The Latest Release: Nocturnes – Music For 2 Pianos
Written and recorded in the depths of night in Armstrong’s home studio in his Glasgow house, the project started in 2020 with a few tracks written solely as a personal diversion from the turbulence of the world outside. As it grew into a record Armstrong realized it was offering him deeper respite and solace and that the mood of the music had become inextricably linked to its surroundings –although the now finished work has an expansiveness and richness that makes its emotional reach timeless.
This is an album OF the night but not necessarily just FOR the night, with the fourteen individual compositions exploring and pushing the musical and emotional palettes of the classical form. As such it belies the notion that all nocturnes need be melancholy; whilst many here do invoke a beautiful sense of tristesse, others, like track 4, show that a nocturne can also be uplifting and express hope.
The music was written for two pianos and Armstrong’s initial idea was that he wanted other people to perform it, an idea that he still hopes will come to fruition when the music can be performed live. But what was really important to him was that some of the tracks were composed in a way that focused attention less on the melody and more on texture and feeling. As such, this allowed him to explore various textural elements that were less linear and more abstract.