Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Timothy Davey: Press

The Weight of Time

The Weight of Time ~ 2008/Lying Down Music

Period of Buoyancy...

For some, the weight of time is ponderous, heavy and restraining. It rules the day, the night and the life. It forces us to be creatures of habit and slaves of repetitious function. For others such as pianist Timothy Davey it is light, flowing and almost frail, but always tangible, like the familiar sound of a ticking pocket watch that is clear, dependable, and constant. Timothy uses time as a guide, a place keeper and a stalwart friend. His new solo piano album The Weight of Time is completely different from his first album Scenes From the Neighbourhood which had a contemporary feel. This new album is full of long, thought out progressions, pensive moments and lots of mood altering music. There seems to be an overwhelming sense of urgency in the music represented by some serious jazz impressions. But we like different, don’t we? Timothy further entertains us with his copious observations in the liner notes of the album. Quotes, poetry, photographs and soliloquizing prose give us insight into the heart and mind of the musician. Because it is there is not a simple explanation as to why we climb the mountain. Climb the mountain he did and this is a bountiful chronicle of the journey by a dedicated artist.

Over the Back Fence is a childhood memory for Timothy set to music. It is the trepidation of a young boy who sits on the top of a ladder and wonders what the real world is all about and what it holds for him. We all have our picket fences, back porches, bedroom windows, and backseat car windows as vantage points for such thoughts. It is the stuff that imaginations use to power our dreams.

Cranky Britches is a Vince Guaraldi tribute if perhaps only in melody. Try to remember that enthusiastic music you have heard in every Charlie Brown Special. It is the soundtrack to every Monday morning you ever regretted, every Friday night you did not and all the times in between when you wanted to scream at the world. Timothy captures the frustration and exasperation like some mad uncle on the piano. This is a song for the excitement of it and you cannot help but smile and dance along if only in your heart as you live the experience.

There are four Windmill Interludes scattered about the album like minute-long intermissions on the journey of life. Like the windmills that Timothy spied on his land travels they stand tall and ever-vigilant waiting to takes the slightest breeze and turn it into mechanical energy - something real and productive. On the album they are places where we can mentally rest and catch our collective breaths until the next burst of musical energy. After the first one, I looked forward to the discovery of each new one.

Not So Long Ago (When Things Were Better) reminded me of an old time hymn. Perhaps things were better when they were simpler. An acoustic piano never blows out a pre-amplifier. The music suggests that things are getting better. We can sit back and observe that candlelight is far superior to LEDs and starlight trumps all. Smiles mean a lot more when they are face to face instead of on the web cam. And words unspoken can mean more to the human heart than any electronically generated greeting card.

From exuberant childhood to inert adulthood, we look forward to a time when we find balance and peace of mind. In the tune Idyll we find that sense of balance, that feeling of accomplishment where we look back and smile and admit that we made the good fight and somehow managed to come out on top even if only for a moment or a speck of time.

The Weight of Time is as much a musical narrative of Timothy’s life as it is of our own. It is the bell shaped curve of our lives, the hills that we have climbed and the shaking of the fists when we reached the top. It is also the downhill journey that we take as we reflect on the paths we have chosen, the lovers and friends we have met along the way and the perhaps more importantly, what is next. What will time allow? For the ending of this review I offer my own favorite quote about time.

“The timeless in you is aware of life's timelessness; and knows that yesterday is but today's memory and tomorrow is today's dream."
Kahil Gibran
The Weight of Time ~ 2008/Lying Down Music

On Australian pianist Timothy Davey’s third album, he continues to display his singular take on solo piano music, music which is unlike anything I’ve heard since I started reviewing. He does this without sacrificing accessibility, warmth or melody. As on Uncovered Keys and Scenes from the Neighbourhood, Davey blends genres, including jazz, swing, rag, blues and new age, into a hybrid that defies easy categorization (for obvious reasons). His continues to incorporate abrupt time signature and volume shifts in mid-stream, but never in a way that is distracting. Neither pretentious nor abstract, his music flows naturally and gracefully, whether it’s uptempo and playful or sedate and reflective in nature.

