The year 2022 has been a year of some truly fabulous music releases and our website had the privilege to cover and review the new record of one of the most talented and highly versatile pianists and composers in the contemporary American music scene, Danny Holt. The album, called Piano Music Of Mike Garson, as the title suggests, is a record that pays homage to one of the greatest pianists of the last half a century, somebody that has truly revolutionized, either through his solo albums or by collaborating with the cream of the music industry, the history of contemporary Avant-Garde Jazz, Rock and even Pop music.
Piano Music Of Mike Garson is the very first album ever released dedicated to Mike Garson's solo career and his compositions, a record containing a selection of some of Garson's thousands of pieces written and recorded in 50-plus years of Garson's illustrious career, carefully chosen by Holt and performed at an extremely high level of musicianship and remarkable precision and attention to details.
Danny Holt, now based in Maine after his recent move from California, has kindly accepted to talk to our website about this extraordinary record, revealing also some aspects of the album's compositional process, his long time personal friendship with Garson and great love for his music plus a general overview of his career to date and future plans.
BR - Hi Danny, many congratulations for the Piano Music Of Mike Garson's album, a wonderful homage to one of the greatest contemporary piano masters of this generation. Our website is aware that this record had a long gestation. It was planned to be released, originally, around 2018, then the pandemic delayed the whole plan and the record was, in the end, released only in 2022. How pleased are you about the record in terms of finished product and did this forced delay give you the opportunity, perhaps, to add more finishing touches to the album?
DH - You're absolutely right about the fact that creating this album was a very gradual drawn-out process and that there were some significant problems along the way. I'm so relieved that I'm finally at a point, now, when I can actually just be relaxed and laugh about it, because over the years there were numerous times where I really just felt so defeated and seriously contemplated just abandoning the project. So, Mike and I met almost 20 years ago, at this point and I almost immediately thought I was going to want to record an album of his music, at some point. We both had other projects that kept us busy for a while and then, in 2012, I finally got serious about starting to select the specific pieces that I would want to be on the album and then recording them. Then, in two recording sessions at the very end of 2012 at Mike's home studio outside of Los Angeles, I recorded maybe a dozen, or, I don't know, maybe at least eight or ten tracks. A lot of the shorter, easier pieces first; you know, I kind of took care of the low-hanging fruit, so to speak! (smiles). At that time, I knew that the many of the remaining pieces that I planned to record, the more challenging ones, they would have required a much longer time to master. I always knew it was going to be a process that would unfold over time. It wasn't going to be like, I'd go into the studio and, you know, couple weeks later I'd have a finished album. I didn't anticipate just how challenging some of those harder pieces were going to be. I have developed something of a reputation, as a performer, for someone who tackles extremely challenging music and so, I guess I've kind of brought it upon myself. The music that I am attracted to tends to be extremely busy, active, complex music and as you know, many of Mike's pieces are like that. Taking a brief digression from the kind of chronology and process of the album, just to talk about the unique nature of Mike's music, because it's relevant. He composes his pieces almost in real time by playing his piano, that is a Yamaha Disklavier, which allows it to send and receive midi data. So, for folks who aren't familiar with this, it basically turns the piano into an instrument that can communicate with a computer. So he's able to compose the pieces at the piano and it's almost in real time. But, as he's composing, he's actually hearing the music at a faster tempo. But, by playing it at a slower tempo, it gives to his creative mind a little more time for those ideas to unfurl. As a consequence, his compositions, like the ones I've recorded on the album, they are different from a live improvisation. Basically, he plays the pieces and then what he does, he has the computer playing them back on his piano and he just jacks up the tempo to as fast as he wants it. For some of the more crazy pieces, Mike has a tendency to wanting the pieces very fast, sometimes to the point where it's really not playable by a real pianist and he kinda, he knows that, but it's just so fun. It's so fun to hear the computer playing the music back at breakneck speed. So, back to the process of actually recording the album, you know, learning and recording these pieces. I always felt that pressure about Mike wanting me to be faster, while playing, like, when I would visit him and thought I was in a pretty good place with the music, he'd go and say "Yeah, I just wish it would just, you know, be 5% faster, 10% faster". It was always