It is hard to contemplate a city as vibrant and alive as London actually having nightfall, slowing down, drifting into that timeless space between one day and another, one world and another. Rick Sparks found this fascinating to contemplate. When he come across the photo of Big Ben at dusk, now on the front of the album, he decided that his latest compositions of refreshing piano music fitted perfectly into the ambience created by this single shot.
Any city anywhere in the world slows down, softening to a mellow, slightly more relaxing beat, as the workers of the night go about their business, readying the City for another day, the citizens come indoors and settle to sleep the hours until the dawn of a new morning, the hustle and bustle slows to a gentle murmur and all seems to be well, a city almost at peace within its confines.
His music, which he loving refers to as quiet-music, fits into this time-scape seamlessly, as is in many ways like any town or city anywhere, his music consists of layers within the layers, which in each of his albums, has been achieved by the clever use of synthesiser to create individual themes, synonymous with his style.
An unashamed Anglophile, he enjoys such things as his Jaguar XK8 convertible, the London Philharmonic Strings, Abbey Road Studio, Sherlock Holmes, the Beatles and the influence of Sir George Martin, who has inspired so many of his compositions.
As the signature track, Nightfall London captures in entirety, the stillness that can and does descend on the River Thames, wrapping around the iconic Big Ben at a certain time of day. That purity is to be found in such a place is truly a blessing, reflected in the gentle synth introduction which is deep, almost sombre, followed by a gentle lightening of the tone as the piece progresses.
The inspiration behind Tokyo Rain was the lovely photo of Japanese Umbrellas, taken at dusk, shown inside the front cover, which presented the challenge of creating a piece of music using the mysteriously beautiful oriental music scale.
A personal favourite of Sparks is the beautiful piece by Gustav Holst, In the Bleak Midwinter. He has included strings and voices wafting softly within the harmonies to give an almost ethereal gentleness to this traditional composition.
Each of the pieces is a rare tribute to the moment that led to the inspiration to create such beauty and joy, to bring a moment of time to allow contemplation to be indulged.
Sparks states that his utmost desire is to create music that feeds the soul, inspires and uplifts. With this latest album he has truly managed to accomplish his desire. Less is indeed more.