Denied was inspired by the life of a pianist
September nights is dedicated to a special person
Wings is dedicated to my family
Longing Dawn increased my self esteem
Ladybird gives a swinging mood
Hoping was composed when I was in search of true friendship
Remembrance is dedicated to all the people I met during my life
Ira has a Spanish origin
Reaching was inspired by a character of a novel
Bright child was inspired by a beautiful poem
Raindrops was composed on a rainy Sunday afternoon
Drifted was inspired by a true story
All tracks composed, produced, arranged and performed by Clifford Borg.
Track 7 and 12: violin performed and arranged by Jean Micallef Grimaud.
Track 12: cello performed by Paul Micallef Grimaud
Track 13: produced, recorded and remixed by M. Hofmann.
Recorded on Steinway (November 23rd, 1998) at the Manoel Theatre,Valletta.
Edited, recorded, produced and manufactured at Farmhouse Studios.
Steinway recording by Paul Preca.
Cover illustration by Gary Parnis.
Photography by Kurt Arrigo.
Rating: 2 reviews
PIANO MUSIC FOR THE NEW AGE - 2002
PIANO MUSIC FOR THE NEW AGE
(Michael Bugeja, The Malta Independent December 2002)
This has been a good year for Clifford Borg. The release of Drifted, his debut outing, was well-received, despite the fact that the CD is not geared for the commercial market. Having moved on from Orion, the group he formed part alongside violinist Joseph Chetcuti and singer Josie Scerri, Clifford decided to focus on his own career. In the course of completing the works on Drifted, he has also written songs for other artists, including Chiara.
The 12 instrumental piano compositions on Drifted, are largely reflective, openly melodic without being obvious, and above all, soothing. This is the kind of music to look for when chilling out on a lazy Sunday morning.
It creates a comfortable atmosphere, whether you are entertaining guests at home or simply for the pleasure of your own listening and relaxation. In fact, the music on Drifted could be easily be filed under New Age music, given there is an underlying meditative quality to it.
Following a handful of local performances, Clifford has also invited to headline The Simplicity Tour, which included a series of dates around Germany as well as one-off gigs in Paris, Luzern and Hinterrux. Furthermore, a remix of his composition Hoping was given a contemporary dance remix ( included here as a bonus track) that has been adopted by several DJs as part of their playlist. The Hoping remix was also played on Dutch radio station Enschede FM, where Clifford was invited for a live interview in connection with his tour in Germany.
With this experience in hand, and the promising work on Drifted, Clifford Borg’s potential is obvious, and his live performances which included some jazz and classical standards, are recommended to any genuine music lover.
Drifted is a true example that good, passionate music does not need cosmetic facelifts to make its point, and the 12 stripped-down songs here are proof of this!
2002 / Clifford Borg
Drifted is the debut album by Maltese pianist/composer Clifford Borg. Recorded in 1998 and released in about 2002, most of the twelve tracks (plus a “hidden” bonus track) are solo piano. One piece includes violin (performed and arranged by Jean Micallef Grimaud), one includes cello (arranged and performed by Paul Micallef Grimaud), and one features both violin and cello. A few tracks also have digital strings and nature sounds such as birds, rain, and children laughing. The bonus track is performed on a digital keyboard.
Born into a musical family, Borg started taking piano lessons in his native Malta at the age of five. Within the first year, he joined his two sisters in his father’s band, entertaining patrons at their family’s restaurant. Very favorably received, the group named themselves The Islanders and started performing regularly at various Maltese hotels and clubs. At the age of ten, Borg was invited to give a live solo performance on Malta’s national television station and returned a year later with The Islanders. He started composing music early, earning awards and diplomas along the way.
Drifted begins with “Denied,” a piano solo inspired by the life of a pianist. The melancholy melody is strong enough to support lyrics, but expressively tells its story without any need for words. “September Nights” begins with the sound of crickets before the sweet and uncomplicated piano solo begins. “Wings” begins with the sound of ocean waves and sea birds. Dreamy and gently flowing, it strongly suggests a sense of freedom. “Longing Dawn” is my favorite piece on the album. Poignant and soul-searching, it sounds like a soliloquy that could have been created very late at night (or very early in the morning!), possibly by candlelight. “Ladybird” is the most light-hearted and carefree piece on the album. “Hoping” was composed when Borg was in search of true friendship and the emotions expressed are heartfelt and honest - also a favorite. The addition of violin to “Remembrance” is a beautiful contrast to the piano and adds a sentimental touch. “Reaching” was inspired by a character in a novel and includes some bright bell-like keyboard sounds (the stars that the character is reaching for?) that give the piece a feeling of child-like innocence. The piano is likely the most effective musical instrument for describing rain, and “Raindrops” utilizes that light, slightly percussive quality that works so well. Composed on a rainy Sunday afternoon, the track includes the sound of rain and thunder. The title track is at the end of the album and was inspired by a true story. Accompanied by violin and cello, the piece is very sad and deeply emotional - almost mournful. But that’s not really the end yet. After about a minute and a half of silence, the swirling and lighthearted bonus track comes in, providing a very happy ending after all!
Drifted is a very enjoyable debut album and provides an interesting look back at where Clifford Borg’s recording career started. It is available from iTunes and CD Baby. Recommended!