Simon Hester is a pianist and composer whose career has covered a wide range of musical worlds.
He is versatile in both classical and jazz repertoire and has given recitals throughout Britain, appearing at the Bath, Edinburgh and Exeter festivals.
He has toured the UK and abroad with the highly successful show 'All You Ever Wanted to Know about Opera'
His piece Just finished which features in the Souncloud Top 20 Piano Solo Playlist, begins with an energy and drive that will have you nodding your head or tapping your foot from the outset. There is a feeling of warmth and a sense of feeling at home which is perhaps why it is placed at the end of a set of pieces for piano entitled 5 Abstract Studies.
Entitled ‘Just Finished’ comes at the the end of a project and this suggests to me, contentment or a happy conclusion to a larger scale work and is typical of a finale. This unusual title is also testament to the composer's wit and sense of humour which are also exhibited in his music.
typical of my jazz influenced melodic style, with some twists!
The movement and rhythm is what makes this piece positively glow, it is entertaining and just good fun. Simon describes his pieces as 'quite typical of my jazz influenced melodic style, with some twists! '
There is wit and humour combined with craftmanship that makes this piece flow so naturally.
I asked Simon what his main influences are and the importance of improvisation.
A childhood exposed to an eclectic range of music from Bach to Mancini, Chopin to Oscar Peterson. All of it freely available on LP and sheet music at home, with nobody telling me anyone genre was better or worse than another.
When listening to Simon’s music, be it classical or jazz in genre, it is clear that the music begins as improvisation. In Simon’s own words ‘everything stems from it’
The freedom and spontaneity to his work is refreshing and as Simon described his music, is melodious with a twist. ‘Just Finished’ is no exception and although only a short example of his work, it has enough groove, rhythm and beat from beginning to end to stand out as fine example of his musical output.
Certainly, a little gem.
If you would like to hear the other studies in the series then click here to visit Simon's souncloud page
I highly recommend listening to more of Simon's music, you will be able to hear his compositions on YouTube here or on his website https://www.simonhestercomposer.com
You can listen to the Sound Cloud Top 20 Piano Playlist here.
Author - Marcel Zidani
Marcel is a prizewinning composer and author of Hey Presto! Piano Method for Adults and Beginners aged 11 and over.