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Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

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Nick Davis

 

Nick DAVIS
Candescence
Forever More [4:32]
Flight to Freedom [4:03]
La Mamselle [4:12]
In My Heart [4:27]
Yearning [4:20]
A Lover’s Lament [3:58]
Return of the Brave [4:03]
Sojourn [4:54]
Lullaby for Madeline [3:19]
The Fallen [5:46]
Sampled instruments from the East West Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra (gold edition) and East West PM1 Bösendorfer 290 Piano Library; Dan Carney (violin)
rec. July 2005-February 2006.
ND 009 [44:06]

 

Beginning in the 1980s, the Australian Nick Davis originally made his reputation as a singer-songwriter and keyboard player, influenced by models such as Howard Jones and Nik Kershaw. Two solo albums had considerable success in Australia. After a spell away from the music scene, he returned with – amongst other things – a Frank Sinatra tribute show in which he played and sang. Interested in the rise of both World Music and New Age music, he began to evolve a new musical style, which might be called neo-classical. This was explored in a series of albums, of which this is the most recent. Details can be found at www.nickdavismusic.com.

Making use of the East West Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra sample library and the East West PM1 Bösendorfer 290 piano library, Nick Davis creates, on some tracks, a large symphonic sound which – once one’s ears have adjusted to a slightly unusual string tone – is perfectly acceptable, even if one is never in serious danger of mistaking it for a real orchestra. For all Davis’s subtlety there is still a certain stiffness, an excessive ‘correctness’ to the overall sound; in that respect this is, unintentionally, an object lesson in quite what live performers bring to music!

As for the music itself, Davis creates some very attractive melodies, and often develops them interestingly. On In My Heart the ‘live’ violin of Dan Carney is added to sampled piano, cello and flute and the result is a delightful, deceptively simple piece of some beauty. Lullaby for Madeline is a piece for solo piano which has real charm and elegance and distinct echoes of Viennese classicism. The gentleness of these two compositions is complemented elsewhere by writing of far greater extroversion. Return of the Brave, with its fife and drums and its pipes (and a fifty piece string section) is both jauntily welcoming and aptly military. Pieces such as A Lover’s Lament, for piano, strings, woodwind and brass and The Fallen, for the same forces (and percussion) have elements of the popular piano concerto about them.

This is an object lesson in how modern technology can be employed by a talented and creative musician. With its melodies, elegance and distinctive textures, this deserves to find plenty of hearers. If anybody out there is looking for a composer of film-music who could bring to the job plenty of musical ideas, a gift for melody, an obvious familiarity with a range of musical traditions and high technological skills, Nick Davis is surely your man!

Glyn Pursglove

 



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