Whales. There are lots of them! When I visited in 2008 I cam to within 10 feet of a humpback. I touched an iceberg. I watched as dolphins swam under the bow of our boat while we sped along...then watched as they jumped straight out of the water in our wake. I watched as more than a dozen bald eagles soared above my head at the edges of the cliffs. This, is Newfoundland.
The music I wrote for this tv commercial was with the help of some great Toronto musicians, like my friend and guitarist, Aidan Mason, and the ever so talented cellist Kevin Fox. Thank you Tom and Jenny at Target...and of course my friend and producer Heikki Kuld.
Here is one my most popular Newfoudland Tourism tv commercials entitled "Architecture". I used the music from my album "Imaginary Picnic" It's a great example of how simplicity sometimes is more powerful than we imagine.
Eric Harry released this album in 2007 as a series of duets based on images of Americana.
4 Library of Ages
8 Bar Harbor
10 Big Sur
"There are many places in America that come to mind when I worked on this album" said Eric. "Most are places I haven't been, only read about or seen images. Although, I have to see, I have experienced the famous Nor'Easter, which is a wind that comes down Canada with the Labrador Current. When I was windsurfing in Cape Hatteras North Carolina, it was so strong, you could lean into the wind and still be supported! When I was up in the lighthouse at Cape Fear, you could look down and see the amazing two currents, The Labrador Current and the Gulfstream, passing each other. You could see the different colors as two separate channels" said Eric.
"Another place I've been is Big Sur, which is a small town between Los Angeles and San Francisco along Highway 1. The cliffs along that highway are absolutely beautiful and spectacular".
"Acadia, refers to the French culture that exists in southern states like Louisiana. It's an amazing story of the deportation of six to seven thousand french people in Nova Scotia Canada by the British, for not pledging allegiance. Many were expelled to Louisiana which was a territory of France. These Acadians became known as Cajuns. This story is especially dear to my heart, because of my french heritage" said Eric.
Here is one of the TV commercials I composed for Newfoundland Labrador Tourism in January 2010. Thank you Tom Murphy, Jenny Smith and Heikki Kuld. These commercials were shot in northern Labrador near the Torngat Mountains by the best cinematographer...Alar Kivilo.
All their spots have been so unusual, different and always pushing the envelope of creativity when it comes to advertising. It is always a profound joy to be part of the creative process with Target...Heikki Kuld, the freelance producer who constantly keeps all the chaos together, Mick Griffin from Rooster, the most dedicated and talented editors imaginable who put in countless hours of re-edits. I'm so happy to able to contribute to these wonderful tv spots. It's a refreshing change to write music for visuals that are so beautiful, concepts that are so sparse and simple, and a creative team that is so dedicated and patient.
This spectacular tv commercial for Newfoundland Labrador Tourism was composed in 2009 and it's called "Gros Morne". Gros Morne is a park on the west coast of Newfoundland. There are very very massive and deep Gorges that rival the ones found in Norway!
The music style is reminiscent of a celtic style in how I used the vocal harmonies. The visuals are so stunning in how the color drapes the landscape like an oil canvas.
I went to Newfoundland and had the most amazing time in 2008. The people are sooo nice, they possess an altruism I haven't seen anywhere else. While I visited Trinity Bay and Bonavista, I counted from our boat at least forteen bald eagles flying overhead off the highest cliffs I have evr seen, all the while the dolphins would swim under our boat then jump ten feet high in the air off our boat's wake. I can't reccomend this placeenough.
IMAGINARY PICNIC - Another wonderful 2009 CD release of solo piano and strings by composer, pianist and founder of CALM RADIO, Eric Harry.
2 Lifespan of a Raindrop
3 Canoe Sonata
4 Chasing Fireflies
5 Imaginary Picnic
6 Prairie Whistle
7 The Innocence of Kite Flying
8 Watching Bluebirds Fly
9 Wing Poetry
10 Speak To Me
Read the review by Kathy Parsons - Mainly Piano.com
Imaginary Picnic is another stellar offering from Canadian pianist/composer Eric Harry. A bit lighter in mood and dreamier than the other three of his albums that I have reviewed recently, Imaginary Picnic evokes visions of warm sunny afternoons with gentle breezes and the time to daydream. The Toronto String Quartet heightens the passion in some places and adds soft pastel washes of tonal color in others to accentuate Harry’s smooth, graceful piano. This is a wonderful album to listen to with full attention, but it is quiet and unobtrusive enough to serve as a backdrop for reading, working on the computer, an elegant or casual dinner, driving, or just about anything you can think of. Focusing on innocence and the gentle side of life, Harry tells a charming story without becoming cloying or overly sentimental.
