Tag Archives: music

Stories we’ll never know the ending of

Listen on Spotify to a compilation of melodies from 5 nominated and award winning albums

https://open.spotify.com/user/roundriver/playlist/412WSonVElLPrtNtfMo2kw?si=q1xHv-uWSLW1FV7No534zg

East Meets West

The Siberian airmass arrived on the very Western edge of Wales this week, bringing with it snows, ice, and thousands upon thousands of birds we rarely see in such numbers. Redwing, lapwing, fieldfare and golden plover driven to the edge of the country in search of food and shelter from the storm.

So for the first time in years not only were there thousands of unusual birds on the beach, there was snow too!

This is the same beach (Marloes Sands, photo Mike Alexander) in summer…….

Thoughts, deeds, music

Up here, on the roof of Snowdonia, we have restored the blanket bog and protected the largest and deepest area of peat in Wales. Not only is this good for increasingly rare birds such as curlew and hen harrier, but it locks up more carbon than all of the woodlands in Wales combined, and stops it from being released into the atmosphere.

This is also the place where I first thought of this tune, which bizzarely went on to be nominated at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards, two very different worlds. But that’s the power of music I guess……

Remember

Once upon a time in the west

I used some acoustic instruments to create a rustic, folksy sound to evoke hard times gone by in the American west

Into the Night

Beryl Markham was a British born aviator who, in 1936, became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic from east to west non-stop in a single engined wooden monoplane. Her story was immortalised in the book “West with the Night”, and this song I wrote was inspired by that amazing story

My new album “Lichens” is officially released worldwide….phew!

Lichens on a mountain wall Photo: Mike Howe
Lichens on a mountain wall
Photo: Mike Howe

My new album “Lichens” is now out in all your favourite online stores.  Thank you to everyone who has bought it so far.  Preview songs and reviews on the links below. The physical CD and download is available at these very artist friendly stores (where a larger percentage of the sale goes to the artist)

Bandcamp icon CDbaby icon 1

Also available at

itunes AmazonBuy

 

My first new album review

I’m very proud to share the first review of my new album by award winning music critic Kathy Parsons.  Luckily it’s quite favourable 😉

Album cover

Lichens
Mike Howe
2015 / Mike Howe Music
46’10”
Lichens is the fifth release from Welsh guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Mike Howe and his first release as an independent artist. Also an ecologist working in the National Parks of Wales, Howe finds the inspiration for his beautiful music in nature, landscapes and people. For anyone unfamiliar with the meaning of the album title, Webster gives this definition: “any of a large group of small plants composed of a particular fungus and a particular alga growing in an intimate symbiotic association and forming a dual plant, commonly adhering in colored patches or spongelike branches to rock, wood, soil, etc.” Appearing in a wide range of shapes, colors, and textures, and often found in surprising places, it is no wonder that Howe finds lichens fascinating.

In addition to composing, producing and arranging the twelve tracks on this album, Howe plays all of the instruments: acoustic and electric guitars, synths, acoustic and electric bass, keyboards and drums. As an indie artist, he is free to branch out a bit, and some of the tracks are more upbeat and lively than on previous albums. That doesn’t mean that there are screaming electric guitars or car-shaking bass lines, but there is more of a variety of playing styles that indicate the range of Howe’s versatility as an artist.

Lichens begins with “Into the Night,” a beautiful, rhythmic piece and a great opener! The dreamy “Remember” features acoustic and electric guitar with an ethereal keyboard backdrop. More ambient than melodic, it creates a quiet mood for reflection. “Joni” has a very pleasant smooth jazz/light rock flavor. “Plains” expresses a warm and gentle peacefulness. Howe’s solo acoustic guitar music often makes me think of walking in the woods or on a hillside and encountering a guitarist sitting under a tree, peacefully lost in his music. The lovely “You Know Me” takes me there – love it! The title track is a slow, graceful beauty with a very haunting quality – tranquility set to music! “Run” picks up the energy level a bit (but not too much) – also a favorite. “Swim” feels like a slow dance at the end of a romantic evening. Keyboard, guitar, and drums played with brushes give it a gentle sway and feelings of warm contentment. “Look Up” is a lovely reminder to be aware of everything around you – a gorgeous guitar piece! “Summer Road” picks up the tempo with an upbeat closing that will have you hitting the “replay” button. Happy vacation days, here we come!

I think Lichens is Mike Howe’s best album to date. He has garnered a lot of awards and nominations for his first four albums, so be sure to check this one out! The official release date is April 7, 2015, but the album is available for pre-order on Bandcamp and Amazon. Very highly recommended!
Kathy Parsons
MainlyPiano.com
3/28/15