Gifts From Crows is a project by pianist and composer Richard Laurence, who’s scheduled to release the debut full length, Holding a Thought Forever, this Friday, February 19th, 2021. “Throughout history, there are stories of people who receive unexpected gifts from crows. These mysterious gifts can be described as “found treasures”, such as bottle-tops or pieces of glass but can also be strangely beautiful corvid-made wares, such as a ring pull attached to a twig.” As the title of the album suggests, and indeed the track for which I’m premiering a video today, this is a collection of delicate, melancholic, and emotional neoclassical pieces, performed on a piano [an instrument which has recently returned to be played again], with atmospheric orchestral arrangements, recorded and shaped during the lockdown. Flashbacks to childhood memories, full of nostalgic images revealed in the video, trigger those innocent feelings we’ve buried inside, reminding us to uncover our true selves, beyond the social structures, labels and rank. So what would you say if I asked: “Who are you?”
‘Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man’. Growing up and throughout our adult lives we put on many masks, play out many roles. But there comes a point when it is time to stop, to pull ourselves back and to remember who and what we are.
I also really like this quote from the composer, in which he talks about the family instrument:
This piano has been in my family for well over 100 years. As a child, I remember sitting at the piano with my foot permanently pressing the sustain pedal and letting its rich sound envelop me – my own private cathedral. I always compose on this instrument. That feeling has never left me.
— Gifts From Crows