Imaginary Picnic begins with “Lifespan of a Raindrop.” The piano stays mostly in the upper and middle registers of the piano, playing a simple melody over a flowing accompaniment. The strings on this one are played as background washes that help to create the wistful mood. “Watching Bluebirds Fly” conveys the sense of freedom one experiences watching birds’ effortless flight in a vast open sky as well as the bittersweet question of “why oh why can’t I?” The title song is a tranquil daydream that becomes more dramatic in the middle with the strings swelling to new heights and then returning to tenderness. “Canoe Sonata” is a favorite. It begins with a slow, easy piano solo that’s as effortless as a canoe gliding on a pond. Strings (mostly cello) deepen the tonal colors as the piano continues to gracefully float - what a beautiful piece!
“Chasing Fireflies” is a magical duet for piano and cello. The sensual flow of the cello is the perfect complement to the bright, percussive piano - lovely! Sweeping strings give “Wing Poetry” a cinematic quality that suggests green vistas and rolling hills. “Pendulum” and “Prairie Whistle” tug at the heartstrings with their graceful, bittersweet melodies and gentle musical thoughts. “Introspective Dream” looks inward, conveying peace of mind and calm. “Scent of Rain” is another favorite. Somewhat darker and more ambient than most of the rest of the album, you can almost smell the distinctive aroma of a coming storm and feel the changes in the wind. Bravo once again to Eric Harry - what an artist!
Imaginary Picnic is available from CalmRadio.com, Amazon, CD Baby, and iTunes. Recommended! - Kathy Parsons - MainlyPiano.com - 10/27/09
This is my pure romantic classical solo piano album.
"I recorded this album in 2001 shortly after Sept 11th. I had just made it back from doing a project in New York two weeks before this all happened. The 911 tragedy was the catalyst for me to do write, compose and play for myself because I felt that time is precious and you just never know what will happen. So I recorded the tracks on my Yamaha C7 at home, which beautiful tube mics and pre's. I took a couple of months to complete.
In 2008, I pulled them off the shelf and decided to try something very different, something that has never been accomplished. I asked my friend, mentor, advisor, Terra Martin, who is an international award-winning tanka poet, to write prose to my music. The results were magical. Terra's words are so inspiring, thought-provoking and moving, especially if you listen to "Fidelity", it always makes me cry" Available in MP3 Download Format.
If I had to choose my favorite album for 2009 right now, Eric Harry’s Away Melancholy, Away would be it. What a mind blower! The eleven original tracks are piano and string quartet, with the cello prominently featured on several (I LOVE piano and cello!). A virtuoso pianist in his own right, Eric Harry is a producer of music for Canadian film and television. In his first two years as a solo artist, he has written eight albums of new age and new classical music. In January 2009, he also founded Calm Radio, an iTunes internet radio station that is one of the top stations on Live365 for new age and classical music. As the title indicates, the music on Away Melancholy, Away is deeply emotional and soulful. It is also extremely well-crafted and engineered, making it one must-hear album. 2009 has been an exceptionally good year for new music, but this one rises right to the top. Samples are available on the Calm Radio website if you need any more convincing!
There isn’t a weak track on this album. “Falling Hearts” begins the CD in a quiet voice that immediately gets your attention. It starts out with just piano playing the melody and a simple accompaniment. The passions as well as the harmonies of the strings send this piece soaring. “The Art of Allowing” is stunning. The opening reminds me just a bit of the theme from The Piano, which I love, and then it goes off on its own - gorgeous! “Silhouettes in the Moonlight” lightens the mood a bit, shimmering with graceful, gentle movement. “Waltz for Afternoons” is an elegant, classically-styled minor-key waltz. “Remembering Provence” is a dreamy, reflective piece for piano and cello. The cello’s low notes accentuate the emotions as the piano tells its story. “Lovers’ Prelude” is the only piano solo on the album, and it’s wonderful! Passion abounds as hearts take flight - this one definitely isn’t melancholy, but the depth of emotion is stirring. “Introspective Dream” is also more reflective than melancholy with the fluid, filmy quality of a dream and the honesty of a soliloquy.