In addition, The Weight of Time may be the most beautiful album “package” I’ve ever seen. The cover is a work of art and that’s just scratching the surface. Inside the inner compartment of the digipack is a thick (32-page!) booklet, with intensely personal liner notes by Davey detailing the whys and the wherefores of the songs. The notes reveal a lot about the man behind the music. There are also more pretty photos inside too, including some great shots of windmills (four short cuts on the album are entitled “Windmill Interlude #1” through “…#4”).

The album’s “theme” is, of course, time, and how it interplays in our lives in all its various poses. The liner notes truly complement the music so I’d strongly advise you to read them while the music is playing. Davey is one of those pianists who are probably enjoyed more when listened to directly, rather than in the background, although truthfully, The Weight of Time is melodic enough that it could just as easily be the soundtrack to cooking or entertaining (the only caveat being to be sure to set the volume at a point on the dial where the loud passages will not be too obtrusive - see my comments about one track later in the review).

The tracks themselves cover a lot of ground musically. There’s the gentle rolling prelude to the title track, before it explodes with passion and power in mid-track. “Only the Lover Sings” has a charming refrain that Davey explores in various tempos and shades of nuance versus drama. “Over the Back Fence” slyly meanders with a sense of rural nostalgia, evoking an “aw shucks…sit awhile and have a beer” mood, whereas on “Cranky Britches” Davey fires up his jump boogie stylings and really cuts loose! “Achilles Blues” revisits the pianist’s affinity for the titular genre blended with a hint of jazz (which he did on the previous album with the track “Sons of the Blue Funk Frontier”). Davey can tone things down too, as he does on “Dreams of Rain” (where cascading chords as well as isolated notes may evoke images of sporadic bursts of rainfall). “I Have a Notion” is as close to mainstream new age as Davey gets, but his soft romantic ballad still contains enough individuality that it’s not run of the mill. The album seems to be populated more by energizing (or at least toe-tapping) numbers, such as the fiery (and well-titled) “Rhythmicus” which Davey describes thusly “Ah well, it’s a romp of sorts to blow the cobwebs out…” This is the only track which may need to be programmed out of playback for good background listening, to be honest. “Idyll” closes the album by combining pieces of nearly all the styles which preceded it in one four-minute slice, a musical scrapbook, if you will.

Throughout The Weight of Time, Davey impressed me with how his compositional talent has grown and “matured” since his debut. He plays with a breezy yet sophisticated self-assuredness no matter what the mood or style is, yet none of the tracks have a trace of insincerity or superficiality. This is his best album to date and a real treat for those who are looking for more than standard new age or adult contemporary piano music without having to traipse over into experimental or avant garde music. Highly recommended.
The Weight of Time ~ 2008/Lying Down Music

“The Weight of Time” is Timothy Davey’s third solo piano album, and I think it’s his best work yet. Encompassing a wide variety of musical moods and playing styles, each of the fourteen tracks is a keeper - no filler at all! Often a bit more complex than most “new age” pianists, Davey’s music has always been in a category of its own. There are some extraordinarily beautiful ballads on this CD, but there is also some “down and dirty” blues, jazz, and just great original solo piano music. The strong influence of bluegrass guitar gives Davey’s music a different flavor, as does his Australian heritage, but his music is neither American nor Australian, proving once again the universality of music. The accompanying 32-page booklet contains an assortment of Davey’s thoughts on the music and life itself, as well as photographs to go with the music. It’s an outstanding package and a work of art.

The inspiration for “The Weight of Time” came from a pocket watch Davey inherited from his father. The watch is heavy and has a strong ticking (like a heart) which became part of the recording. Reminding of the passage of time, the watch serves as a link to the past, present, and future. The opening of the title track is on the quiet and pensive side, later almost exploding with exuberance, and returning to the original theme - very effective! “Only The Lover Sings” is a beautiful ballad whose strong melody expresses several different moods, never afraid to show tenderness or passion. The CD contains four “Windmill Interludes,” improvisations conceived as a single piece played in one-minute segments and placed in different parts of the album, depending on colors and styles of each segment - marvellous vignettes! “Over the Back Fence” is a nostalgic look at childhood adventure and innocence. I’m always fascinated by how well the piano describes rain, and “Dreams of Rain” is another fine example. Percussive yet flowing, and gentle then chaotic - a great piece! The middle section of the CD is very upbeat and bluesy, and shows Davey’s range as a pianist. “Cranky Britches” is a playful romp and one of my favorites. I woke up to it several times and got out of bed with a big smile on my face! “Achille’s Blues” continues in the blues style, but is much slinkier - I love this one, too! “I Have a Notion” is my other favorite. The exquisite melody is simple, played with emotion that comes straight from the heart - destined to become a classic! “Not So Long Ago (When Things Were Better)” is a theme song for the current state of the world, telling a story and offering hope. “Rhythmicus” is loud and boisterous, letting off some steam. “Idyll” closes the CD on a peaceful note - freely flowing yet strong and passionate.

