‘Don’t miss him live’
‘Raw, moving songs’
New album In the Quiet of the Evening is out now.
Eight compositions combine relaxing, meditative calm with flights of improvisation, a mix of Joep Beving or Olafur Arnalds, and Keith Jarrett. Recorded at home on a 1977 Japanese upright piano, Max’s goal was to capture a simple, non-studio sound, including subtle outdoor evening ambience.
“I love the calm and quiet in the evening once the busyness of the day settles. I wanted to try and capture that mood in a recording. Soft, ‘Felt’ piano sounds have become hugely popular in film and Work-music Playlists for their soothing qualities in a busy world. I wanted something in between – the extra expressiveness of a standard piano sound, recorded and produced in a soft way. Gentle night-time suburban ambience is included, giving a kind of subtle tape-hiss quality, which I love in old recordings.”
In the Quiet of the Evening was launched at The Fumbally Stables, Dublin Friday 10th November. Find excerpts on YouTube here.
From Nottingham, Max has lived in Ireland since 2005. An improvisor, songwriter and composer known for his delicate touch on the piano, his playing is influenced by Folk traditions, Gospel, Blues & Jazz. With two critically acclaimed albums of original songs, soundtrack sync placements in Film and TV, he has co-written with Tom Baxter and for Grammy-nominated and MOBO award-winner Jamie Cullum.
Shows at The National Concert Hall, Theatres, Festivals, TV shows Other Voices and Later With Jools Holland, sees Max playing solo and in various line-ups across Europe. Collaborators include Mundy, Jerry Fish, Folk trio Iona Sound, Blues band OTIS, Tom Baxter (Better), Liam Ó Maonlaí (The Hothouse Flowers), Iarla Ó’Lionáird (The Gloaming), Mik Pyro (Republic of Loose), Jack L, Vyvienne Long, Albert Hammond (The Air That I Breathe), Adrian Crowley, Charlie Winston, Gerr Walsh, Fionn Regan, and The London Community Gospel Choir.
In Education, Max is a Lead Lecturer in Songwriting and Music Arranging Aesthetic at Third-Level BIMM Institute, and Piano Teacher at Secondary Level in Blackrock College, Dublin.
BIMM-funded research found a Lecturer-modelled learning approach developed by Max within online groups drove strong engagement and achievement, resulting in a redesign of BIMM Institute modules.
Community Songwriting-Performance projects include The Point of the Tide (Sing a Song of Docklands), commissioned by Dublin City Council to celebrate the culture and history of Dublin’s Docklands, in collaboration with artist Jerry Fish and youths from Ringsend & Irishtown Community Centre.
Max is currently finishing writing an album of new songs, and has developed a repertoire of Hymn-like versions of 1980s Pop Classics pencilled in for recording soon.
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“Savage player, really melodic” – Mik Pyro, Republic of Loose
“Best Piano Player in Ireland” – Stephen Shannon, Producer, Experimental Audio
“Impeccable timing” – Conor Brady (The Blades, Terence Trent D’Arby, Toots & The Maytals)
“An exceptional touch” – Tom Baxter, Singer-Songwriter
“Max created a relaxed, free-flowing environment that empowered people to explore their own creativity and expression; combined with a great knowledge of piano, recording, and songwriting. My own songwriting developed into new, unexplored areas based on things I picked up from Max.” – Luke Power, BA Songwriting student.
“An approachable and fun teacher…adapts his style and level to suit what you want to achieve.. Even when I was feeling creatively stunted he always found ways of encouraging me to keep going.. very enthusiastic about helping you reach your potential.”- Fiona Hannon (Darwin’s Daughter), Songwriting Diploma student.
“A reflective process helped me to embrace newer ways to approach my writing….Max always went the extra mile.” – Dr. Fiona Weldon, Songwriting Diploma student.
“Caters for all levels of musicianship… Music Production taught in ways that made sense… enthusiastic and genuinely interested in students musical ability.” – Katie Phelan, BA Songwriting student.
“Feedback was always constructive and clear… a good balance between creative encouragement and a business approach to songwriting/performing.” – Ailsha Davey, Songwriter, Composer.
“Good practical advice with chords and song sections.” – Niall Sheedy, Songwriter.