In one sentence, Away Melancholy, Away is breathtaking. It’s a treat for the ears, but even more of a balm for the soul. I can’t recommend this album highly enough! It is available from www.calmradio.com, Amazon, and CD Baby. Check it out! Kathy Parsons - MainlyPiano.com - 10/12/09
Eric Harry's resume is like a who's who of great writers. He worked on some major Hollywood blockbusters like Universal's "The Border" starring Jack Nicholson with music by Ry Cooder (Buena Vista Social Club", also on Warner Brothers "Cutter's Way" starring Jeff Bridges with music by Oscar award-winning composer Jack Niztsche - see article.
"TREE SPIRITS - PIANO SOLOS" is the fifth of Eric Harry’s CDs that I’ve reviewed recently, and you’d think that after awhile the music would all start sounding the same - not so! Each of Harry’s albums has a distinctive sound and mood, and all are quite different from each other. There are two versions of "Tree Spirits" - this one, which is solo piano, and a symphonic version which features spoken poetry over the music (review coming very soon!). The solo piano version is perhaps the darkest and moodiest of Harry’s albums so far, but it is also stunningly beautiful and very haunting.
"Tree Spirits" begins with “Silver Stream, a quiet meditation that creates a pensive mood of reflection and deep emotion. “Unrequited” goes even deeper, with an intensity on a par with Chopin. It is very spare and almost ambient, conveying a feeling of loss and solitude. “Tiny Icicles” lightens the mood considerably - delicate, graceful, and chilly. Even though the icicles are sparkling and small, they still have an edge and a bite. “Northern Lights” is an amazing piece. Beginning with glass armonica, which creates a very strange yet beautiful sound, we are pulled into a setting of wonder and awe. Bitter cold surrounds us as vivid colors dance in the sky. The armonica is used in other parts of the piece to create atmosphere and a sense of vast open sky. Wow! “Spiritual Passage” is played mostly in the mid and upper registers of the piano - dancing and free yet mysterious. “Indian Summer” is my favorite track. Beginning with plucked piano strings and the glass armonica (both performed by Harry), there is a shimmering effect as the various harmonies merge. As the piano comes in, its voice is almost mournful. The emotional impact of this piece is amazing. Over the course of 7 1/2 minutes, Harry takes you on an emotional excursion that will leave you breathless. “Sunlit Shadows” is very spare and evocative - quiet and calm, but not quite at peace. “Ice Boating” paints a picture of sparkling cold. Percussive notes dancing around on the piano keyboard invite and chill at the same time. I need something hot to drink to warm up now!
"Tree Spirits" is another incredible album from Eric Harry, an artist who seems to have appeared out of nowhere. I predict he will be a major name in new age/new classical music in a very short time. Very highly recommended
Before embarking on his newfound love for writing original music as a recording artist, Eric has been (and still is) very busy with his award-winning tv and radio commercial production house in Toronto Canada. He won a coveted LIA London International Awards trophy in November 2007 for original music and lyrics on a Newfoundland Tourism TV campaign. Available in CD and Downloadable formats.
FLY - reviewed by RJ Lannan on 6/12/2010 - Rating: Excellent
1 I Am The Sea
2 My Secret Muse
3 Dance For Little Feet
4 Are You Listening
5 Skipping Stones
7 Surrounded By Sunflowers
9 A Girl Named Alice
10 Next Time Can I Dance With You
Take Wing Oh Noble Heart
Back in the 60's there was a plethora of polls, a largesse of lists, and a surfeit of suppositions as to whose music you would take if you were stranded on a deserted island. I of course theorized that if you were on that island, it would not be deserted. All theories aside, I would take anything and everything by Canadian composer Eric Harry. His Neo-symphonic works are exciting, complex, vivid and absolutely amazing. He combines many musical worlds in his compositions that include, but are not restricted to classical, cinematic, New Age, World and orchestral. Frankly, I had quite a dilemma on my hands when he sent me his music. I could not choose one of his four albums over another so I left it up to him, then I concentrated on Fly. The lead instrument is piano, but there is so much more music in every song that it becomes a musical experience as he metamorphoses music into theater for the senses. Eric Harry will be on my Top Ten for 2010.
