J. Gary Sill Radio & Website

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    Piano and Ambient Music on
    Infinite Shuffle

    Featured Album
    Restless Hearts Cover
    When I was living in Vancouver, I would sometimes perform live concerts but times have changed. These performances will be different working from the new home and studios in Halfmoon Bay on British Columbia's beautiful Sunshine Coast.
    Writers Radio Banner
    Today, my music is finding its way into our Writers Radio project and my happy task is to edit and score each program. This music is almost entirely free of solo piano. I have found that the traditional orchestra, string quartets and woodwind ensembles provide exactly the right setting for the writers to read their works.
    I am sure you will enjoy the new approach to my music and I can heartily recommend that you follow this link, writersradio.ca to spend some interesting time with the programs.

    Thanks for listening!

    Gary
    Pondhaven
    My wife Carole Harmon and I create and work in our newly constructed Studios Building. Her photography and writing, as well as my music, are being well cared for in these beautiful interior and exterior surroundings.
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    Pondhaven Studios Building
    Residence
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    In The Beginning…
    It is safe to say that most people, who know my work at all, will know about my solo piano playing, especially the more "inner" performances. But I also have a body of electro/acoustic compositions, which although I never intended to keep them secret, still remain, shall we say "undiscovered". While I hope that the atmosphere of my piano improvisations is present in these recordings, I think you will find that the variety of aural landscapes and changing rhythms also serves to enhance the enjoyment.

    Thanks for listening,

    Gary

    J. GARY SILL

    Performer • Composer • Arranger • Teacher • Producer

    Jelaluddin Gary Sill presently lives on the west coast of Canada in Halfmoon Bay. He has taught piano and keyboards, analog and electronic composition, written extensively for film, television and the theatre and has performed across Canada. Gary is highly accomplished in jazz and pop idioms, but he is best known for his extraordinary improvisational skills. In the past twenty years, he has released numerous recordings of improvised and composed music.

    Biography & Education

    Canadian pianist and composer J. Gary Sill was born to a band leader father and journalist mother in the small town of Fort Macleod, Alberta, on September 28, 1944. He has been a musician, composer and teacher in Banff, Calgary and Edmonton and now lives with his wife Carole Harmon in the Canadian west coast town of Halfmoon Bay, British Columbia where he records and produces music in his own custom designed studio.

    Through the Banff Centre For The Arts, Gary has worked or studied with:
    • Steve Reich, John Cage, R. Murray Schaffer, Oscar Peterson, Carl Berger, Ursula Oppens, and other influential contemporary composers.
    • Stephen Temmer, (audio engineering) and Gene Youngblood, (future of electronic media).

    Music Studies at The University of Calgary:
    • Composition with Luigi Zaninelli and Piano with Gloria Saarinen.
    • Electronic Music with Dr. Stan Finn
    • Film History with Miroslav Malik (Czeck pioneer of holography in art).

    Private study included music theory with Gordon Delamont, Native Indian Culture with Abe Burnstick and Improvisational Acting with Keith Johnstone (University of Alberta).

    Instructor at Grant McEwan College (Jazz Program):
    • piano, ensemble performance, music theory, sight singing and ear training, vocal accompaniment.

    Gary studied with French composer, Hidayat Inayat-Khan, son of the the Sufi mystic and musician, Hazrat Inayat-Khan.

    Recordings

    Released Piano and Orchestrated CDs:
    "Night Vision" (2010), "Golden Highway" (2008), "Stonehenge Is Burning" (2007), “Restless Hearts” (2002), “Spring Is In The Poet” (2001), “Healing Moon” (2000)

    Produced for PacificLine, Vancouver,
    Music for Relaxation Series:
    "Pachelbel’s Canon in D", "Bach", "Beethoven", "Fauré & Saint-Saëns", "Albinoni & Hayden", "Satie, variations on 3 Gymnopédies".

    Produced for Sound of Light, The Hague, Netherlands
    Sufi Music and Instructional Recordings:

    Sill counts as important influences Sufi teachers and guides, including Shamcher Bryn Beorse and the French Sufi composer Hidayat Inayat-Khan whose forty year friendship has deepened and directed his understanding and practice of music.

    From 1985 to 2017 Gary assisted Hidayat Inayat-Khan as a performer, producer, and engineer of both formal music projects and compositions to accompany Sufi spiritual practices. He has assisted in the distribution of these projects and with his wife Fazalunissa Carole Harmon, was the organizer, in 2007, of the Mysticism of Sound Conference and Concert Series (MOSC) and it’s Communications and Music Director.

