Floating Leaves

by Glenn Stallcop Pianist/Composer

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about

Floating Leaves was recorded over a period of about 15 months stretching from the summer of 2005 to the fall of 2006. It was a period of turmoil in my creative life, and I sat down to record only occasionally. As a result, this collection of short improvisations is a little more varied than usual, with each one a small glimpse into my feelings at the time. Of course, I continued to improvise regularly, but I only recorded occasionally. Each take became a separate entity floating through time, a different color and variety with its own path.

It was during the period when I was recording this album that I became fully committed to improvisation. Up until then, I had considered myself a composer first, who also improvised. While I was recording this album, improvisation became and remains the primary focus of my creative life. The compositions that I have done since have been transcriptions and/or facilitations of my improvisation. My switch from composition to improvisation has been gradual but definitive.

Though the music on this album is freely improvised, it is more classical than jazz (certain free jazz/improvisation artists excepted). I am a classical musician by trade, and have been a composer since was very young. I am more prone to spontaneously compose while improvising rather than “grooving” as a jazz musician would. I treat rhythm and harmony freely and in a complex fashion at times. However, my music is always expressive. It is the direct emotional and spontaneous outpouring that drew me to improvisation in the first place.

I also use improvisation as a spiritual practice. The act of improvisation forces me to concentrate all of my attention on what I am doing now, not on what I just did, what I am going to do, or what I was planning to do. As such, my music always has a certain meditative quality, a certain inner stillness, even when it gets busy. A fallen leaf still floats on the top of the water, whether it is a rushing river or still pond.

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released May 10, 2013

Glenn Stallcop piano, composer, album artist

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Glenn Stallcop Phoenix, Arizona

Glenn Stallcop is a composer, pianist, and a long-time double bassist with the Phoenix Symphony. He has recorded many albums of piano improvisation over the last 20 years. He is a well-established composer with over 100 published works for orchestra, chamber music and vocal works, solo piano and double bass. ... more

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