Phil Furneaux, The Real Distraction Phil Furneaux, The Real Distraction
The Real Distraction
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It is a reflection upon the resilience of the human spirit that enables us to derive something positive from a personal tragedy. This project is a celebration of my daughter Kate's life. A real distraction has been a journey of learning, collaboration and determination.

Evolution of the project

Exploring the melancholy emotions of beethoven's moonlight sonata was the starting point that gave me the confidence to begin composing my own tunes. Sunday morning in paris, was developed with my friend krys in his belle-ville apartment. The raw emotion in the first few takes was amazing and i found this to be somehow cathartic.

The following summer i first performed hi dad, where are you now and sarah's letter (along with the beethoven piece) to my family and close friends in the beautiful chapel of st buenos on the llyn peninsular in wales. These tunes were later developed in collaboration with david day in brampton.

As a celebration of kate's 29th birthday, i assembled images depicting her 25 things - as featured on her facebook page - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfX6vxEdWas.

Funky dancer and cataclyptic calming were developed so that i could include upbeat tunes in my stage repertoire.

The tunes are assembled around a limited number of simple musical building blocks which i hope frees my main instrument - the saxophone - to go some way towards transforming a sense of loss into one of joy and celebration.

May the riffs take you to a nice place.

Sunday morning in Paris

A live performance at Brampton Community Centre. The melody just came to me ... krys developed the chords and plays them with such delicacy that the emotion shines through. composers: phil furneaux and krys markowski
musicians: phil furneaux (tenor saxophone), krys markowski (piano)
recorded at: Brampton Community Centre, Cumbria

Funky dancer

Funky dancer Kate was the best dancer ever ... at my 50's birthday party i told her "i could dance with you all night" .. she said "why not". composer: phil furneaux
musicians: phil furneaux (soprano/tenor saxophone), duncan thornley (bass, drums and keyboard)
recorded at: New Rose Studios, Camden, London

Catalyptic calming

A chaotic start is calmed ... composer: phil furneaux
musicians: phil furneaux (soprano/tenor saxophone), duncan thornley (bass, drums and keyboard)
recorded at: New Rose Studios, Camden, London and MAP Studios, Kentish Town, London

Hi Dad

Hi Dad I used to love picking up the phone and hearing "Hi dad, how are you today? ...." this phrase shapes the central riff composer: phil furneaux
musicians: phil furneaux (soprano/tenor saxophone and guitar), alex green (bass), duncan thornley (drums), david day (keyboards)
recorded at: New Rose Studios, Camden, London and David Day Studios, Portsmouth

Where are you now?

A dark moment .. composed in a forest in new hampshire, usa composer: phil furneaux
musicians: phil furneaux (soprano/tenor saxophone), alex green (bass), duncan thornley (drums), david day (keyboards)
recorded at: New Rose Studios, Camden, London and David Day Studios, Portsmouth

25 things

Kate wrote her 25 things for facebook ... they give a real insight into how wonderful she was ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfX6vxEdWas. composer: phil furneaux
musicians: phil furneaux (soprano/tenor saxophone and guitar), alex green (bass), duncan thornley (drums), david day (keyboards)
recorded at: New Rose Studios, Camden, London and David Day Studios, Portsmouth

Sarah's letter

Sarah's letter Kate's friend sarah wrote a letter describing kate's attributes. The adjectives - inspirational, determined, loving and loved, curious and talented, energetic, kind, passionate, thoughtful - are used to create the melody. composer: phil furneaux
musicians: phil furneaux (soprano/tenor saxophone and), alex green (bass), duncan thornley (drums), david day (keyboards), chaz wyng (guitar)
recorded at: New Rose Studios, Camden, London and David Day Studios, Portsmouth

In a sentimental mood

In a Sentimental Mood A live performance in brampton community centre of ellington's classic ... needs no explanation .. thanks to krys for his piano. composer: duke ellington
musicians: phil furneaux (tenor saxophone), krys markowski (piano)
recorded at: Brampton Community Centre, Cumbria

Moonlight sonata

One of beethoven's most emotional pieces. Also a live performance in brampton community centre and a tribute to the late gordon barker's piano playing. He was a fantastic pianist and a joy to work with. composer: duke ellington
musicians: phil furneaux (soprano saxophone), gordon barker (piano)
recorded at: Brampton Community Centre, Cumbria

Human

Is simply for georgina (a killers fan and a metal head) and for the welsh gang who prefer a rock beat ... i love them all composer: the killers
musicians: phil furneaux (tenor saxophone and guitar), duncan thornley (keyboard and drums), alex green (bass)
recorded at: New Rose Studios, Camden, London and David Day Studios, Portsmouth

Upcoming gigs

Phil will be doing his North West Tour with
  • Tony Atkinson, guitar
  • Alex Green, bass
  • Ian Tildsley, drums
  • Alain Mayson, keyboard
Thursday 20th November Alexander's Jazz Cafe Chester, Cheshire
Friday 28th November The Storey Lancaster, Lancashire
Saturday 6th December Lanercrost Cricket Club Brampton, Cumbria
Sunset on the Llyn Peninsula

Thanks

A big thanks to duncan ... he's the man who added the driving drums, recorded the sweet sounding soprano sax and pulled together a truly magical mix. It was fun working with you duncan.

Thanks to david day for his production of sarah's letter and hi dad, his syncopated keyboard playing and for teaching me the basics of recording and how to play in tune!

Thank you to musicians - alex, ian and tony - for helping me prepare for the portsmouth recording session, especially alex for the bass riff on human. Thank you to gerry king for the beautiful recording of the piano. Thanks to omega music for the use of the steinway piano at brampton community centre. Thanks to the late gordon barker who shaped the backing for the moonlight sonata. Thank you to david foley for advice, encouragement and help with the preparation for the mixing process. Special thanks to krys for his wonderful piano and his support and encouragement right from the start of this project.

© Phil Furneaux, 2016. Additional photography by Rhonda Perfitt and David Day. Website developed by Sam Harrison, South Lakes Web Design.