“The Weight of Time” is a great album and should bring Timothy Davey well-deserved recognition. It is available from Very highly recommended!

Scenes from the Neighbourhood

Scenes from the Neighbourhood ~ 2005/Lying Down Music

Looking Down Flinders Street...

I noticed that Timothy Davey, sitting on the narrow green bench with the sun warming his face, has stubby fingers. At first I wonder if they are the fingers of a mason, a carpenter perhaps. No long, pale graceful stalks of flesh and bone here. Just short, strong appendages whose gentle touch produces beautiful melodies.

Davey's solo piano recordings are a kind of musical photo album of where he lives (and not just a physical place), hence the name, Scenes from the Neighbourhood. Timothy's music is contemporary with just a hint of jazz added for texture. However, in listening I realized these are much more than just black & white snapshots with serrated edges pasted in a book. These are artful vignettes. They are studies in movement and energy and color. Such vivid color. And none are still life.

Out Walking is a jazzy jaunt with a bright score and a distinct cadence. It is brassy beginning for Davey as he heads up the road in search of the perfect melody and finds it. There is a definite feeling of exuberance as the trip unfolds. In this number his glitzy piano style reflects comparable elements found in the works of his favorite influence, legendary guitarist Leo Kottke. There are similarities in strength and spirit in the riffs as well.

There are two versions of the melancholy tune Before I Knew on the album. One is a solo piano piece and the other has the accompaniment of violinist Lorretta Mongelli. Both renderings are sad and striking with a mournful score that begs you to listen and be mesmerized. It is a song that cries for balance, harmony and above all, assurance. It is my favorite and the best cut on Scenes from the Neighbourhood. There is also a gift of a video on the CD that allows us to watch as passionate Davey and talented Mongelli play the tune. It also allows you to visit the neighborhood.

Way too short is the sweet tune Sashi Waiting. The simple song is brooding and still remains quite beautiful. This is a musical photograph with the colors perhaps a bit muted, but the suggestion is crystal clear. Another favorite.

How small we all are in this universe is the realization that Timothy arrives at in the tune Distant Starlight. In an almost tentative score it reminds me of so many of us who, on a warm, late summer’s eve, laid back on the lawn with our gazes cast heavenward trying to discover our place in the scheme of things. And don’t we all still do it?

I don’t agree with Timothy's explanation of Gaudeamus. He says that the whole title means "Let us be happy while we are young". Sure, my years have taught me how to appreciate the happiness of the now just like a child. But there are deeper forms of happiness that I've discovered sometimes without even looking. Nevertheless I loved the tune. It has a cheerful spirit lurking inside the melody that smiles back at you. It is a breezy tune of shadowy afternoons, crackling fires and of steamy cups of tea.

Dusk at the Window-sill is Timothy's obiter dicta as the day winds down. There are passing clouds to be observed, sunsets to be admired, kids running in for supper and food to be blessed. The soft, quiet melody is pensive and yet it is worldly.

These musical views from Australian native Timothy Davey are not to be pressed in a thick book, put up on a shelf and dusted off whenever the fancy strikes. These are bright, colorful compositions that can be enjoyed every single day. There a many moody pieces on the CD, but there are a few punchy, high octane tunes as well. Variety is the spice of life. As long as the sun rises Timothy Davey's music is appropriate.
Scenes from the Neighbourhood ~ 2005/Lying Down Music

