Piano Nocturnes
Vol 1

The Space Between Notes

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In late 2011 I released my first piano album, Piano Nocturnes Volume One.

Piano Nocturnes Volume One comprises of six tracks of ambient solo piano music recorded on the Bösendorfer grand piano at the SABC Studios, Cape Town, South Africa. The music has been compared to Eric Satie, Harold Budd and Arvo Pärt amongst others. It is very gentle, slow and quiet, more about the space between the notes than the notes themselves. The album is very, very gentle. It is pure grand piano – no vocals, drums, synthesizers or samples.

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Piano Nocturnes Volume One is available on all major streaming services.

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Descent, 2016


Listen to the silence, let it ring on.

- Ian Curtis

Piano Nocturnes played live


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For his influences, he refers to Erik Satie and Harold Budd. I think he’s right: Satie for the enchanting quiet music ‘to exist in the background’, Budd for the abstract compositions (the lack of clear themes you can hum along) and the ‘improvisational’ feeling. I would also add Arvo Pärt as a reference myself, because of the importance of the ‘spaces in-between’ and the ‘Tintinnabuli ‘ style of playing. Any album that can stand firm with reference to Pärt, Satie and Budd must be a special album. And this one is, indeed.

- Peter van Cooten, Ambientblog

In cadence, drift and textural detail, this solo debut sits somewhere between classical avante-garde composer Erik Satie’s riveting phonometric repetitions and Brian Eno’s ambient “Music For” sedatives… The longer, more somnambulant soundscapes are even more rewarding. By channeling the meditative tintinnabulist tendencies of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, de Tolly’s arpeggiated segues have enough space to actually swing in the silences.

- Rolling Stone Magazine, March 2012