Tuesday, March 29, 2022 | 8:00 pm
Phil Cook returns to Duke Performances for an intimate performance of the entirety of his new solo piano album All These Years. Recorded on a 1923 Steinway in Durham’s NorthStar Church of the Arts, All These Years is “a turn toward the minimal, the meditative, the powerful” (Volume One magazine) that finds Cook exploring his relationship to the piano, his primary instrument. In a note accompanying the recording, Trevor Hagen describe the process:
Phil experimented with sanctuary in order to honor the ritual: he retreated alone to the mountains in North Carolina to write, sojourned to family abodes in Wisconsin to nurture. Yet it was during hour-long stretches of improvisation in NorthStar Church of the Arts in Durham where the music could open up to the presence of divine intoxication. The renewal of the elixir of life.
These ten pieces came to life on a long-cared-for and much-loved 100 year-old Steinway over three days at the church. Wood floors. Brass pedals. Stained glass. Long pews. Faded grand black. Worn ivory. The sounds of the street bled through those brick walls.
Read full album note.
Cook describes the resulting songs as “hymn-provisations,” telling the INDY Weekly’s Dan Ruccia that making the album was “an act of me getting out of my own way and having it not be about anything other than what needed to come through in a moment. That isn’t me that’s coming through. I can’t even take credit for it. There’s just so much divine, cosmic beauty, and meaning in that entire experience.” Cook plays All These Years in the Nelson Music Room at Duke University, an intimate recital hall built in 1912.
Phil Cook - Queen Of Branches [Official Music Video]
His latest album, All These Years...is a way to reconnect with the expressive potential of his primary instrument while also expanding on the personal connections that bring him meaning.