"Scenes From the Neighbourhood" is Australian pianist/composer Timothy Davey's follow-up to his 2001 debut, "Uncovered Keys." My initial reaction to this CD was "Wow!" and the more I listen to it, the more I utter that one-word review. If this CD doesn’t bring Timothy Davey worldwide recognition, the music world is in much worse shape than I feared. The music is complex, yet very accessible, and there is a variety of playing styles that dovetail into each other seamlessly. When I reviewed "Uncovered Keys," I kept hearing what I thought was Philip Aaberg's influence, but when I asked Mr Davey if he knew Aaberg's music, he surprised me by saying that he had never heard of him. That has now changed and there is much mutual admiration. Both are phenomenal pianists who play deeply emotional music, so if you like Aaberg's music, Davey's is a must. The CD consists of fifteen original solo tracks and a bonus video of "Before I Knew" as a duet with Davey on piano and Loretta Mongelli on violin. Davey's classical roots are apparent in his music, but his style is interwoven with jazz, new age, and his love for bluegrass guitar, making his musical voice unique and unclassifiable (a good thing!). The extensive liner notes tell of the meaning of each of the pieces, and also give us a glimpse of the artist himself.

All of the pieces on this album are excellent, so I'll tell you about a few favourites. The opening track, "Out Walking," got me from the very first. The rhythm is the pace of a brisk walk and remains steady while the right hand improvises all over the piano, much as the mind does when you go for a long walk by yourself. The freedom of that feeling comes through loud and clear, as does the sense of peace and even the exhilaration of being out in the fresh air. This is truly an amazing piece. "The Spaces In Between" is much quieter and more introspective, reflecting on how distance in time or space cannot break the bonds between ourselves and those we love. "Gratitude" is a gently rhythmic piece about the continuity one's mother provides throughout our lives. The piece goes through many key signature changes, but the melody stays the same. Both versions of "Before I Knew" are gorgeous - reflective, deeply personal, and conversational. "Dry Creek Breakdown" is a joyous recollection of childhood riding bikes at the salt flats, imagining being on desert planet. A buoyant spirit and sense of mysterious fun make this another standout. "Sons of the Blue Funk Frontier" is a "blues inspired rumble that threatens to break into a barrelhouse boogie style." This piece clearly demonstrates that the blues is far from being uniquely American and is a slinky toe-tapper. Several of the pieces are almost ambient in their quiet simplicity. One of those is "Distant Starlight," which harkens back to childhood, watching the summer night sky, looking for satellites and falling stars. The sparkling quality of the treble notes contrast beautifully with the deep bass. "Gaudeamus" is a tour de force that highlights Davey’s delicacy as well as his power, so the CD also ends with a resounding "Wow!"

Excellent from start to finish, "Scenes From the Neighbourhood" will definitely be on my "Top 10" for the year. It is available from Very highly recommended!
Scenes from the Neighbourhood ~ 2005/Lying Down Music

We last heard from Australian pianist Timothy Davey four years ago. His debut Uncovered Keys was an album which signaled the emergence of an uncommon artist who refused to color inside the lines of traditional new age piano music. Scenes from the Neighbourhood offers more evidence that Davey is a true original, yet not in a way where his music is unapproachable or alienating. In fact, Scenes from the Neighbourhood sounds more accessible than Uncovered Keys, yet the artist has lost none of his daring or lack of conventionality in his playing or composing. Davey loves to play around with shifts in time signatures, themes, and moods, keeping the listener pleasantly off-kilter without inducing "motion sickness." In addition, even when he plays it relatively straight-up (as many new age music pianists do), his abundant technique and talent combined with his affinity for jazz, swing, and assorted genres, means that the music will never be pedestrian or ordinary, and frequently will unexpectedly light up with bursts of creativity and excitement, regardless of the tempo or feeling of any one particular piece.

Few pianists are so adroit at balancing fiery pyrotechnics, blazing trails across the upper or middle registers, while anchoring the piece at the lower end of the keys, yet at other times playing with careful nuance and subtlety so that the melody is heard only in hushed tones. Whether he is pounding the ivories with emotional force and high drama or weaving a delicate evocative tone poem, Davey never allows the technical aspect of his piano playing to interfere or obscure the human side of the music, which always comes through loud and clear.

Davey has packed this album full of sixteen instrumentals (one of which is a duet with violinist Loretta Mongelli). On the finished product CD (I received an advanced copy) this final duet will be, I believe, a DVD track. I saw an MPEG version, but for some reason it didn’t play well on my PC. Since the artist is Australian, be aware that there may be region-playback difficulties here in the States.

