UK composer/pianist Steve Gibbs ostensibly occupies a similar territory to his peers in the broad and unstructured “modern classical” world. His instrumentation – piano, strings, gentle electronics, occasional guitars – is used with a similar sense of vision as Goldmund, Ólafur Arnalds, Dustin O’Halloran, Stars of the Lid, the piano solos of Arvo Pärt. Yet he retains a singularity, a distinct and forward-facing identity. Its canvas, though rich and vivid like theirs, is left purposefully spacious and open. Passages of soft microsound comparable to Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto’s duet albums or Mika Vainio merge with lusher cinemascapes akin to Clint Mansell and Max Richter.
That Gibbs’ music has already been used in various film, TV and dance productions is testament to its immensely evocative qualities. And its acclaim is readily apparent in its listening figures: Gibbs has clocked over one million plays on his SoundCloud page, and tops the site-wide “modern classical” search tag.
Steve Gibbs will release his first debut album Adrift on Injazero Records on 28 April 2017. Acting loosely as a reissue of Gibbs’ hugely popular Bandcamp release of a similar collection of pieces, this expanded, re-mastered, heavyweight vinyl edition paints a clear picture of a composer mastering his chosen form. Adrift follows 2013’s In Passing – a collaborative EP written with established US score composer Cyrus Reynolds – recommended on social media by Ólafur Arnalds, Lowercase Noises and Fabrizio Paterlini, and whose opening track was featured by NYC ballet company Muses of Motion.