Glasswork / Slowbern
"...comes out of the gate a fully formed talent... O’Beirne’s alto and tenor saxes parallel those of Dave Binney and Donny McCaslin, respectively: very modern, very palatable and most importantly for his songs, very melodic... a smashing start for Ian O'Beirne."
-S. Victor Aaron, Something Else Reviews
"His playing flows with an appealing fluidity without resorting to torrential outpourings of sound."
-Lance Liddle, Bebop Spoken Here
"His compositions as well as his playing are introspective - more thoughtful consideration than flamboyance and all the more powerful and pleasing for that."
-Grady Harp, Literary Aficionado
"...mellifluously inflected lines, one sumptuous repast harmonizing with another."
-Mark S. Tucker, Fame Reviews
Glasswork, conceived more as a noun, an alternative to the common "patchwork" metaphor for the symbolism in a person's values: various solid ideals, melted together into a cohesive whole, though the whole might be jagged in places, multicolored, shooting off in various directions and structurally unstable, it comes together to form the underlying pattern for a life lived in an increasingly complex world. And every so often the entire monstrosity can be brought down in a shattering moment or series of moments, where firm convictions have to be built over time once again (an epiphany maybe), from the thousands of grains of sand (moments) that can only build up with time and be shaped into glass with lots of high energy applied (self-evaluation and hard work).
This is the literary inspiration for the title track, created from a series of disparate musical fragments pieced together in a few idle moments of inspiration, but it can also be applied to the entire collection of music here. Glasswork is more a series of vignettes, inspired by the dreamscape and the cityscape, two points of fascination for me, and two worlds which appear to be growing in vibrancy and relevance all the time. Though grandiose in scope, Glasswork is but one small frame of musical time, captured on a single day by a group of musicians characterized by cohesive solidarity. I believe my vision was captured excellently by this band, and I hope that the listener can find similarly powerful metaphors and imagery arising from the resultant soundscape.
An eponymous novel, inspired by the thematic content of Glasswork, is currently in production. Co-writing and editing by Michael Bristow.
With this music I have also done some outreach work in Japan in 2012 and 2013, with the help of the Glenn Miller Orchestra rhythm section. We played at the Joy Club handicapped music and art school for a great cause. Please check out their work here: http://music.joy-club.jp/