Rick Wakeman - A Gallery Of The Imagination - CD/DVD
magine this…a collection of songs that might inspire the listener to approach music making in the same way as Mr. Wakeman has set about creating these charmingly varied tracks. It’s as if they were paintings not just musical scores. Hence A Gallery Of The Imagination is one of the most tasteful and satisfying albums the composer has ever produced. There are piano solo pieces, haunting melodies, funky band tunes and superb vocals courtesy of the outstanding young singer Hayley Sanderson. It all combines to make this Gallery well worth a visit.
Rick explains that the idea for this carefully crafted recording was inspired while thinking about advice given him by his first piano teacher Mrs. Symes. He studied with her from the age of five until he was accepted by the Royal College of Music. She impressed on him a concept he always remembered.
“’When you play, you are painting pictures through music’.” After learning a piece she would make her student memorise it and then play with his eyes closed and let the music conjure up images in his head and paint ‘pictures’ . Wakeman: “And I still do this now when I’m on stage playing live”.
He confesses one of his great loves is going to museums and art galleries and viewing all the different types of art.
“So I thought, why not a music gallery? People can paint their own mind pictures to the different types of music on the album. It’s very tactile and I like to feel that people can actually touch the music.”
Utilising contemporary hi-tech methods that flourished in the Covid era, the musicians recorded that parts remotely in different studios. All ll the tracks have been mixed and mastered to create a seamless production. You’d never know Rick and the guys weren’t sharing a smoky 1970s style communal sound booth with breaks for tea, beer, darts and arguments over the mixing desk.
The Rock Ensemble comprises Dave Colquhoun (guitars) Lee Pomeroy (bass) and Ash Soan (drums) while Rick heads the team with a kluster of keyboards and something called The Sledge, which may be used to get musicians home during winter storms.