I Am the Sea reminds that me that I am small compared to the vastness of an ocean. This applies no matter what size we are. It also causes me to think about the incredible and countless opportunities there are to explore and appreciate the sea. From salt-crusted shells on the beach to limitless sand castles to journeys to faraway places some only fantasize about and to the dream-inducing metronome of waves that only the ocean is capable of creating.
Dance for Little Feet has a Scottish air to it. It is the tiny toes waltzing along atop yours as hands extend up to your heart. It is a tune that cherishes every waking hour spent with your child, whether walking hand-in-hand at the zoo for the afternoon, catching those elusive fireflies on a warm June evening or holding onto the hand of a little one with a temperature of a 101. It is the dance that will stay with you forever.
Eric allows you feel the ripples on the water in his tune, Skipping Stones. It is my favorite tune on this album with its tinkling melody and soft, ethereal chorus. It is not just the rippling effect that is important. It is taking the time to choose the perfect flat stone with smooth edges, lining up the shot, scrunching the body down just so and launching your rocky missile with a great deal of hope.
The title tune, Fly on one hand is weightless and uplifting in every sense of the word and on the other hand, it is powerful and soaring. Of all the songs on all of Eric's albums, this is the one that reminded me the most of Italian composer Ludovico Einaudi. I mention that with a great deal of respect. With its poignant violin melody and piano accompaniment, Fly has just the right amount of imagination-inducing melody verses practical beauty. It is man’s anthem when we look at fleecy clouds, aspire to fly to the sun or count the sparkling stars at night.
Opening with a minimalist approach, the tune Cloudless lives up to its diaphanous title. No cirrocumulus impediments in this one; just one man and a humble piano that is able to turn black, written notes into golden sunbeams. There is a subtext flashing in these brilliant rays that glows on about reed filled fishponds, zephyr powered lakeside beaches and lots of summer flowers to know and name.
Eric Harry is a noted composer for TV, film and production music and he is also the founder of Calm Radio, a website that features creative musicians like him that are dedicated to expressive music. Fly is an exceptional album of fantasy, of childhood creating memories and mature wishful thinking. After listening to the album, I can recall my son, at age five running around the house in a homemade Superman costume with a red bath towel for a cape. He is and always will be my hero…and he could fly. _____________________________________
Also highly recommended: Imaginary Picnic, The Language of Flowers and Away Melancholy Away.
Fly - Read the review by KATHY PARSONS - Mainly Piano.com
It seems that many artists who put out a large body of work in a short period of time tend to repeat themselves and often need to edit with a more critical ear. This is certainly not the case with Eric Harry, who has composed and released eight albums since he became a solo artist two years ago. The ten original tracks on Fly are a combination of new age and new classical music for piano (Eric Harry) and string quartet (The Toronto String Quartet), and while the music is quiet and soothing, some of the pieces are a bit more upbeat than The Language of Flowers and Away Melancholy, Away, demonstrating Harry’s versatility.
Fly begins with “I Am the Sea,” a gorgeous piece with the piano creating a gentle, rocking rhythm and an elegant melody while the strings (mostly cello) add a smooth flowing quality. Pure peace and tranquility! “My Secret Muse” is lighter and more carefree, although the strings keep it grounded. “Dance For Little Feet” has a Celtic tinge with Harry’s fingers doing a happy dance around the piano keyboard while the strings give a cinematic sweep. A piano solo later in the piece suggests that the dancer is gradually slowing down, catching a second wind near the end and picking up the tempo and strings once more - utterly charming! “Skipping Stones” is fascinating. Harry uses tremolo on the piano to convey stones skipping on water and the droplets of dancing water that go along with them. It is not as melodic as some of the pieces, but it paints a wonderfully vivid picture of the simple joy this activity brings.