a lot of pressure and I was always doing my best to figure out what was really possible for me to achieve. And sometimes what was possible was not as fast as what he wanted. And that's okay, sometimes it might be possible to play faster, but I really didn't think that that served the music. Sometimes, I think music couldn't really breathe and feel organic, if it was just totally refreshed. So there were some recording sessions over the years where I just didn't feel like I had it and so I discarded some things and said to myself "All right, I'm gonna have to come back in six months or a year and try these pieces again. Then, in 2018, when I was just getting ready to tackle some of those harder pieces that I really felt, like, I could see the end in sight for this album, I was ready to go back to Mike's home studio and finish recording the album in the coming three months or so, but that was the moment, unfortunately, when his house burned to the ground in the Woolsey fire in California. Thankfully, Mike and his family were safe, but it did happen very quickly. Sometimes this is how it happens. Sometimes you just get a knock on the door and they would just say "You need to get out now!". I think he just grabbed a few hard drives and a few, you know, mementos and then they just they had to get out of there. So we're obviously all glad that everyone's okay, but it was a devastating loss. As far as our album had gone, it was tough for me to think about finishing the album on a different piano. I've been recording on Mike's piano, which is the piano that he had composed these pieces on and it felt really special, because of that. It was also a special piano, it was a prototype Yamaha Concert Grand from the 80's. It was kind of a ghost piano. It had no serial number, which if you're used to pianos and looking inside pianos, it's very strange, you know. You never see a piano that doesn't have a serial number, but it was a prototype and it was something very special about that piano. It was, in my opinion, a one of a kind. So, for a while, I really wrestled with "Gosh, do I find somewhere else to record it and completely start from scratch and re-record everything or do I just abandon the project?" or "Do I just do some limited online EP with just the tracks, I've recorded.." I considered all my options and after a while, I finally decided that it was better to, you know, keep what I recorded originally. There were a few tracks that needed to be re-recorded for various reasons, technical reasons and some files that were lost, unfortunately, in the fire. But we were able to finish recording the album at the end of 2019 and very beginning of 2020, when I finally finished tracking. We used a similar Yamaha piano at Cal Arts, which is where I had gone to grad school and then formally taught. It was a compromise to decide to keep what I already recorded but then finish recording the album somewhere else. You're never going to be able to give everything a totally unified sound, when you have some tracks recorded in one space, on one piano, with certain microphones and then other tracks recorded in other settings. But, you know, as far as post-production goes, that was the biggest challenge for us. My performance aside, meaning to bring the album to life from a technical standpoint, that was the biggest challenges. How do we give the album as unified as sound as possible when, you know, half the album was recorded here and the other half of the album was recorded elsewhere. So, as I mentioned, I finished tracking in January 2020 and then the world changed, with the pandemic.. Although it would have been possible to finish all the editing, mixing and mastering and get the album out in 2020, it felt unreasonable for me to release a record I could not tour. I really wanted to wait until a time when I would be able to get out On The Road and play some concerts, something that wasn't really possible, up until 2022, when I then decided to release the album. I just didn't want to sit on it any longer.. I feel that this is the longest possible answer to your question! (smiles), Forgive me if that was a long story, about how this album came to be, but it was necessary to provide the right timeline. I am so, so glad that this album exists, because no one has ever done something like this before. No one has ever recorded an album of Mike's piano music. He has recorded thousands of pieces, so this is really just the tip of the iceberg and these are just the pieces that I chose, the ones that spoke to me. And if anyone decides to buy the CD, please read the liner notes, because then you can further understand the process this album went through in minute details. Reading the liner notes will also help to understand Mike's compositional process and also how that presented interesting challenges to me, as a performer.
Mike Garson and Danny Holt - Photo by Harry Bromley-Davenport
BR - We guess that it might have been quite challenging for you the process to choose which pieces, out of Garson's extensive discography, would end up on the album. It sounds, according to the album's track-list, Garson's Now! Music (Volume IV) album from 2003 must have resonated with you and your choices, particularly. May we ask you what impact did this album make to you personally, in your growth, both as a Pianist and as a Composer.