With so much music on the album, it’s hard to detail more than a handful of tracks. "out walking" opens the album and immediately showcases Davey’s more complex approach to composing, as the midtempo pace holds true for the duration of the piece but melodic refrains come and go, sometimes forceful, sometimes subdued (but always anchored by that background cadence). Scatterings of lively jazz are sprinkled here and there as if the piece was an entré and jazzier elements were spices dashed in for added flavor. Davey works the bottom end of the register at times and I love how the song takes on a slyly mysterious edge at those times. "joie de vivre" is, as expected, a bright cheery (and short at 2:17) track that still contains enough shifts in time signature that it’s like unwrapping assorted layers to find the true nugget underneath, but the mood is consistently light-hearted. "gratitude" slows things down considerably, but not in a somber way (although here and there Davey uses sustain to impart a dose of reflection). The piece is inspired by/dedicated to the artist’s mother and it’s easy to "hear" the affection and appreciation within the low-key runs and simple yet heartfelt warmth of the melodies. "from the balcony" allows Davey to stray over into more evocative minimal territory, although he has a few quick runs intermixed with the slower more meandering notes on the song. "sons of the blue funk frontier" (a follow-up of sorts to a track on his first CD) is a funky and jazzy blast of exuberance and good time playing. The refrain is riffed from the earlier song but the embellishment is all new and Davey’s sense of humor and friendliness come through loud and clear. When he takes off in the bridge (mid-song), the piano wails like a back alley cat strutting its stuff - way cool!

For fans of more "traditional" new age piano music, there are a few songs that should delight as well, such as "ruby’s counting days" (a blend of quiet introspection and a gently rocking spirit) and, especially the gentle "dusk at the window-sill" which has an air of rural Americana to it. Probably the most introspective piece here is "distant starlight," an evocative tone poem which manages to be sincerely touching without resorting to melancholy or Hallmark card sappiness.

I found myself continually impressed and even mystified when I played this CD. Some of the mid-course changes that Davey pulls off left me wondering "How in the hell did he do that and make it work so well?" At other times, the softer and more nuanced moments had me holding my breath, as the piano seems to be whispering to me and I was afraid to miss out on what was being said. Scenes from the Neighbourhood is yet another album which proves the adage "All good things come to those who wait". While the wait for this album was atypical in this genre, it sure was worth it. Timothy Davey has made good on the promise of Uncovered Keys and revealed himself to be a pianist of amazing depth, startling versatility, and possessed of both a keen ear and deft touch. Fans who come expecting an ordinary new age piano album may find this a tad challenging at times, but if you hunger for more than the run of the mill neo-romanticism or smooth pop stylings, Scenes from the Neighbourhood will delight you. Highly recommended.
an online music archive...
Scenes from the Neighbourhood ~ 2005/Lying Down Music

Australian pianist/composer, Timothy Davey has recently released an extraordinary follow-up to Uncovered Keys, which was reviewed here in AMP back in 2002.

I feel blessed that once in a while a collection of truly beautiful all-original compositions catches my ear. Such is the case with Scenes from the Neighbourhood. This is a collection of 15 songs that combine a heartfelt lyricism with a clear understanding of the link between music and spirituality. This solo performance, with no overdubs, was meticulously recorded on a Grotrian Steinweg piano at Pilgrim Church, Adelaide, Australia by Neville Clark in late January, 2005.

What impresses me most in listening to the 15 pieces presented on Scenes from the Neighbourhood, is Davey's subtle technical genius. His expression and economy of notes is incomparable to any other player in this genre I've ever heard. Trust me, listen to this album, and listen to another pianist's recent music, ...i.e Philip Aaberg or George Winston. You'll immediately come back to Timothy Davey 's music. The album is provocative, spiritual and overall, very high-calibre. You'll hear new age atmospheres, classical nuances, even bluegrass influences in this eclectic blend. I found that in addition to providing a very pleasurable listening experience, this album can be very refreshing when you have some time to yourself, to bring your thoughts and emotions into balance.

