Composer and musician P John Livingston is a talented and passionate creative whose keyboard lead work has produced some decidedly impressive and original performances in recent years. On top of this, several original compositions have emerged, a beautiful example of which is GRAND PIANO – MY EIGHTH PIANO SYMPHONY / PRELUDE AND TOCCATA. Though the recordings are notably raw, this adds a definite realness to the process, and with this particular track being so complex and emotive, it becomes all the more impressive musically thanks to this up close and genuine recording style.
In terms of his lead work, Livingston often performs with his wife, who sings as an accompaniment to his playing – or rather, guides the song, and Livingston’s distinctive way with improvisation shines brightly in line with this. In addition to composition skills, that ability and inherent level of training required to meet the needs of any song or piece of music on the spot, in the moment, stands tall throughout the clips of P John Livingston performing.
His fluidity on the keys is unquestionable, as is his speed and/or delicacy when necessary. There’s also a fairly flawless nature to many, if not all, of his published works – few mistakes, few pauses, just an artist and musician lost in the moment and perfectly at one with the piano through which he communicates and creates.
P John Livingston’s musical style ranges from neo-classical to world-inspired tones, with dashes of popular music skillfully interwoven amidst it all. Leaning more distinctly towards the bigger hits of the contemporary mainstream are covers of tracks like Despacito. Here Livingston can be seen rehearsing and collaborating with his son, to give the global smash hit a whole new energy and angle from which to be appreciated. Again, the pianist’s performance showcases speed and passion all at once – a clearly enjoyed moment that presents a love for music in all of its forms. Livingston’s role behind the melody adds a level of chaos and vibrancy that helps take the piece somewhere completely new.
Another unexpected performance is Livingston and his wife’s take on LONG TIME AGO IN BETHLEHEM, a familiar seasonal classic that once more presents the artist’s uniquely full and breathless piano playing, by means of an again different and this time joyful and religious popular classic.
Whether the moment is high energy or mellow, and regardless of genre it seems, P John Livingston connects himself to the moment and performs accordingly in a manner that always appears soaked in personality. Dozens of performances can be found over on YouTube already, with plenty more work in the pipeline. There are recognisable traits to his style, for sure, yet with that his versatility is impressive and opens up many possibilities for future performances and collaborations. The dream is to become well-known as a world-class keyboardist, and the work he puts in, the uploads, the variety, the energy, underlines a clear set of steps in the right direction.