"Your portraits are drawn without you/yellowed without your age"
Portraits Drawn Without You is a set of original compositions that I wrote for piano and voice during the past year. It draws from a diverse range of idioms, perhaps as much from Joni Mitchell and John Cage as from Herbie Hancock and Keith Jarrett. Even larger is the number of people who inspired moments in each work. It seems oddly apt to honor them with my first solo project. People I have known at various points in my life float in and out of the compositions freely. Each piece is a sort of musical portrait, an act of representation in which the true subject is conspicuously absent. The end effect, I hope, is like that of walking through the halls of a portrait gallery: You know that the figures on the walls know each other, but it is up to you to figure out the story of how.
"Let yourself go/there was nothing to begin/and not an end"
These songs are dedicated to the memory of my grandmother, Babi Quetín. She always made sure I had a head on my shoulders and a piano under my fingers. This portrait, too, must be drawn without her.
"The warm light has fogged your old reminiscence/Years ago, did you know it would come to this?"
I wrote most of the compositions in either my old home in the San Francisco Bay Area or my new home in New Haven. I recorded them, however, during a frenzied April weekend on the Rhode Island coast in the living room of Jack Renner. Jack is the founder of Telarc Records and an 11-time Grammy-winner. I am hugely grateful for his mentorship. I am also deeply indebted to his wife Barbara for trusting me to not destroy her unbelievable piano. I hope that something of that weekend spent looking out at the ocean comes across to you.
Alexander Dubovoy – Piano/Voice/Composer
Jack Renner – Recording Engineer
Barbara Renner – Piano Technician
Hans Bilger – Post-Production
Annelisa Leinbach – Artwork
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