DH - Well, actually, one of Mike's many albums that really caught my attention was the one called Homage To My Heroes, which I think he had put that together sometime a few years before we had first met, in 2004-2005 and that was the computer playing back on his Disklavier his original performances, but at his ideal tempos. I think a lot of those pieces were from, kind of the peak period for Mike. I think he spent almost a decade, perfecting this compositional process of, you know, kind of figuring out, how to find a balance between improvisation and more traditional notions of what compositions are. He's told me that, when he was younger, trying to figure out how to find his own compositional voice and process, he quickly learned that using pencil and paper, it did not work for him. He has that skill set, like, theoretically, he can do that, but that just is not his strength. He calls himself a First Take Performer, he always has been; you know, if you're asking him to do something, the first thing that comes out is almost always the best. He has really capitalized on that by developing this unique compositional process. It fascinates me, because I'm not as much of an improviser as Mike is. But when I do improvise, gesture is so crucial and gesture and tempo, in my mind, are inextricably linked. So it's fascinating to me that he can be creating a piece almost in real time but a little slower, while actually still be envisioning and hearing, like, what that would sound like a faster tempo, something that really blows my mind. So, yeah, his album Homage To My Heroes was the one that really blew my mind and, of course, the first time I heard it, I did not know that it wasn't him playing in real time, but it was the computer. I was like "Oh my God, this sounds incredible!". He is indeed an incredible pianist but, I mean, some of these fast pieces, like Homage To Chopin & Godowski or Homage To Ligeti or a piece called 3 x 18, those are a few that come to mind as the ones that are really, really fast. Those pieces really grabbed me and made me want to learn more about Mike's music and about his creative process. And then, as we got to know each other and we started working together, he would start sending me things and one of the things I love, about our dynamic, it is that we have really frank, open, honest dialogues. Mike has no problem sending something to me, you know, not sure whether I might like it or not and I have no problem being totally honest with him, like, "Oh yeah, I really love this one, this one really speaks to me" or, sometimes saying, "Hmm, I don't know.." (smiles). So, eventually, Mike starts to get a sense based on the pieces that I was selecting, he started to get a sense of the ones that I would probably like. So if he composed a new piece that he thought I would like, he would send it to me. One of the great things about working with living composers, it is that you get to have a relationship and you get to have these dialogues with and for Mike, something that I am sure you could ask himself too, it was a real thrill to finally find someone like myself that could understand his vision, kind of been waiting for someone like me to come along and take on this task of bringing his compositions to life. Because, as much fun as it is to have the computer play the music back on the Disklavier and have it play at breakneck speed, it's not the same as someone spending hundreds, thousands really of hours really getting inside a piece and then bringing it to life. I feel it was a really fun and rewarding process for both of us. It was frustrating that it dragged on for so long, for various reasons, but now that the album is out there, we're both just so thrilled. And of course, in pure Mike's style, he's already talking, you know, prodding me, half-jokingly, saying "Oh, when are you going to do Volume Two, then?"
BR - Did you feel, at any point, given Mike's incredible music heritage, an increasing pressure on mastering the pieces that ended up on the album, due to the fact that you respect so much his artistry, despite the great friendship between the two of you?
