Port Moody, B.C. | July 21, 2020 – By all accounts, Martin Mayer should have been getting ready for his next national concert tour in China by now. The Port Moody-based pianist and composer headlined his most recent stint in the land of the Celestial Empire last September in a gruelling schedule of 20 concert over 27 days. After returning home, Mayer and his team began planning the follow-up tour to take place this fall, along with a new album to coincide with it. The former fell on the back-burner as COVID-19 shutdown the entertainment industry, among others.
Mayer instead focused much of the last few months writing and recording his new album titled The Solo Piano Collection, aptly capturing the best solo piano pieces he’s written over his 25 year career. He then reached out to the musician’s union in Los Angeles to hire a player he’d wanted to work with since the beginning of his career.
That musician is violinist Charlie Bisharat, a Grammy-winning artist who has performed and recorded with heavy-hitters such as Doc Severensen, Lady Gaga, Michael Bublé, Elton John, Yanni and countless more. Through a remote session with Mayer in his studio in Port Moody and Bisharat in his home studio in Los Angeles, the two recorded Mayer’s original piece “Heart of an Angel.”
That song is one of two on Mayer’s forthcoming album to feature special guest artists on the mostly-solo-piano record, with the exception of a duet with Nashville-based cellist Cremaine Booker, whose remote recording clients includes legendary film composer Hans Zimmer.
Mayer discovered Bisharat’s playing watching the 1995 PBS Special John Tesh: Live at Red Rocks. In a bit of serendipity, that very same PBS special would cause worlds to collide in a way Mayer never expected.