Piano Solos (2000)
You guessed it. An album of piano solos, ranging from jazz to more rock-influenced tunes. Don't call it New Age.
While recording BETTER THAN THIS in 1999, I decided to simultaneously record a collection of piano solos. Instrumentals come to me quite infrequently, which might explain why it took no less than fourteen years to accumulate enough material for a full-length album. My lack of productivity notwithstanding, I feel that many of the piano solos do a better job of capturing particular feelings than a lyrical song ever could.
I wrote "Two Sons" on December 20, 1985 (when I was only seventeen) in celebration of the birth of the tenth and eleventh children of the Vondrak family in Brookfield, Wisconsin. "A Confusing Christmas" was composed two years later, capturing a magical evening of snow and Christmas lights outside the Prudential Building in Boston. I wrote "Friends In Far Away Places" at my mother’s house during winter break in January 1989. As the first snow of 1992 came down in Minneapolis, "My Little Canada" was composed for a special faraway someone. Upon meeting my future wife in 1993, I wrote The Tao Of Alice, inspired by one of her favorite books, "The Toa Of Pooh." "Summer 1990" was written upon hearing the news of my friends’ engagement in the summer of 1994. It represents the summer of Pete and Debbie's first date, when carefree days were plentiful and when hope and potential seemed limitless. The most recent tune is "Not Again," a song I wrote while my daughter was en route to the doctor for yet another ear infection. Sometime during 1994 or 1995 I composed "The Comfort Of Moving On," though I don’t actually recall doing so. I also can’t remember writing "Not In My Lifetime," an unfinished song that I decided to put on the CD in its incomplete form. Finally, in May of 1997, I wrote "Come September," the month of my wife’s due date for our twin girls.
Both “Summer 1990” and “The Comfort Of Moving On” originally appeared on my second recording, “Rocks Off On Humboldt.”