DH - Yeah, that's a great question. I mean, I have to admit when I first met Mike, I didn't know much about him or his work. And so, because of that, maybe I didn't feel as intimidated as I might have been. I always feel very humbled by Mike and his prowess at the piano. As a composer and improviser he is always incredibly humbled and I do think of him as a mentor, for sure. But I also think of him as a friend, a colleague and a pier. And, you know, I think one of the interesting things is that, even though we're at very different points in our lives and obviously, we've had very different careers around the time we met, I feel that in the last 20 years, give or take, he has receded a bit in terms of living that Rock Star lifestyle, which has been his main thing for decades. I know he's always kept himself busy with lots of different projects, including his own creative work but for many years, he was seen as somebody that was working and been on tour with David Bowie, fundamentally, that's how many people knew him. And just between the two of us or any other reading this interview, who has not heard Mike's piano solo on Aladdin Sane?? Well, guys, if you haven't yet, you guys have to hear that! That one solo is what really put Mike on the map in the Rock and Pop world, something that, if you talk to Mike about it, it doesn't apply to him because he doesn't identify himself neither as a Rock nor as a Pop pianist. He has a Classical background and a Jazz background and he's musically omnivorous, you know. He's like a sponge and he is able to soak up wherever influences come across its path. Anyway, around the time we met, he was starting to be less immersed in that kind of Rock Star full-time touring life style and even though we were separated by several decades, in terms of our ages, we were living similar kind of lifestyle in terms of, like, we were both making music that, let's just say, it's not the most commercially viable and with a very reduced niche of fans and listeners. So, anyway, even though Mike was obviously, you know, much older and much more experienced and accomplished then I am and I was, back then, in my mid to late twenties, when we met we kind of bonded over the fact that, we both felt that we have this thing that we're really passionate about and we knew that there was, out there, a perhaps small but devoted fan base that really cares about this style of music and for this reason, we wanted to share this passion with them. So, in that sense and despite the fact I sensed we were more like peers and colleagues than anything else, more than me thinking "Wow, he is Mike Garson!", coming back to your original question, there were definitely some times, especially in some of the more challenging pieces, where I did feel a certain pressure to try and to live up to his expectations. Sometimes, when I felt like I was pretty close to nail a piece, he'd say something like "You're not quite there yet". As you know, Mike is also a great producer and as such and in that sense, he is very good at suggesting you things without you feeling like you are micromanaged. Mike knows just the right times when to say something and when not to say something. You know, sometimes it's just like, he'll say, "Yeah, I think you have a better take in you" and very often, that extra take he would like me to try, that would be the one that ends up on the record, just when I thought, in my head, that I nailed it on my previous take. So yeah, you know, there were some times where I felt a little intimidated but equally so happy of the outcome. I am not sure if other musicians and recording artists can relate to this, but I feel it's tough to listen to yourself, often and it's especially hard when you're in the thick of it, because all you hear, all the little things that you wish could be a little bit better, a little bit different, something that you may consider to make perfect during the recording progress of the album. But really, what you want to strive for, is something that it really captures a performance, not something that's totally perfect. So, you know, the listeners expectation on an album is definitely different than an audience's expectation in a live concert, where that kind of the visceral energy of a live performance can kind of compensate for whatever little details or slip-ups might arise. It's always difficult finding that balance between really trying to capture an as organic as possible of a performance and trying to get it as clean and accurate as possible. Through the years and also after making this record, I now think I've gotten a lot better at figuring out what that balance is and sometimes, there are little details that I fixate on and other people around me are like, "He's doing that thing again"! It's like driving yourself crazy about this little thing, but I actually feel that I am right! (smiles) Now that I've had enough time and space away from this record, I feel very, very happy when I listen to it. I feel proud, I feel accomplished and, like I said, if nothing else. I feel like it's great that this album exists, now, as a representation of Mike's work in a way that hasn't happened previously.
BR - Danny, our website was interested to know about the cover of your album. We know that the artwork, according to what we read on the sleeve notes of the record, is an idea of Mike. But we were also wondering if there was a specific idea behind that cover because of its appearance, perhaps reflecting a little bit the way that Garson generally works on his pieces, generally full of different shapes and forms.