Besides the songs, there is also a beautifully inspiring 3 1/2 minute video for those of you with computers, a live duet performance of the song, 'Before I Knew' featuring Timothy on piano, and the lovely Loretta Mongelli, playing an 1801 Johann Georg Lippold violin.

The album will be a delight for anyone who enjoys solo piano music. Clear reminiscences, transparent soundscapes, daydream images, delicate, impressionistic inventions, these are all a part of Timothy's unique musical signature. Each composition holds up on its own, yet they also relate to each other to evoke an emotional experience, to tell a story without words.

This album held my attention through repeated listenings. In particular, 'Dry Creek Breakdown' stands out as my favourite piece. The tune is beautiful, dreamy, and comforting, ...and I find that it still moves me after hearing it many times. Highly recommended.
Scenes from the Neighbourhood ~ 2005/Lying Down Music

Masterful Solo Piano…

It's been more than a few years since pianist / composer Timothy Davey released his brilliant debut album, Uncovered Keys. Since then times have changed. But some things are eternal--the spirit of music, the enchanting sound of a well built piano, the right notes dancing on the keys.

On Scenes from the Neighbourhood, Davey's 2005 solo release, this introspective instrumentalist once again pulls magic from the air. Beginning with the sweet ripples of the opening track, "Out Walking," the music soon builds into a dense rumble that traverses worlds as it explores familiar places in unfamiliar ways.

As the song set continues the sound crosses into and through a number of emotions. Cuts like "Gratitude" juxtapose gentle questioning with banging chords while the gorgeous "From the Balcony" climbs and falls with sweet reminiscences. By the time "Dry Creek Breakdown," another highlight of the disc, pushes an odd rhythm with its dense and at times dissonant chord colours, listeners have come to expect the unexpected.

Each of the tracks on this collection tells a story. Not in words but in the abstract. To help ground the listener in the inspiration Davey includes notes as to the origins of these pieces. But the words can only convey so much. The real story is in the music itself. Of course, the included bonus music video gives fans a chance to connect with the artist on a completely different level.

From the whispering trickles to the crashing drama, the tunes on Scenes from the Neighbourhood speak volumes without ever uttering a word. Wild abandon, extreme emotion, top composition and performance skills all combine to make this disc an enjoyable listen many times through.

Uncovered Keys

Uncovered Keys ~ 2001/Lying Down Music

Masterful Solo Piano...

Apparently they have some pretty good piano teachers in Australia. If pianist/ composer Timothy Davey is a typical example of the musicianship cultivated down under, aspiring musicians in the States should probably consider investing in some plane tickets.

On Uncovered Keys, Timothy Davey's stunning debut on Lying Down Music, this gifted musician appears to become one with his instrument through the course of the set. The solo piano storms, simmers, whispers and cries throughout the disc's eighteen tracks with certainty and precision.

Davey opens with "Denouement," an uptempo composition that resonates with a gleeful exuberance before "July 7" steps back a notch into more introverted melodies. There is also a reflective depth on cuts like "Into the Quiet" and "Ubiquity," a song that points to the closure and resolution of all things.

Davey reminisces about his grandfather with gorgeous fluidity and unmistakable respect on "Ernestly." Then he delves into the heady sway of the subconscious with "Late Night Conversation (Lullaby)," one of the most impressive tracks of the collection.

On Uncovered Keys Timothy Davey manages to mix numerous styles with grace and balance. Blues, jazz, classical, folk, rock and pop all make appearances here. This music refers to itself while it borrows from a myriad of stylistic touchstones. But even more impressive than that, this music is borne from the delicate combination of extraordinary musicianship and a deep, intuitive sense of composition.
Uncovered Keys ~ 2001/Lying Down Music

Timothy Davey's debut CD, "Uncovered Keys" is a good-natured collection of piano solos that range from a quiet lullaby to some upbeat, jazzy tunes that are fun and infectious. Davey is a school teacher from Australia, and some of his pieces ("Ubiquity" and "Cold Luck", for example) contain that feeling of open space so prevalent in the music of Philip Aaberg and George Winston.

The music is immediately accessible but complex enough to remain interesting and very enjoyable over many listenings.