    Acknowledgement

    Perhaps all musicians have found more than little “muse” in their music. Much has been said and written in response to "What's a Sufi" however, this is not really the place to go into that. I think it's best just to say that this is one of many mystical spiritual paths and I have involved myself in it as an aid to my lifelong inquiry into the deeper aspects of music.

    With this in mind, I cannot express sufficient appreciation and gratitude to my recently passed friend and teacher, Hidayat Inayat-Khan, who in addition to being a living musical treasure for Western formal music, is also a Murshid, or Sufi teacher.

    We musicians are all knowingly or unknowingly pursuing a way to express something deeper in our music. All of which has led me to an understanding that music really is the mystery that imagines us.

    Composing & Producing

    Some Music Production Highlights

    • Film Score for a National Film Board documentary on CBC Radio as well as "Minister of Everything", a documentary dealing with the life of the influential Canadian politician, C. D. Howe, Both directed by Robert Duncan.
    • Produced, performed, and arranged CD recordings for Vancouver singers Maria Miceli, Pam Henry and Jerry DesVoignes

    Theatre

    • Co-wrote "The Inner Call" a Music Theatre production with William Pasnak. The work was performed in the spring of 1992.
    • Composer for the stage adaptation of Jan Truss’ “Jasmine”.
    • Composer for One Yellow Rabbit Theatre Company and for Theatre Calgary.
    • Music director for “Jacques Brel Cabaret” (Jasper Players Theatre).
  • New Album Release - April 6, 2023
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  • Video

    Video

    Occasionally I create a video to help communicate my music, reversing the usual roles in media. Here video is serving music.

    Click the video image to go to the player.
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    "Air"
    Music Video
    1 of 3
    solo piano

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    "Ancestral"
    Music Video
    3 of 3
    solo piano

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    "Mother Moon"
    Music Video
    2 of 3
    solo piano

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    "What Sea Lions Think"
    2018 Holiday Video

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    "Sonnet For Hunters"
    Poem and music setting

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    Future Motion - Part 1
    Writers Radio Music

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    "There Should Be A Waltz With You"
    Jerry DesVoignes & J. Gary Sill
    performing in the
    Canadian Music Centre

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    Fragment: A Kind Progress

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    darkness… light
    A Poem from Carole Harmon with a Music Setting

  • Hidayat Inayat-Khan - Composer

    Hidayat Inayat-Khan
    Composer

    Hidayat Inayat-Khan (August 6, 1917 - September 12, 2016), was a Murshid, or Sufi teacher, as well as a musical treasure for Western formal music. He composed a great variety of music as well as numerous musical settings for the performance of Sufi spiritual practices. For more than twenty years I had the privilege of performing and/or producing the recordings of this body of work with Hidayat.

    Jelaluddin Gary Sill
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    with Aziza and Hidayat Inayat-Khan

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    Hidayat Inayat-Khan's music is a search for a combination of oriental raga systems and occidental polyphonic structures that follow as much as possible the basic principles of western music analysis while adding the enchanting flavour of oriental raga. His music is a formulation of the emotions; a ‘tuning of the heart’.

    Here is an explanation of what he meant by "Raga"

    Hidayat Inayat-Khan
    from "Documentation of Symphonic Works and Chamber Music (2013)"

    "The term Raga, which is generally translated as ‘Melodic Formula’, is much more complex than just a specific mode, as usually expressed in Western music, but the true meaning of the word Raga is really ‘Emotion’. The structure of a Raga is immutable, as opposed to western harmonic systems, which are modulative. A raga stands for a group of notes produced for the purpose of invoking a particular state of mind, which can be explained as being the ‘Tuning of the Heart’.

    A Raga consists of a group of notes, which are distinguishable from each other by the way that the intervals are structures between the ascending and the descending notes, placed within the unfoldment of the melodic line.
    Classical treatise describes numberless types of Ragas whereby the principles ones consist of five, six or seven notes. All notes, other than those of the scale, which are not compromised in a Raga, are called Sandavi, meaning dissonant tones, because they do not fit within the pattern of the chosen group of notes.