DH - Indeed the artwork of the album is Mike's idea (and you may double check with Mike himself, on this) but I'm pretty sure that the concept came when he started painting digitally, something that I believe happened when he was on tour with The Smashing Pumpkins. During that Tour (and I guess in true Mike's style), he kept himself busy on those long bus rides and flights by teaching himself to paint. I think it's all been done digitally, I'm not sure Mike's ever even painted on canvas, I even got one of Mike's paintings hanging on my wall, a paint that was hanging on the wall in his home studio, when we first got together. I just always loved that painting and so I bought it from him. And I am so glad I did, because if I didn't, it might have gone lost in that horrible fire that destroyed Mike's house. That particular painting has always kind of captivated me and I know, with certainty, that a lot of Mike's works are like this one. They're very busy, there's a lot going on and it may be, perhaps, something about him that you can discuss with him in future, another side of his enormous creativity. What you see on the album cover was something that already existed, it wasn't created specifically for the album cover. There is also a different painting on the side of the disc itself that I am sure you noticed too. What happened, unfortunately, was that a lot of those paintings in Mike's old house, included the two included in the album's booklet, got lost in the fire at Mike's house, both canvas prints and the digital files too. As a consequence, we had to scramble and look through which of Mike's artworks were still available, like, those saved in the cloud. I was just so happy that we did have a high resolution file of that particular painting that I definitely wanted on the album and then we were fortunate enough to find another one that we used on the surface of the disc. Going back to part of your question, I haven't actually spoken to Mike a lot about the concept around his artworks, I can't be sure whether there's a specific connection between his process, when he creates the artwork and a process when he composes pieces, therefore I couldn't be able to tell you how improvisatory are his paintings and how much they are directly inspired by hearing something or from one of his pieces. I know that some of Mike's music are directly inspired by Mike's hearing something, which is one of the things I also wrote about in the liner notes for the album. Sometimes, Mike would hear a piece of music and get really excited and inspired by that and then he'd create a piece of music in "response" to that. I wonder if it's some of his artwork might also be, kind of, instigated by something. I think some of his artworks, because, like I said, I think most of them are created digitally, have started out actually as a photograph of something and then they were, like, manipulated. Sometimes things started out as a photograph and you would then manipulate that to a point where you can't even tell what the initial photograph really looks like.
BR - Danny, you mentioned Homages and your Piano Music Of Mike Garson album contains a few of those. But while you must have been very familiar with works of composers like Prokofiev and Ligeti or Chopin, perhaps, I guess, you might have been slightly less familiar with pieces of contemporary Rock artists like Bowie or Keith Emerson. How challenging has it been for you working on compositions belonging to a more Rock industry and less to a Classical one, as in Bowie and Emerson case, for example?
DH - You know, especially before I met Mike, I was not actually very familiar with David Bowie's work. I mean, obviously, I knew who he was but I had to familiarise myself with his work. You mentioned Keith Emerson from Emerson Lake & Palmer. I must admit I wasn't intimately familiar with their work. But there was one of those pieces that just instantly connected to me, you know, on a real kind of visceral love. The stuff that was a little bit out of my wheelhouse are some of the Nocturnes and some of the more kind of, quiet, introspective pieces. I mean, we don't really want to use labels, here but there's a range, always, in Mike's music (and that's one of the things I love about it), like, some of the pieces we've been talking about are, you know, very specific and by composers from the Classical tradition or people in the Rock and Pop world. Some of them are a little bit on that kind of New Age-y like, Ambient end of the spectrum and those are a little bit out of my wheelhouse, but they're so necessary, in the round context of the record, for some of the more heavy, loud, explosive pieces.
BR - One of the many gems of the album, it is a piece called Tremolando, which is to our website a piece that truly defines you and your talent as a Pianist. Given the complexity of the piece's structure, how much did you enjoy working on it and deliver it so brilliantly as you did on the album?
