For immediate release: 24th February 2014
A FELL SWOOP FUNDED BY GOOD OLD FASHIONED FRIENDSHIP
Established Leicester based session musician, collaborator, performer and classical arranger Francis Binns, has released his first classical solo piano album.
Fell Swoop was funded and produced by Joe Crompton in a modern day philanthropic move to prevent his best friend Binns “taking his tunes to his grave”. The collection of contemporary compositions was captured in a day at Acapela studios on a Yamaha grand, the first time Binns' solo work has been professionally recorded for public release. Likened to Nyman, Evans and Eno, the results are beautiful: a timeless treat of harmonic piano minimalism that gives credit to years of improvisation and experimentation by its composer.
His piano compositions are created by improvisation. An idea will develop and then will be revisited over a number of days, weeks or even years:
The title track, Fell Swoop, was composed to be played at his friends’ wedding after the vows: a piece of calm minimalism to let everyone breathe and take in the occasion.
Tom was composed while at work, based on a very simple melody, it was noticed that Tom, a profoundly disabled student, was smiling while listening. In subsequent lessons it would never fail to recreate the same response.
Nocturne in C# minor was originally written when he was discovering the likes of Beethoven and Chopin at a tender age of 14, and has been slightly altered since. Cramer was written when Binns first got a piano back in his house after 15 years and was written in a weekend.
The most recently composed track was Sight Unseen, in a scale that is evocative of the works of Debussy.
These compositions have individually been performed in many environments and touched all those lucky enough to hear them. Now collected together in the album Fell Swoop, his music is available through his own website . Binns has also performed a live preview of the complete album at Embrace Arts, Leicester to a rapt audience. Picked to score an upcoming British film, Honeytrap, as a result of its director hearing Fell Swoop, Binns has now produced more album copies to circulate his personal piano treasures beyond his comfort zones and out into the realms of the worldwide music scene.
Francis Binns says “I’m really chuffed at how the album sounds. I would’ve probably just continued making up tunes and never done anything with them had it not being for the push from my mate, Joe. Another benefit is that I can now lay the blame for any mental anguish caused by negative responses to my compositions squarely on him.”
Joe Crompton says "It was such a relief to finally lock down some of these tunes. I will no longer have to put up with Francis whinging about how no-one will take his music seriously - it’s been a perennial event since he failed his Music ‘A’ level exam in spectacular fashion over 20 years ago”
And other people have said:
"Francis is an incredibly gifted composer and pianist and his music is powerful, sensitive, nuanced and moving. I am really excited to be working with him.' Rebecca Johnson (director of Top Girl and Honeytrap)
“…beautiful harmonic piano minimalism... file alongside Michael Nyman, Bill Evans and Brian Eno” Jim Lister
“His new Fell Swoop album is a timeless collection of well-weighted treasures sure to carry you through high times and low…” Myoptik (Centrifuge Records)
Notes to Editors:
Binns is a multi instrumentalist creating and collaborating with a wide range of fellow musicians. Projects and partnerships include guitar duo ‘Jon Cank’ with friend Teresa Connelly, ambient experimental electronics in Peata Out with friend Richard Wilkes, and guitar hooks for dub producer 'Vibronics'. Additionally, a collaboration with local producers Bathysphere resulted in a solo folktronica album under the moniker Chin Chin; Shallow Dive featured on Rob da Bank's Blue Room, BBC Radio 1.
Francis Binns is 39 years old and has been playing, performing & writing music for the last 20 years. Binns is currently teaching music to young adults with profound learning difficulties and helping people with mental health issues to gain confidence through playing and performing. He lives in Leicester with his partner June and their two children Dulcibella and Jonah.
Photos and music available on request
composer and performer