    Within these groups of notes called Ragas, there is a dominant note and a consonant note, which are repeatedly heard during the entire performance, and the magic effect created through the enchanting intermingling of the dominant and the consonant, together with an appropriate rhythmic pattern, emphasises the characteristics of a chosen quality, creating thereby a specific meditative atmosphere."
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    Hidayat Inayat-Khan, Lake O'Hara, 1980

    Symphonic Works album cover
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    Symphonic Works
    The Symphonies of Hidayat Inayat-Khan
    J. Gary Sill

    Message Symphony, La Monotonia, Virginia Symphony, Zikar Symphony, Gandhi Symphony

    2000, 104' 38"
    The “Cherag’s Procession” is a composition by Murshid Hidayat Inayat-Khan that is often used as a start to the Sufi Universal Worship ceremony.
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    1. Cherag's Procession

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    Sufi Music and Practice

    Free Downloads

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    Zikar
    The Gentle Singing Zikar of Hazrat Inayat Khan
    Hidayat Inayat-Khan, J. Gary Sill
    Spiritual Practice
    1987, 42 21"
    Visit…
    Zikar Special Edition
    The Gentle Singing Zikar of Hazrat Inayat Khan
    Hidayat Inayat-Khan, J. Gary Sill
    Spiritual Practice
    1987, 24 47"
    Cover Image
    This version features the Sufi Invocation recited by Murshid Hidayat Inayat-Khan
    Zikar Invocation Edition
    The Gentle Singing Zikar of Hazrat Inayat Khan
    Hidayat Inayat-Khan, J. Gary Sill
    Spiritual Practice
    1987, 24 47"
  • Listen to Albums
    Restless Hearts Cover
    Visit…
    Calm Waters
    Music foe Inner Peace
    J. Gary Sill
    Ambient Water Sounds
    Orchestrated with piano
    2023, 33' 00"
    Restless Hearts Cover
    Visit…
    Golden Highway
    Piano Songs
    J. Gary Sill
    Formal & Improvisation
    Solo Grand Piano
    2010, 42' 27"
    Restless Hearts Cover
    Visit…
    Healing Moon
    Music For An Illuminated Sky
    J. Gary Sill
    Ambient Pop & Jazz
    Solo Grand Piano
    2000, 51’ 10”
    Cover Image
    Visit…
    Night Vision
    Gary Sill Live
    Ambient, Classical Indian, Jazz
    Solo Grand Piano
    J. Gary Sill
    2010, 42' 27"
    Restless Hearts Cover
    Visit…
    Restless Hearts
    12 Compositions For Solo Piano
    J. Gary Sill
    Ambient Pop & Jazz
    Solo Grand Piano
    2002, 62' 00"
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    Visit…
    Spring Is In The Poet
    Acoustic Piano Solos
    J. Gary Sill
    Ambient, Jazz
    Solo Grand Piano
    2001, 59' 44"
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    Visit…
    Stonehenge Is Burning
    Bob Day and Gary Sill
    J. Gary Sill and Bob Day
    Ambient Jazz
    Nature Sounds
    Electronica
    Grand Piano, Flugelhorn,
    2007, 42' 27"
    Cover Image
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    Wire
    New Music for the Piano
    J. Gary Sill
    Ambient Jazz
    Aural Landscape
    Piano Improvisation
    Grand Piano
    2018, 53' 37"
  • CANADIAN MUSIC CENTRE - SOLO PIANO CONCERT
    From the archives: Saturday, October 13, 2018 Performance
    CANADIAN MUSIC CENTRE
    SOLO PIANO CONCERT
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    "I performed this concert at at the CMC. It was an opportunity to play the legendary Murray Adaskin 1960 Heintzman Salon Grand Piano.

    Thanks to all that came to a night of improvisational piano solos in one of Vancouver's most appreciated and creative cultural spaces".
    J. Gary Sill
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    Murray Adaskin’s Heintzman Salon Grand Piano

    This is what the CMC has to say about the piano:

    "Murray Adaskin’s 1960 Heintzman Salon Grand Piano is a storied instrument, as much for the many important works Adaskin composed and performed on it as for how many of the current generation of celebrated composers studied at this keyboard.

    It was manufactured at the very apogee of Canada’s finest piano maker and has a gorgeous, warm sound. It truly is the crown jewel of our centre. It has been played by Sir Ernest MacMillan, Benjamin Britten, Mario Bernardi, and John Newmark among many others. It truly holds a unique place in BC’s musical history."
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    © 2024 J. Gary Sill | Halfmoon Bay, Canada