Piano Magic

Listeners to "Writers Without Homes" could be forgiven for initially assuming that the album sounds more like a compilation than the work of one band. Like their 4AD predecessors This Mortal Coil, Piano Magic have press-ganged an array of friends and spiritual acquaintances into service. But despite the variety of tone and multiplicity of voices this approach brings into being, "Writers Without Homes" reveals on repeated listening a rich focus, and confirms that Piano Magic are operating with assurance and poise in a territory few of their contemporaries even bother to explore.

Piano Magic are based in London and consist of Glen Johnson (English), Miguel Marin (Spanish), Alasdair Steer (English) and Jerome Tcherneyan (French). Though they compose and perform throughout "Writers Without Homes", they suppress the desire to stick to the same instruments or even to play on every track. The result is a striking fluidity and a refreshing diversity.

"Writers Without Homes" began life in March 2001 and was completed in January 2002. Along the way, there were 3 studios, two producers (short-lived), two engineers, miles of home recordings, and a menagerie of guests.

Simon Raymonde (ex-Cocteau Twins and now head of the Bella Union label) plays piano on 3 tracks; Paul Anderson from Tram (Setanta Records) sings on "Already Ghosts"; Tarwater guest on "Modern Jupiter"; John Grant from The Czars adds his voice to "The Season Is Long"; Life Without Buildings guitarist Robert Johnstone plays on "It's The Same Dream", which also features vocals from Suzy Mangion of new Manchester unit George. But the real coup came when the band coaxed long-retired 60's folk starlet Vashti Bunyan out of retirement to sing on her first recording in nearly 30 years ("Crown Of The Lost"). Alongside these appear Piano Magic regulars Caroline Potter (voice), James Topham (viola) and Charlotte Marionneau (voice) from Poptones' Le Volume Courbe.

Piano Magic released their first record in 1996 and since then have recorded for over 15 labels with over 30 members subscribing to itšs union. In early 2001, the band signed to 4AD and recorded the soundtrack to the Spanish film, "Son De Mar," (directed by Bigas Luna). Piano Magic have attracted a healthy following around the world, and begin a European tour in May which takes in Holland, Germany, Italy and France.
  1. Writers Without Homes
    Piano Magic
    Writers Without Homes

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