BRIAN CROSBY | IMBRIUM | 26.03.2021
Written & Performed by Brian Crosby
Irish composer Brian Crosby makes his debut solo release with a collection of nine delicate instrumental pieces recorded on a prepared upright piano in his remote Treehouse Studio at the foot of the Wicklow mountains in Ireland.
“I wanted to write piano music that had a certain restraint and stillness to it. Pieces that lagged behind the regular tempo of our routines and melodies that resisted following huge emotive curves. It came from a place uninterrupted, an escape from the noise and stimuli of daily life”.
Brian’s minimal approach to piano playing and his attention to detail in capturing every sonic facet of the instrument results in a spacious collection of meditative, pared back recordings filled with mesmeric, recurring phrases and textural soundscapes. The pieces are recorded on a beautifully restored August Förster piano from the 1920’s which he brought back to Ireland after his time spent living and recording in Berlin
Brian’s debut album Imbrium marks the culmination of a personal and musical journey that in many ways began when he left popular Irish band Bell X1 in 2008. Brian had played in bands since the age of 16, when he founded indie band Juniper with Damien Rice and then subsequently Bell X1 with whom he made four records and spent twelve years touring the world.
During this period Brian also founded The Cake Sale – a band featuring an eclectic collective of artists such as Paul Noonan (Bell X1), Lisa Hannigan, Gary Lighbody (Snowpatrol), Nina Persson (The Cardigans), Glen Hansard and Neil Hannon (The Divine Comedy) to raise funds for the charity Oxfam. The record was a multi-platinum hit in Ireland, was released in Europe and America to huge critical acclaim and to this day still generates royalties for the charity.
Towards the end of his time in Bell X1 Brian had become drawn to film scoring work and had started a very rewarding collaboration with visual artist the late Paddy Jolly on a number of his films. It was the taste of this more spacious yet intimate way of creating music that in part led to him departing Bell X1 to pursue a career as a film composer.
Shortly after leaving the band Brian made the decision to move his life and studio to Berlin. A year after his arrival, Brian converted a 3,500 sq ft factory in the city’s Kreuzberg district to a modular studio complex with nine rooms. The studio rapidly became home to a thriving Berlin film music scene and it was here that he collaborated with fellow studio residents Dustin O’Halloran, Hildur Guõnadóttir, Rutger Hoedemaekers and the late Jóhann Jóhannsson on numerous Film and TV scores. During this period he also co -wrote a body of original work to be performed on two pianos with French pianist Fabien Leseure.
Brian maintained strong ties with the Irish music scene and in 2016, alongside many well-known figures in Irish contemporary music, was a central collaborator on Starboard Home, a project which culminated with two live shows at the National Concert Hall in Dublin and the release of a critically acclaimed studio album.
In 2017, Brian moved back to Ireland with his family and two years later set up home in rural county Wicklow at the foot of Carrick Mountain. Inspired by the wooded landscape around him, he designed and built Treehouse Studios, a beautiful log cabin set in the native Irish forest that surrounds his home. Brian notes;
“Both the studio and this album were created during 2020, they are both pandemic babies so to speak and I think it was that period of forced pause and suspension of so much of life that helped bring that sense of stillness and restraint and space to the music”.
In addition to creating his own solo work, Brian continues to write music for Film and TV and is a vocal advocate for artists rights, is a director of the Irish Music Rights Organisation and is Chair of the Screen Composers Guild of Ireland.
Song/album purchase link