music

Playing, composing and recording music - these are the things I do best, and the times when I feel most like myself, in the flow.

Here are some of the sounds I have captured of the music

I have composed and played...

 

A MOMENT IN TIME

kenny peipman lau mason

 

mike kenny - trumpet - Sydney

henri peipman - piano - Estonia

mark lau - double bass - New York

spike mason - saxophones - Tasmania

 

The four of us spend our time playing, listening to, composing, recording, and thinking about jazz music.

 

Although we all spent our learning years playing together in Sydney, our professional careers have meant that we have moved to different cities around the world.

 

When we found out last year that our dates would align in Sydney again we jumped at the chance to record an album. In the months before our get-together we wrote 2 tunes each, thinking of each others musical strengths. We then emailed them to each other so we could learn them.

 

On the day of the recording we met together and recorded the album in the traditional jazz way, playing live and simply capturing the sounds as they happened.

SEPARATE JOURNEYS

Spike Mason & The Adjective Noun

 

spike mason - saxophones, bass, vocals

barney wakeford - piano

aris kartsonas - guitar

andrew lorien - trumpet

gabe hons - percussion

clea crimson - vocals on wales song

 

The separate journeys album was originally recorded 12 years ago. Back then, a group of my close musician friends and I would play weekly at a improvised free music event called FREE FOR ALL. The event had a strict no recording rule but I had wanted to capture some of the beautiful sounds that I was hearing each week. As it happened, a friend was just finishing off his studio and had asked me if I could bring some musicians in to record in it, and I did. What I captured was their first take musical responses to some strange backing tracks of choirs, reversed piano. rhythms - all sorts of weird sounds. I ended up with many hours of beautifully free music.

 

And then I lost the discs – for 10 years!

 

When I eventually found them, for I had simply put them in a silly place, I discovered the joy of the music all over again. The changes in music technology meant that I could mix the tracks in my own home studio. I began the long task of creating pieces out of the hundreds of musical snippets I had available. I also began learning some of the free melodies and playing them on saxophone in unison with the tracks so that the pieces would sound composed. Two more years of home studio fun and it was done.

 

 

WIDENING CIRCLES

Spike Mason

 

kristin berardi - voice

henri peipman - piano

mark lau - double bass

gillian smith - bassoon

gareth lewis - trombone

spike mason - saxophones

 

With the release of Spike Mason's latest album, Widening Circles, it is evident that he is deliberately walking a unique musical path that leads to a place of reflection and meditation.

 

The album is a collection of gorgeous songs - rich with melody and mystery. The words are an english translation of poems penned over a hundred years ago by the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke. The music is composed in a style that is a synergy of jazz and classical music, drawing both instrumentation and stylistic elements from both.

 

“The writing came slowly,” says Mason, “I worked for eight years on the music, and over that time the words have weaved their way into my life. I knew I couldn't get in the way of these poems - the music had to cushion and support the lyrics, all the way through. If I moved toward overpowering them, the structure and meaning would simply collapse.”

 

OXIMETRIC

Spike Mason

 

spike mason - saxophones

phil slater - trumpet

jeremy borthwick - trombone

mark lau - double bass

simon barker - drums

andrew lorien - trumpet on haiku

 

An album of my own compositions based upon my OXIMETRIC concept. Where simple unrelated melodies, harmonies, pulses and rhythms can be played in the same sonic space to create beautiful music that flows like breath.

 

"The object is not the random juxtaposition of hostile pieces of music, but the creation of something entirely natural, despite its divergent pulses and harmonies. So even if the bass is playing one thing, the drums another, and the horns something else, the result is not a jumble of sounds but often a strange serenity, with points of convergence. Rather than being unrelentingly busy, the multiple layers tend towards discerning restraint, engendering a blend of beauty and tension."

 

John Shand - Sydney Morning Herald

 

 

 

 

THREEDOM

mason, lau, fishburn

 

spike mason - alto saxophone

mark lau - double bass

simon fishburn - drums

 

My first album.

A set of tunes based on standard jazz changes. Recorded while I was studying jazz at the Conservatorium of Music in Sydney.