DH - Oh, thanks. Yeah, Tremolando is a real standout, because it's totally different from everything else. It is totally different from everything else on the album and honestly totally different from any of Mike's pieces that I've ever heard. I remember that what he told me, when we sat down and work on it, was that he was deliberately set out to create something different, something he hadn't done before hand. He and I joke a lot about our kind of short attention span and one of the reasons I'm drawn to his music, it is because I also have kind of a short attention span. Mike is clocking in around two minutes to two and a half, maybe three minutes, in terms of attention span. That's kind of like the average. Tremolando, I feel, was one of the pieces where he wanted to do something texturally very different. In the first place, I think he wanted to challenge himself to kind of concentrate for an extended period of time. You know, I'll never know exactly how slow he was playing it, when he was creating it. But when I played it, you know, in like, real time, it's like seven or eight minutes or something, so it could very well have been that he was playing for 12, 15 minutes or something. It's that slow chord progression, but it's just gorgeous, especially having the opportunity to play it on a really beautiful piano, like you know, a 90-foot concert Grand, for example. It's just so great to hear one gradually become another...I have the pedal down for pretty much the entire time and very seldom change it, actually, so that blur you can hear, it is part of the piece. That's probably the piece that actually I practiced the least and the reason is that, after I played it, my arms were so sore, because all needed to be so constant! Tremolando, indeed, means, everything needs to be on a constant level and it felt really tiring, in the end. I must confess that I made a shortened version of that piece, because my brain just has too much music in it and cannot memorize everything (smiles). I created a shorter version of the score because the rhythm isn't so important, although all of the timing is very relative and certainly the way that it was written out in its birth, it was just kind of someone's rough interpretation of the timing that they heard in Mike's original performance. So I made a shortened version of the score and that's just two or maybe three pages handwritten, where I'm able to condense things down. So that was step one. And then it's really just about the physical endurance. But musically, it came to life pretty quickly. And, you know, I did record two takes of that piece and they're both a little different. I did that because I wanted to have options and I think, I might have this wrong because it was a while ago and we went through so many iterations, that the one that ended up on the album is not the one that I thought I was going to like. It's always a good alternative to have, making two versions, especially when you're recording a new album.
BR - We understand that Piano Music Of Mike Garson is only your second solo album, following your 2009 debut album Fast Jump. There was, also, in-between the two albums, a joint project you did in 2017 with a talented viola player called Molly Gebrian, resulting in an album called Trios For Two, which was well received too into the Classical music scene. We were wondering whether the long time gaps between studio records are due to the fact that you privilege the more live performing aspect of your artistry, rather than working on studio albums or there is any other reason.
DH - I think it is a combination of both of what you said.Together with the albums you mentioned, I did have another solo album that was very quietly released in 2010. The release of the Fast Jump album, that is a project that Mike helped me too with, actually. When Mike and I met, I was still a grad student at Cal Arts and I was all ready to record that album but I hadn't figured out where I was going to record it. Then, when I heard Mike's Homage To My Heroes album (released in 2004), I said to myself "Gosh, he recorded at his home studio and I love the sound of this piano". Mike was very kind to help producing that album and let me recording it at his studio. That was actually mostly recorded in 2005, but, like the album we've been discussing, there were some loose ends, which delayed the release date of the project, so much so that, from 2005, ultimately the record didn't get released until 2009. In 2010, on that album that I released "quietly" and called Release, there is also a different recording of that piece called Tremolando, together with another of Mike's pieces called Contemplation, which is not on the Piano Music Of Mike Garson album. The Release album also contained music by some of my other favorite composers and for me, it felt kind of a moment of musical catharsis for me, after my dad passed away. The outcome of that album was much more quiet and introspective than the music that I'm generally drawn to and, as I said, I decided to release quietly, not doing purposely anything to get it out into the musical world. After 2010 and up until 2022, all the other albums that I put out were all containing Chamber Music. With Molly Gebrian, we are just in the process to record a new album, which is unrelated to our first project together very soon. Since 2022, I have been working also with my piano duo called Four Hands L.A., together with working also with another pianist on an Avant-Garde Jazz project. As you may guess, I like to work as a duo, I like the immediacy of it very much. The main solo project that I've been working on, in the last decade, it has been my solo piano percussion project. Years ago, I developed this elaborate setup because I am also a percussionist, I developed this elaborate setup where I'm sitting at the piano and I've got percussion instruments on and around me, with multiple foot pedals and I've had more than 25 or 30 pieces written for me, where I play solo piano percussion. Through the years, I think I have got such a vast repertoire that I could easily release something like a four CD box set! To partly answer your question about why I haven't released another solo album in between my current one and Fast Jump (plus Release), it was because I was busy working on a lot of Chamber Music and, in the meantime, I have also been amassing this new repertoire of piano percussion music, asking myself, about the latter, whether it was worth or not to record an album of piano percussion music, being mindful also of the fact that the appreciation of such a project requires a visual element to it. Hopefully, one day, that piano percussion project will see the light of the day too, fingers crossed.