Some of my favorites are "Caterpillar Crawl", which reminds me a bit of Liz Story's "Solid Colors" in its rhythmic patterns and sense of fun. A Leo Kottke-influenced boogie-type piece, this one gets better the more you listen to it and let it capture your imagination. "Into the Quiet" is a lovely theme and variations. The theme is a bittersweet farewell to a beloved colleague and must have brought tears when it was presented.

"Ubiquity" is a quiet and gentle piece played with tenderness and simplicity - very beautiful! "Everything's Okay" is wistful and a bit melancholy, but has a feeling of hope and looking forward. "Late-night Conversation" has a dark, velvety feel - cozy and warm with strong classical influences (perhaps a touch of Chopin).

I think my favorite piece in this collection is "Falling". With an arpeggiated left hand and simple melody, this piece is captivating with its rubato rhythm. A feeling of drifting on a gentle breeze or floating on a cloud gives "Falling" a fluid, light-as-a feather style.

"Uncovered Keys" is a very impressive debut, and I recommend it to those who like a bit of complexity in their solo piano music.

It is currently available at, and from Timothy Davey by emailing him at
Uncovered Keys ~ 2001/Lying Down Music

There are, perhaps, three well-known "kinds" of solo piano new age music recordings: the tone poets (e.g. George Winston), the minimalists (e.g. Ernesto Diaz Infante) and there are the melodicists (e.g. Robin Spielberg). In addition, there is a small group of pianists who compose and perform in a hard to describe subgenre. This category borrows its musical style and time signatures from sources like bluegrass, jazz, and ragtime, but transports those elements into a new age music arena. Artists such as Bob Dawson and Bradley Sowash come to mind. Timothy Davey, whose CD Uncovered Keys is a collection of eighteen enjoyable pieces, now joins them.

While a few selections on the album may remind you of the more commonly found types of solo piano music, it's more likely you'll hear the upbeat and uptempo opening number "denouement" and think, "Whoa, that's interesting!" Timothy plays some of the most energetic piano I've heard in a while, yet I never felt like he was just trying to play as many notes as possible. His fingers may run up and down the ivories with fluid ease but even when the notes come fast, there is never a feeling of being rushed.

Rural American folk music elements also pepper the CD here and there, although this impression may surface more on a subconscious level, as I can't actually address what about his music makes me assess it this way. Jazzy stylings, however, are easier to pinpoint - "caterpillar crawl" has a ragtime-like flavor to it although it's draped around some pleasantly varied time signatures.

Of course, sometimes the music on Uncovered Keys is simply "just" enjoyable solo piano in a more traditional new age vein, although Davey tends to walk along a William Watson path more than a David Lanz or Kevin Kern one. Whether it's how a melody surprises you as it spins the opposite of where you think it will go or the abrupt (yet never jarring) tempo switches mid-song, the album will hold your interest time and time again. But it's also highly accessible (in the same way Bradley Sowash's music is). Softer, more reflective pieces, like "ubiquity" or "late night conversation (lullaby)" are still brimming with creativity and non-pedestrian structure and music.

In the end, though, what I like best about Uncovered Keys is the fact that a lot of the songs are obviously about being happy or celebrating the joy of life. There is a place for sombreness and melancholy in music, but there is also a place for fun and laughter, and a place for reflection that leads to renewal ("everything's o.k."). Ultimately, what I think this album is about is the human condition in the best possible sense. That Timothy conveys this through a variety of musical approaches, almost all of which are fresh and, at times, exciting, makes the CD an easy recommend to fans of piano music. The only caveat I'll extend is that some songs are quite short and you may find yourself wishing for more. But, better that than the opposite!
Uncovered Keys ~ 2001/Lying Down Music

Just A Plain Good Time On The Ivories...

Solo Piano never fails to surprise me somehow. Whether it is in the way the artist actually plays the piano or how the compositions are written, every solo piano album I've ever heard always seems to have something special or unique about it. Timothy Davey's 2001 release Uncovered Keys is no are 18 wonderful tracks that reflect life, and perhaps more importantly, the passion that each of us feels from time to time about the simple things.

Combining elements of bluegrass, jazz and a handful of other styles, Uncovered Keys is anything but conventional. Though you will find plenty of interesting melodies here, believe me when I say to expect the unexpected. Just when you think you have a piece nailed down in your mind, there is a sharp (and welcome!) turn that keeps the piece moving along. The whole experience is almost organic somehow in its presentation, and all the more intriguing for that.

