Derek Yau’s beautiful, optimistic, elegiac May is a series of piano pieces recorded across the record’s titular month and released in the next. Like many things during lockdown it was created at home, and like many peoples’ experience of days during lockdown – one piece flows into the next with no distinction, no clear beginning or end. Wholly improvised across a series of sessions, in their melodies and rhythms these recordings capture something incredibly immediate and human; still warm to the touch.
A classically trained multi-instrumentalist, Derek Yau is a serial collaborator with a penchant for free and tonal improvisation. Often found behind a cello and in multiple music scenes, projects and collaborations, May represents Derek’s first solo output. His skill as an improviser is in finding spaces and moments to occupy, offering counterpoint or compliment with acute, sensitive intuition. Returning to piano after years practising as a contemporary cellist carries some of this magic onto record, imbuing the music with a rareness and immediacy.
The result is uplifting, calming, at times melancholy, and created in the spirit of a gift. May is an open embrace in times of unrest.
The artwork for May – including photography and hand-drawn micro-animations – was created by our in-house designer / artist artist Angharad Hengyu Owen.
You can purchase ‘May’ through the Colliding Lines Bandcamp.