BR - You are the first artist recording an album of Mike Garson's solo works. When one day you will look back at this wonderful record you did, say maybe from now to 20 years along the line, what will be the first memory that will jump to your mind, about working side-by-side with Garson, somebody with whom you share not only the passion for piano music but also somebody you cherish a close friendship too.
DH - That's a great question. It's really hard to pinpoint just one element of our artistic and personal relationship. I can just say that, whenever I'm in his presence, I really cherish that time, it always feels really special. One thing we've all learned during the pandemic, it is to really not take for granted the opportunity to have in-person interaction. I mean, this between you and I, is already great. It's wonderful that this technology allows us to have this conversation we are having right now, despite me being here in the United States and yourself in London, but there's nothing quite like being in the room with someone physically. Therefore, I just really cherish all the times that I have been able to just hang out with Mike and sometimes just have long wandering, aimless conversations, to sit down in a studio on two pianos and improvise together, to have all types of conversations about his music, which are often hilarious, because, I'd be like, getting into these nitty gritty details, analyzing things, whilst Mike would be like "I don't even remember this piece!" (chuckles). So, it's truly a lot of fun and, you know, Mike's also someone I can reliably turn to when, you know, if I'm going through a challenge in life, for example. He's always a great person to talk to and lean on and I just have so many fond memories, especially from back in the days, you know, before his house sadly burned down, with so many fond memories of being in that space and being inspired by Mike. I don't know if what I said to you it's a little cheat, because I didn't exactly answer your question.. You made the point again that this is the first time that someone else has tackled Mike's music in this way and created an album. In that respect, I am very proud to be that person, right now, in the spotlight who's championing Mike's works and, believe me, I will continue to champion his music in years to come, regardless of whether or not there will be a Volume 2, 3, or 4 of Mike's music and so on. But it's also my hope that now more people will hear this music and then other pianists will be inspired to play his music. I'm not the only pianist who has played his music but, you know, I do hope that some of the attention and the exposure that this album is getting will inspire some other pianists to play, not only these pieces but to reach out to Mike and to get to know these thousands of other pieces he has written in his career. Like I said, I recorded the pieces that really spoke to me and that I felt would make an album that we kind of hold together and paint an overall portrait of Mike as a composer. But there are lots of other pieces out there and one thing we didn't really talk about, during this interview, it is about the unique challenges of a performer trying to learn Mike's music, because Mike has, for years, worked with some very talented and hardworking people to create written scores of his music. Because that process isn't something that really interests him and, at the end of the day, we do not need Mike Garson spending his time and energy doing that, we really want him to continue making new music. Some of the scores that exist in his music range are just great and I think that they capture the essence of the piece fairly accurately while, on the other end of the spectrum, there are some scores that really are like rough drafts that I was working from. Regardless, though, anyone who tackles Mike's music, if someone's inspired by this album, obviously they're going to be influenced by my own interpretation, I guess. There is so much going on the making of Mike's pieces, details that partly I have mentioned before but, unless you have a full understanding of how much goes on into the creation of any of Mike's pieces, you may not fully appreciated the amount of work that goes into the work of performer playing Mike's music. These aspects are the reasons why, in the liner notes for the album, I wrote about a little bit about processes involved in the making of Mike's pieces and the way I tackled them. Getting back to your original question, looking to decades in the future, my hope would be that, regardless of whether or not. I ended up, in time, recording more of Mike's music, my hope will be the other people have taken on that challenge as well and that they don't just do it on a surface leveled way, like, copying my interpretation or just looking at the score board and just kind of using that as their only reference. I hope that other people will come along and take the thorough and methodical approach that I took to, you know, really bring Mike's music to life. That'd be great!