The title track is a piece Harry wrote while he was in college. A bit more ambient, the piano describes the effortless freedom of flight while the strings make the piece soar. Love it! “Surrounded By Sunflowers” has a bluesy gospel feeling that stands out from the rest of the tracks without feeling out of place. Fun! “Cloudless” begins with Harry plucking the strings of the piano - an edgier sound than pizzicato on one of the stringed instruments. One of two piano solos on the CD, it leaves me wanting to hear more of just the piano. “Next Time Can I Dance With You,” the other solo, is a charming, heartfelt way to close this excellent album. Soft-spoken and sincere, its innocence goes deep. More, Eric, more! Fly is excellent from the sweet cover artwork of a little boy with his arms in the air, ready to fly, to the closing piano chords. Truly a beauty, it is available from Amazon, CD Baby, iTunes and Calm Radio.com. Highly recommended! - KATHY PARSONS - MainlyPiano.com
I released this New Age Relaxation, Meditation and Yoga music album in 2007.
"I took up yoga about 3 years ago, to replace playing squash because of the injuries I was inflicting upon myself. I immediately took to the spiritual aspects of yoga, not in a religious way, but more in finally connecting to my body, and how I had missed appreciating what it had given me all my life. That's how this album came about.
Also playing on this album, is master woodwind artist, Ashtar Ron Allen, whose 50 album credits for the Solitudes label and his work on Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" bears mentioning. Joining Eric on Etherium, is Jacob King." Jacob's very inventive guitar work using loops and pads, hand percussion is so unique" said Eric. Listen for Eric Harry's inventive use of the piano on Etherium, includes plucking the strings, and playing the piano's wood and metal frame like drum percussion.
Read the excellent review by KATHY PARSONS - Mainly Piano.com
3 Rays of Light, Signs of Life
4 Sun Children
6 The Language of Flowers
7 Rain Rain Rain
9 Lavender Waltz
10 The Scent of Attraction
11 The Nature of Bees
12 Dandelion Tears
13 The Eventuality of Flowers
15 When Flowers Sleep
The Language of Flowers is my first experience with Eric Harry’s music, and what a treat it is! The founder of Calm Radio and Calm Records, the Canadian pianist/composer’s music is an elegant blend of new age and classical styles. The piano is usually the focal point of his music, but most of the fifteen tracks are orchestrated to some degree. Harry is also an award-winning producer of music for Canadian TV and radio, providing music and sound design for a wide range of applications. In his two years as a solo artist, Eric Harry has produced eight albums of original music, so he is proving to be a very prolific and extraordinary artist. Lucky us!
I can’t tell you about all of the music on The Language of Flowers, but I’ll describe some of its many highlights. “Aphelion” (the point where the earth is the farthest from the sun) is more ambient than melodic, and the sounds behind the piano create feelings of deep space and icy cold. “Songbird” has more of a folk influence and suggests a soundtrack to a rural scene. As its title suggests, “Rays of Light, Signs of Life” is warm and optimistic. The strings and piano cause emotions to swell to a passionate state and then trail off into bliss - a beauty! “Sun Children” is fully orchestrated with the piano as the focus. The first and last sections are very gentle and serene while the middle is big and cinematic. “Blossoms” is radiant in its simplicity, with piano and strings painting a picture of serene beauty.
The title track is one of my favorites. The graceful piano melody is uncluttered and direct with strings softening the percussive edge of the rhythm - gorgeous! “Rain Rain Rain” is a classically-styled waltz for piano with string accompaniment - playful and carefree. “Fluttering” is another quiet piece of extraordinary beauty and grace - very cinematic with a bittersweet touch. “The Scent of Attraction” is also a favorite. I love cello and piano together - a duo capable of breaking your heart and then soothing it back to life. This lovely piece aches with longing and hope as it tells its story. If that song doesn’t dissolve you into a happy puddle, “Dandelion Tears” will. Piano with occasional string accompaniment, it has a gentle energy as well as a compelling sadness - wow! “The Eventuality of Flowers” is piano with gentle, haunting voices in the background, creating a quiet, mournful mood. The solo piano “Requiem” is a powerful expression of grief and loss. The concluding “When Flowers Sleep” returns to gentle ambience depicting graceful, subtle movement and a quiet peacefulness.
The Language of Flowers is brilliant from start to finish. I have five more of Eric Harry’s CDs here to review, and I can’t wait to get into each one! Flowers is available from calmradio.com, amazon.com, and cdbaby.com. Very highly recommended! - Kathy Parsons - MainlyPiano.com