Patrick was kind enough to send me some tracks from his album ‘Show Me The Way To Go Home’, and I really enjoyed listening to them.
‘Perfect People’ was the first track I listened to and I loved how the distorted guitar panned and faded in and out throughout the beginning, making a great opening and with the use of effects. I also loved how the riffs gradually built in terms of melody and instrumentation; this also continued to include a lovely melody on the electric guitar. The melodies were themselves fantastic at building; they used different ranges and octaves of notes. A good feature of this piece was how it faded to a contrasting section towards the middle, which used acoustic guitar and electric piano. This was a fantastic contrast especially with no drums. The contrast was further emphasised when the drums and original material suddenly returned towards the end of the song.
Following that was ‘De Monarchia’, and I really liked the use of parallel melodies to harmonise at the beginning. It also sounded like there were multiple electric guitars creating melodies in the beginning, which I thought sounded really good. As this piece continued, I found it to be very dramatic – it sounded like something that would open a competition or a rock gig. My favourite part of this piece was how it was very tight rhythmically. I also loved how there was again another contrasting section with the drums dropping out and everything becoming more spacious. The tight rhythmic section returned after this with another great guitar melody which sounded really good.
‘Saudade’ was the next and penultimate track I listened to and I was in awe when I heard the very virtuosic guitar introduction. This was an absolutely amazing introduction to the piece. I also liked how the different instruments paralleled each other melodically in the opening, and also how this piece combined both the “rock” sound of electric guitar and the power-ballad-esc beat; this was a great combination. Another good feature of the piece was the variety of drum beats throughout the different sections. This gave variation throughout the piece. I found it particularly good when the piece faded to very little near the middle where the drums use the cymbals very lightly, creating yet another great contrasting section.
‘Slán Abhaile’ was the final track I listened to, and the acoustic intro surprised me as it was different to the previous songs. This piece for some reason reminded me of African tribal music or something from ‘The Lion King’ – in a good way! I really liked the combination of 2 melodies, one including synth and the other not. This was a great use of call and response. There were some nice motifs on the acoustic guitar throughout the piece and also some nice counter melodies from other instruments such as the piano. I particularly liked how the piece slowed to almost nothingness in the middle, where I could hear a drum beat on the guitar and also a recorder. I found this to be a great use of polyrhythm; there was more of a 6/8 feel with the instruments whilst the beat still seemed to be in 4/4. The best bit of this however, was how the original material returns, creating not only a great and unexpected contrast, but a fantastic finale.
This was my first instance of reviewing instrumental music, and I certainly hope it won’t be the last! The music Patrick overs has so much diversity of different styles, feels and genres, some of which are combined into one piece of music. It is for that reason that I highly recommend you check out his work as you will not be disappointed – I know I wasn’t.