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Last week I had a rare, exquisite pleasure.   Montsalvat’s latest Artist in Residence, composer, ethnomusicologist and dance anthropologist Paul Mason, was playing on the grand piano in the Barn at Montsalvat and I was there to hear him.  He’s at Montsalvat to work on a composition for piano. While I was there, listening, others wandered into the Barn, drawn by the delicious music Paul was making.  One of them left muttering “Brilliant, just brilliant!”

Paul is inspired by minimalist composers Simeon Ten Holt and Arvo Part.  Simeon Ten Holt’s Canto Ostinato (Final) will give you a tiny flavour of what informs Paul’s work. 

In his twenty something years Paul has travelled to pretty much every corner of the world. During one of his stays in Europe he had the great pleasure of meeting Simeon in his tiny home at Bergen in Holland.

Much of his energy lately has been taken up in the completion of his PhD but in and around his writing and academic life, there is always music. He says,

“Throughout my life and studies music has been integral to understanding creative processes, which mimic, in many ways the evolutionary processes that permeate almost every aspect of living systems.” 

Montsalvat has offered Paul the gift of time, space and use of a beautiful grand piano. They are very keen to share his music with the rest of the world. To that end, they have arranged a one hour recital of his work. If you would like to have a “brilliant, just brilliant” musical experience, find your way to Montsalvat on Friday 16th at 7.45pm for Paul’s concert of “Musical Ideas”.  The performance will last approximately one hour.  Entry is by gold coin donation.

“Musical Ideas” is a collection of thoughts expressed through sound.

“Using contemporary methods of structured improvisation, Paul uses a mixture of melodic and minimalist inspirations to craft an auditory landscape for his audience. No two performances are identical. Phrasing, dynamics and tempo are all subject to change. Harmonies envelop the listener, melodies take flight, and an uplifting rhythmic pulse compels the soul to dance. Musical Ideas is an experience, not just a recital.”   from Montsalvat’s website.

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To see Paul perform “Starlight” at Montsalvat, check out this youtube link.  For more information about Paul Mason go to his website.