Some favorite moments include the opener "denouement", an upbeat and friendly piece that really invites the listener to sit and stick around for awhile. I really enjoyed the comforting melody of "analog", a track written to describe the way we feel when everything is going well, and all seems to be in place. The pace of "analog" alternates from slow and contemplative to out-of-your-seat and moving quite well, and makes for a straight-forward good time.

A few other tracks of note include "half-heard melody", a piece dedicated to the hearing impaired. I liked the thinking behind "adalie", a short and sweet tune based upon the rhythm of Timothy's youngest daughter's name. My favorite has to be "sudden shower", which is aptly titled based upon the quick pacing and short length. The liner notes explain that this piece is reflective of the quick but amazing downpours on the plains of Adelaide...refreshing and awe-inspiring, and over almost as quickly as it started. I felt the same way about this entire recording.

Fans of new age solo piano would be remiss if they did not take some time and see what Timothy Davey is all about. Be prepared to be challenged however, as Uncovered Keys is anything but the same old same old. Timothy has something to be proud of in this album, and hopefully, this will not be the last we hear from this entertaining Aussie.

For more information about Timothy Davey's Uncovered Keys, see
the multimedia journal of new music...
Uncovered Keys ~ 2001/Lying Down Music

One of the first things I noticed while listening to "Uncovered Keys" is that the piano style is simple, yet profoundly moving. The melodies of these powerful themes are allowed to manipulate the background harmonies in a way that the essence of the theme always predominates. He plays with a light, melodic touch that is slightly understated-somewhat like a softer-sounding version of George Winston or Philip Aaberg. From a technical standpoint, the presentation is essentially flawless, albeit pianistically uncomplicated and performed at a more or less uniform dynamic throughout.

These original compositions are lovely, and push ahead with casual elegance, where melody lines and accompanying left-hand figures blend together with an organized momentum. No notes are wasted, and all the phrases move forward into a satisfying total structure. This album will certainly help you relax and to centre in on what is most important in life. Davey's music conjures images of peaceful landscapes and dancing rivers, which serve as remedies for the tension of modern life. Each of his songs offers a guide to fulfillment, enchantment, beauty, serenity and spiritual values. The music just seems to carry you away in a lovely enchanting dream. If the intention is to produce quiet moments of peace and reflection, Timothy's artistry has done it with class.

For further information visit:
An Evening of Original Works
A colourful, relaxed and inspiring presentation...

On Saturday March 13th 2004, Adelaide teacher, composer and piano player Timothy Davey presented an Evening of Original Works, held in the recently completed Mary MacKillop College Multi-function Gymnasium. Mary MacKillop College was proud to present their Artist-in-Residence who dedicated his performance to raise money for a Yamaha G3 grand piano for students at the school. The evening also featured special guest, former student and violinist Loretta Mongelli who accompanied Timothy throughout the evening.

His performance consisted of 16 pieces, many of which feature on his internationally acclaimed debut album "Uncovered Keys" which is currently available for sale at Timothy's original piano pieces intertwined the genres of bluegrass, traditionally reserved and dominated by the six-string guitar, and piano jazz, making it a very interesting and unique listen.

Through his creativity, Timothy effortlessly reproduced the light tones and refreshingly unique style that is associated with bluegrass music. His performance also reflected the laid back approach of jazz, broken up by witty anecdotes that provided insight into Timothy's personal life; the people and events that have given him inspiration. These pieces evoked feelings of open space and freedom with melodies that were craftily created and dazzlingly tantalizing to the ears.

Timothy's performance was flawlessly presented and the program had a wide selection of contrasting delights. An artist who is very well acquainted with his craft, his instrument and the bright lights of the stage, Timothy performed with ease and confidence. He delivered a professional and very polished performance of pieces that are unique in their genre, their sound and contrasting in their themes and tones. A colourful presentation of instrumental compositions that was relaxed and inspiring.

Timothy Davey's music is a thrill that is sure to satisfy those who crave something musically familiar yet containing sufficient surprising unique elements. A style of music for lovers of jazz, instrumental, chill-out, piano music or those who are genuinely interested in trying new things!
Teresa Thai - Year 12 Music Student, Mary MacKillop College