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Heavenly Bodies

Heavenly Bodies

“This is an important album for me.  It represents two and a half years of soul-searching and experimenting, culminating in a broader and more orchestral concept.  The use of real strings and brass has been a delight, as I have always regarded myself as a composer/player rather than a player/composer.  I have chosen to use percussion rather than drums and to give much of the rhythmic interest to other instruments.  I weave my own improvisations into the fabric of the writing throughout and there are also improvised solos from Peter Lemer and Paul Dunne.

The inspiration for the Appia Suite came from five paintings by the Swiss artist Dominique Appia.  The multi-layered fantasy, humour and beauty of his work fascinated me and I felt immediately that the pictures would come to life in musical terms.  I have echoed his repetition of small motifs and details in the introduction of recurring musical bridges and themes.

In these compositions, space and beauty is of the essence; I would like to feel that you could play this album at any time of the night or day and find music to suit your mood.”

Barbara Thompson, August 1986