"One of the most inventive and talented songwriters in the business today"
- Isaac Davis Jr. MBA, Editor in Chief of Junior's Cave Online Magazine

The "4" album

  1. The Cool Fugue
  2. Edge of sanity
  3. Prelude in D minor for three pianos
  4. Chopin and Kapustin waltzing
  5. Two pianos teetering on the edge of a cliff
  6. Between Bach and Chopin
  7. Riding on a horizontal lightning bolt
  8. Two birds gliding across rolling hills and green meadows
  9. Tiger with tail on fire chases after antelope
  10. Pearls falling from the necklace
  11. Ice melting fast
  12. Zoom in on Mercury
  13. Young pony looking at its reflection in the water
  14. Pensive Tristan
  15. Sehnsucht
  16. Slight doubt and patience
  17. Small old clock with a regal personality
  18. Standing stable - in a stable way that is, not in a horse stable
  19. Stroking black keys
  20. Tired Japanese tree shedding leaves
  21. Two bear cubs playing at the start of spring
  22. Water dripping from icicle
  23. Lullaby for a hibernating bear cub
  24. Ice melting at a leisurely pace
  25. Ice melting slowly
  26. Flower petals being gently rocked by large and slow waves
  27. It’s going to be ok, you can sleep now
  28. Blues with a (B) minor twist
  29. Blues
With one exception, the first piece, this is a piano-only album.  Conceptually, there are four parts.  Hence the name of the album.  Obviously.

Some full-length clips for you

The Cool Fugue
Ice melting fast

Two birds gliding across rolling hills and green meadows
Prelude in D minor for two pianos

Edge of Sanity

Chopin and Kapustin waltzing  
Pearls falling from a necklace
Riding on a horizontal lightning bolt

And now for something completely different: This album is a pacifist in the loudness war

For a number of reasons, the dynamic range (in simplistic terms, the difference in volume between the loudest moments in a piece of music and the average volume) of music recordings, particularly in the pop music neck of the woods, has dramatically decreased over the years - a phenomenon also referred to as the "loudness war".  That is what the blue logo further up on the page is about.
I recently had the unique honour and privilege of speaking to one of the world's leading lights on the subject, Mr Friedemann Tischmeyer, President of the Pleasurize Music Foundation (PMF), a global umbrella organization which represents specific interests of music listeners on the one hand, as well as the interests of music industry participants such as musicians, composers, sound engineers, record companies and broadcasters on the other hand.   Mr Tischmeyer kindly contributed the following explanations to my website, and I would like to thank him very much:
Hi Ben and hi to everyone reading this,
Ben and I had an interesting dialogue about the loss of dynamic compression in contemporary pop music and the need to keep creating awareness of the issues that are associated with it.  Since the technical terms themselves can seem slightly abstract and irrelevant to you as listeners, I just wanted to add a word or two on what the loss of dynamic range means specifically for your experience of music.  There are essentially two main concerns:
Firstly, a lack of dynamic range, at a minimum, fatigues your hearing.  The experience of listening to music has a number of psycho-acoustic facets to it, of which volume is one.  In music with a low dynamic range, the differences in objective volume are removed so that the music, in terms of its sound engineering, will have to compensate for that lack of impact by having a higher dynamic compression.  To give you an example, in highly compressed music, there is no such thing as a crescendo since objectively, all sound hits you at exactly the same volume. If there was a natural ebb and flow in the music, it's gone.
As a result, the ears (technically, the hair cells in the Cochlea, inside your inner ear) are left without periods of micro-relaxation because they are constantly under fire.  It follows that the cumulative stress on the hearing is much higher. You can compare it to holding a hot air dryer directly in your face, which is bound to become increasingly uncomfortable the longer you do it.  One upshot of this is simply a form of listener fatigue - when you get a sudden sense of wanting to switch off the music and give your ears a rest. 
Problematically, the effects of the lack of recreation go beyond mere fatigue.  We have reason to believe that excessive compression in music is in fact one of the most significant reasons for the high increase in the development of hearing impairments and we are currently supporting several academic studies which examine precisely that causal relationship. 
Secondly, music with a higher dynamic range just sounds better.  Many contemporary releases are mercilessly over-compressed, a situation that turns off even the biggest music fans among you.  Having mentioned psychoacoustic aspect of listening to music earlier:  Differences in volume not only allow your ear to distinguish between loud and soft, but it also to distinguish between different sounds.  Once the audio is compressed, you cannot get that sonic breadth back somehow, it's gone.  The result from your perspective as listener is, quite simply, a worse-sounding record.  To quote Steely Dan: "God is in the details and there are no details anymore".
In view of the considerations I've set out above, the aim of the Foundation is to encourage recording artists and sound engineers, for instance, to deliver that natural and dynamic sound on new album releases, and to encourage you as music listeners to show your support.
Friedemann Tischmeyer
Now, I am aware that in championing the cause, I am opening myself up to charges of the highest hypocrisy, but I will readily admit that I am a selective participant in the loudness war, in that on non-instrumental albums, I select a number of songs per album which will need to be pitched in some way, or submitted to radio stations without FM compression so that it's necessary for the pieces to be more compressed, simply because they aren't listened to in the same way that you will listen to them when you have the whole album in front of you. 
So then?
I am making amends in creating loudness peace, and I have made this album the completely neutral Switzerland of instrumental albums.  Each song on this album has been measured with the TT DR Offline Meter Software supplied by the Pleasurize Music Foundation.  The "4" album accordingly has an official DR value of DR12, which means it compares rather favourably with contemporary pop music, for instance, where a typical dynamic range would be at DR4 or even less.  A value of DR14 (the ultimate goal that the foundation seeks to impress upon the recording industry) is attained by the album "The story of what happened...".