1999 (Unity/Page)
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About the compositions
The beginning of this piece I had written in 1992 while I was studying in Manhattan and finally finished it in 1997. I picture Manhattan in the early morning: quiet, yet intense. I grew a lot as a person and with my music during my time in NY and love to go back.

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was written just before the recording and is an effort of aligning three tonalities. There are many modulations and harmonies on this CD which are taken from dividing the octave into three. In keeping with the title Syzygy I tried to align them as best I could.
Ultimo Tango (Last Tango):
is dedicated to Italian Cinema and especially the film composer Ennio Morricone. I love his music from the Mission, Cinema Paradiso and this one was inspired by his music from the Untouchables (1986). I wrote this one mainly at the piano. The title "Last Tango" comes from Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris with Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider (oo la la).
The March (part II):
was the first tune I had written after completing my debut CD. Part I is on my first demo cassette and is quite different from this one.
This title comes from a myth I heard on a Joseph Campbell interview about the Nigerian trickster god, Edshu.
"There's a wonderful story of the God who is walking down the road wearing a hat that is coloured red on one side and blue on the other side. When the farmers in the field go into the village in the evening, they say, "Did you see that god with the blue hat?" And the others say, "No, no, he had a red hat on." And they get into a fight. He makes it even worse by first walking in one direction and then turning around and turning his hat around, too, so that again it will be red or blue. Then when these two chaps get into a fight and are brought before the king for judgment, this trickster god appears, and he says, "It's my fault, I did it, and I meant to do it. Spreading strife is my greatest joy."
(taken from the Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers) This story tells us how people can get caught up in literal words like "blue" and "red" and sometimes miss altogether the true meaning of the experience.
Sea of Dream:
is a strange lullaby for guitar that came to me after a restless fearful dream. I experiment with polytonality on this one. I love the Stravinsky quote: "My music is not atonal but anti-tonal."
Summer Solstice:
A friend lent me his acoustic guitar for two recording sessions I needed to do on one condition...that I write something on his guitar between the sessions. This is the end result. The title came from a dark composition I had written years ago entitled Solstitium Hybernum (Winter Solstice).
Jim Vivian announces the title of this track in his best falsetto voice. It helped us have a laugh and get in the mood to get in touch with our collective inner child. On "Wintertime" from my debut CD we artificially created an ending where it feels like the tape ran out. On Id my wish came true...you can hear the last bass note glissando down and in editing we segued it right into Triptych.
Triptych (guitar solo in three movements):
I wrote most of the compositions on this recording in my wife's painting studio in downtown Toronto. I enjoy discovering on the guitar and the creative surroundings (or perhaps the fumes from the oil paints) helped me to create this three part guitar piece. It is somewhat of a tribute to some of my favourite composers. The first movement has a dream-like quality as does the music of the late Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu. The second movement has rhythmic qualities similar to Benjamin Britten's Nocturnal as well as New York guitarist Ben Monder's solo pieces. The third movement is influenced by Stravinsky and Prokofiev. This and many of the pieces on this CD I was able to compose while on a Canada Council for the Arts grant for composition. Many thanks to them for their support.

listen to an excerpt of this piece...

(in Italian it is pronounced no-stal-GEE-uh) was written upon my return to Canada after my first trip to Italy as an adult in 1992. I experienced intense culture shock and longed to return to Italy where the culture better suited my spirit. I immensely enjoyed using the studio as a tool and overdubbing guitars (and bell tree!) on this song to what is otherwise mostly a trio recording.
-David Occhipinti (1999)
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