys delivers a wonderful sculpture of tone that slowly increases in intensity, as the foot falls of the day take hold.
Prague Horizons is a smooth and fluent cascade of music that floats down past the cobbled streets and along the river walk ways, and is a shining example of artistry within music; Cooper’s performance literally takes you there with every touch of the keys.
There is an essence of melancholy within this piece that is so attractive, Cooper paints with darker colours on Geneva Moonlight Rainbow, and brings forth a memorable and reflective opus of something found and then lost, something so pure and loving, that seems to just withier away in the mists of time. The performance here is deeply moving and will make you want to hit repeat numerous times.
The descriptive narrative on Bangkok Rains is sublime; the artist creates a realm of ambience here in music that is truly rare. I found my thoughts focused on the trickling down notes and I watched the sunlight perform a symbiotic dance with my palm tree, I gazed upon a November butterfly and became one with the moment. Credit to that reverie can solely be placed at the door of this quite superb composition, one that will manifest any dream you wish, whether it be a vista in Bangkok or something closer to home.
Warsaw Nights is a really fascinating composition that you will need to visit many times over to grasp the true narrative of the arrangement and all the nuances thus contained within. After reading the information that came with the album, I could picture the wider scene, the decline of the Soviet Empire and once this darkness left, the courage of the people to continue to move onward and into the light of new possibilities, the performance on Warsaw Nights sums that up perfectly.
The title track is now upon us, that ever so special canvas that the artist can draw for us on and describe in music the overview of the entire project. Global Skies, the track has a real sense of movement for me, one could with ease depict new beginnings and unfettered pathways that can now be walked with a certain freedom of spirit. I found this piece most liberating and empowering.
A few hundred miles to my left lays Jerusalem, and within the piece Jerusalem Dreamings, a similar energy of light as we get here in Cyprus can be found, the sun is dominant, but also very healing and that musical panacea is something that I find so alluring in this composition as well. To be honest, I loved this arrangement and I found its melody and tempo so deeply moving and beautiful, and on this gloriously sunny day, it brought me such a depth of peace that was simply blissful.
The penultimate offering on Global Skies is Geneva Moonlight Rainbow (Reprise), at fourteen minutes plus this is also by far the longest composition off the album, and gifts us, and the musician, a long form moment within which to reflect once more on what might have been. There have also been moments on my travels that I really never wanted to end, I never wanted to leave, but through honesty and clarity, you could tell your time, that moment had been done.
Our last stop in our musical expedition with Timothy Cooper comes in the guise of a track called The Light After. One feels that this is that all hallowed place of sanctuary that we all seek, a light in the darkness that we wish to head towards. I found this once more very empowering, this could easily be an anthem for a new world, you know, the one where we see each other as equals and allow ourselves to bathe in respect and harmony. Performance wise, that march into the light seems to have been victorious at around the three and a half minute mark, as Cooper plays a upbeat narrative till the end that has a lush and wonderful sense of happiness and success built into its construction ,and what a splendid way to end the release.
Timothy Cooper and Global Skies is an album that raises the spirits and offers moments of reflection to be taken, it is an album that has power, intensity and passion, but also a layer of sensitivity that must not be missed. Global Skies gives us that ever eager listener time to sample the beauty of our planet through the piano, and perhaps, just perhaps, an opportunity to see the light and choose peace through music.
Rating: Excellent
Global Skies by Timothy Cooper
- posted by Lillian on 11/29/2017

Pianist Timothy Cooper believes in our planet and the people on it. He believes in peace, compassion and understanding. He works tirelessly trying to construct a better world. His day job links corporations and governments together to help citizens in need or in danger. Those travels, the people he meets and his adventures influenced the music on his new album, appropriately-titled GLOBAL SKIES. We all share the same skies (and ozone layer!).

As he races from country to country, Timothy Cooper gets musical inspiration that he turns into piano pieces. Want to know what places touched his musical soul? Just check out the tune titles: SINGAPORE SUNRISE, PRAGUE HORIZONS, GENEVA MOONLIGHT RAINBOW, BANGKOK RAINS, WARSAW NIGHTS and JERUSALEM DREAMINGS.

