Accessible and intimate new album

"As time went by, we refined the music," Ginsburg explained. "With the lifting of COVID restrictions, Ryan and I met weekly to further develop and refine the compositions..."

The musicians behind Oceans Together.
The musicians behind Oceans Together.

Saxophonist Mark Ginsburg and pianist Ryan Grogan’s new release, Oceans Together, presents a suite of evocative, delicate, uplifting and sometimes haunting compositions juxtaposed on a dark and discordant world.

According to Ginsburg, the title of the album, Oceans Together, reflects the varied shores, musical influences and social landscapes of the musicians. Each one has a rich background of significant individual accomplishments, as well as a history of working together at different times over a few decades.

The seed for this particular album was planted during the COVID lockdown of 2020.

“Ryan and I have worked together over the years in a number of ensembles, as well as co-written a film score of a documentary. We needed some form of creative outlet and began sending sketches of tunes to each other over the internet,” Ginsburg told The AJN. “Ryan would send me a piano recording and chart of an idea. Then I would lay down some saxophone and send it back to Ryan with some suggestions. After a number of iterations, we sent a more developed version to Fabian Hevia [the percussionist in Adelaide], who added his tracks and thoughts regarding rhythmic treatment. We really liked the idea of hand percussion rather than drums as it kept the music sounding intimate.”

The result is a collection of contemplative, accessible and gentle musical experiences, with surprises that honour the importance of melody and harmony.

“As time went by, we refined the music,” Ginsburg explained. “With the lifting of COVID restrictions, Ryan and I met weekly to further develop and refine the compositions and their treatment. Finally in May 2022, we went into the recording studio to do a live recording, resulting in the Oceans Together album.”

The ensemble includes Grogan on piano, Hevia on percussion, Brett Hirst on upright bass and Ginsburg on saxophone.

“One of the key objectives we had was to present a project that was accessible and intimate. The world is dealing with significant challenges and the news is generally troubling. We wanted to offer something that would take the listener on a journey of hope and beauty.”

Oceans Together can be streamed on all streaming services.

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