Patrick Godfrey | Ancient Ships

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Rock: Progressive Rock Avant Garde: Electro-Acoustic Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Ancient Ships

by Patrick Godfrey

Acoustic progressive rock for piano, harpsichord, organ, marimba and percussion. Influenced by Satie, Debussy, Ravel, Steve Reich, Nexus, Terry Riley, Stockhausen and African folk song.
Genre: Rock: Progressive Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. All Along
3:54 $0.99
2. Clocks
3:22 $0.99
3. Papillons
5:00 $0.99
4. For Gail
4:55 $0.99
5. Summer Rain
3:39 $0.99
6. The Stone
8:42 $0.99
7. Ancient Ships
14:26 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Ancient Ships is my first album on Apparition Music, recorded in January 1979, re-mastered in 2007 from the original master tapes.

I wrote and performed all the music and recorded it in my studio in Toronto where I kept a Steinway grand piano , a double manual Karn reed organ with pedals, a marimba and a 9 foot double manual harpsichord.

The music was recorded on a 2 track Revox tape recorder with a pair of Neumann U87 microphones.

To overdub new parts I bounced from track to track, sometimes slowing the tape down, sometimes speeding it up, sometimes cutting bits of tape out and reversing the pieces.

You can hear the bellows of the organ blasting away in the cellar underneath my studio, many creaks and squeeks from the piano pedals and the occasional truck passing for local colour.

All Along developed from my love of Erik Satie's piano music.

Clocks was created by placing an old miniature grandfather clock in my Steinway with the pedal jammed down so the dampers were raised, scraping the strings with various metal objects ( gently, oh so gently) and fooling around with the speed of the tape.

Papillons was influenced by Ravel and was originally entitled Three Times Up The Hill.

For Gail was a gift for my wife Gail and is sort of new music meets old music and they fall into a trance. I always loved having a harpsichord around.

Summer Rain is definitely trance music too, played on piano and marimba.

The Stone was influenced by Debussy. The title comes from the lyrics of a song of mine: ”It was not the child or the stone, but the wind in the field that opened my heart……”

The original title of Ancient Ships was " I walked down from the hills through the winter rain to the sea, where I saw a ship, floating in the air..." It rained all January 1979 in Toronto and this was one way to escape the gloom.

As a boy I loved to listen to late night radio, especially when the stations would overlap and different songs from disparate locales would blend in a dizzy mix. Ancient Ships sounds a bit like this in places and it was tricky figuring out how to do this on 2 tracks.


Patrick Godfrey Bio

Born in Toronto, Patrick began playing piano for church dances in 1960 at age 12. Early influences were Fats Domino,Henry Mancini, Leonard Bernstein and JS Bach. He played and sang in a number of Toronto rock bands, including the Omegas, The Diplomats, and RCA recording artists Simon Caine. His performances led to session work with many well known Canadian musicians including Bruce Cockburn, Murray McLaughlan, Raffi, Marc Jordan, Shirley Eikhard, Ben Mink, Daniel Lanois, Ken Whiteley, David Essig, Fraser and Debolt and Mendelson Joe.

His work with singer Len Udow took him to Winnipeg one Summer around 1970, where he met Richard Condie and wrote the music for Richard's first animation, "Oh Sure". So began a friendship which continues today; Patrick has scored all of Richard's animations including the Academy Award nominated classics The Big Snit and La Salla and most recently, Etudes and Impromptus.

Patrick has worked on numerous other animations, including the Academy award nominated short George and Rosemary, and the Oscar winning animation Bob's Birthday. He also scored all 52 episodes of Canada's most successful animated TV series, Nelvana's acclaimed Bob and Margaret, seen around the world. There are links to many of these animations from

Patrick has been in demand as a producer; he created the evocative soundscapes and was associate producer on the million-selling Classical Kids productions Mr. Bach Comes To Call, Mozart's Magic Fantasy, and Beethoven Lives Upstairs, and he has produced albums featuring artists such as Holly Cole, The Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band, The Lafayette String Quartet, and Michael Jones.

Patrick's personal recording career to date includes his most recent release Still Life Still, 8 improvisations recorded on his new Yamaha S6 grand piano.

Blue Night, described by Heartsong Review as ..."electronic music at it's best...captivating! " and Strange Rain were first released in 1995 and 1996.

Critics greeted his first album, ANCIENT "the surfacing of a major talent", possessing "an enormous sense of calm and joy". Keyboard noted the music's "clarity and grace". Released on vinyl in 1980, Ancient Ships is now available on CD and by download.

Released in 1982, Downbeat gave BELLS OF EARTH four stars, Cadence called it "the most distinctive solo piano LP of the previous two years" and The Montreal Gazette described it as..." a refuge in troubled times".

Of 1985's SMALL CIRCUS, The Globe and Mail said "The harpsichord pieces team with ideas and roll along with a wonderful kinetic sort of energy; the instrument has never been as funky....".

Of his solo piano concert at The Montreal International Jazz Festival, The Montreal Gazette wrote..."positively spiritual...the stunning material he played to an awe-struck crowd ranged freely from Bach to boogie, with flat-out jazz, romance and the hypnotic music of the East filling in the spaces in between...he kept the audience in mute wonder with the delicate beauty of his melodies, superhuman left hand patterns, and a right that moved with the delicacy of a butterfly in flight."

Patrick continues to perform in concert and teaches improvisation, composition and song writing at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, Victoria BC.

In concert he plays a mix of piano music both composed and improvised, and songs, mostly originals, with some favorites ranging from George Gershwin and Harold Arlen to Bruce Cockburn and the Beatles.



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sounds wonderful (better than the LP I own)