Cooper plays the piano forcefully (but with quieter passages mixed in) demonstrating his passion, concern, hope and strong beliefs that the efforts of humankind (including creating music) can make a difference in turning our planet into a better, safer and sustainable environment. Listen and believe.
Rating: Excellent
After the Harvest by Michael Kent Smith
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 11/21/2017
A blissful symbiosis of musical intellect
I adore uniqueness in music, something fresh new and exciting always wets the palette, and on this latest offering by Michael Kent Smith we have just that, originally inspired by music from the medieval period, this amazing multi-instrumentalist is about to take us on a journey as of yet unknown.
After The Harvest is about the wheel of life, we can celebrate after the harvest; we can sample the ‘Fruits Of Your Labor’, the very first track, but the following spring it must start all again. However what Michael Kent Smith has produced here on this piece, and with the instrumentation used, almost touches the hem of progressive rock at times and the narrative weaved into this arrangement is so picturesque and very alluring.
The acoustic nature of ‘Tapestry 1’ is warming and very ambient to flow with. Finger style guitar paves the way into a world of smooth tones and peaceful waving rich corn fields. One can hear the aged feel to the music; at times its energy reminds me of the old British folk outfit, the Amazing Blondel.
The sweet and gentle nature of ‘Konstantin Surveys His Lands’ has a little Jazz ethic about its construction, one must surely marvel at the level of expertise the artist shows on this truly wonderful composition. Technically this is one of the most amazing pieces I have heard for ages. There is a hint of minimalism in the construction too, that creates a unique brand of ambience to enjoy.
The short form flow of ‘Fourteen Generations’ jigs with a little Celtic magic and dances with the guitar, in a symbiosis of loving fun, and through this up-tempo arrangement, we can easily see the families enjoy the end of the harvest, telling tales of years gone by and September sunsets past.
‘The Veil’ creates its own musical pathway which we must follow with an open heart and mind, the swirling essence of this piece and its quiet refrains gift me a memory of an early October morning, as the sun began to burn off the mist from the lake, like a veil of vapour lifting and revealing another day of work ahead.
On ‘Sing Mother Earth’ I found something bathed in memory, but dappled in the sunlight of a late summer afternoon, this is a melody of reflection and of gratitude. One must applaud the musician, for with each and every brush stroke of tone, I can with ease picture such wonderful musical vistas.
The half way marker has now been reached and we come across a composition entitled ‘Peace Is Every Step’. Here we have a track that is so lovingly produced and played, that we can feel the brightness of its passion as it is performed with such an energetic style and pureness of spirit.
I enjoyed the pacey ‘Family Tree’ with a relish; the steady beat was almost like the ticking of a clock signifying perhaps the passing of the many generations on the Family Tree, the performance here was simply sublime and one that weaved a wonderful sense of movement into its construction.
As we move deeper into this time machine of an album we find a real gem called ‘Aucon Vont’. Here is a track steeped in history and played with a purpose and intent so filled with passion, but energies of reflection can also be found here in this quite emotive multi instrumental opus of perfection.
‘The Royal Chamber’ flows like a spring stream, its vigour can be found in the musician’s stylish and up-tempo performance, its lively nature has as certain essence of pomp and circumstance about its busy and bustling construction. Within this quite breath-taking moment of magic, one could even perhaps hear a hint of Mike Oldfield in the weave as well.
‘The Whole above Me’ had a real sense of mystery about its tone and had a slower and deliberate methodology about its progression; this would perhaps be the perfect music to listen to, whilst perhaps watching Michael Kent Smith manifest a piece of painted art. The gentle, but beautifully crafted work here is stunning, and to do it any justice one should listen multiple times.
When I see a track on an album about a Crow, I smile, apart from compositions about thunder or impending storms, Crows for some reason hold quite a lot of magic for me, and it came as no surprise to hear a slide used on the guitar to announce the landing and stretching of the wings of the mystical and clever Crow. ‘As The Crow Flies’ is exactly what it says on the can, and with a flick of its tail and a twitch of its head it is gone from the telegraph pole, as it shape shifts into the evening sky, to this, its very own soundtrack.
So, we have arrived at our penultimate offering and it’s called ‘Until Next Year – The Haymakers Dance’. I featured this very lively number on one of my shows and it got a lot of attention. This is a party track, a celebration of a job well done, so raise your flagons, celebrate the end of one cycle of life, and prepare for another.
Before we leave this realm however, the artist has one more gift to leave us with, it is called ‘The Noble Vine’. Let us sit and watch the last few grapes disappear from the foliage, and salute them for the wine that they will bring forth. The bell in this piece was a stroke of genius and added a whole new dimension into the layers of this last offering.
After the Harvest by Michael Kent Smith is easily the most unique album I have listened to, or written about for many years, the care and attention to detail in this album alone deserves applauding, but to make the past and present join together, in such a blissful symbiosis of musical intellect, is quite astoundingly brilliant, I believe that music never dies, it just matures.
After the Harvest is going to be one of those albums that you are just going to have to add to your collection, it’s a release that offers the listener something old and new at the same time, but with a freshness of musical spirit that will live on forever.
Rating: Excellent
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