Glenn Dixon’s debut album marks a milestone in the Australian musician's life. The singer-songwriter-composer wrote and performed ‘Portraits & Paintings’ entirely himself in the quest of a musical artwork that brings all of his talents and skills into one place. The result is a compelling album of popular songs with tuneful melodies, impressive piano playing and a mix of rhythmic feels.
Under the wisdom of producer Michael Carpenter, himself a veteran of self-recording and performing, Glenn recorded his songs like a one-man garage rock band. An upright piano, guitar, bass and drum kit formed the foundation for the album, with Carpenter adding layers to create depth, colour and texture where needed. Throughout the sessions the classic M100 Hammond Organ became the favourite 'go to' instrument.
Various genres influenced Glenn during the production of his album. 'Lay Back' has a great Australian blues feel to it and features splashy piano solos; 'Stranded' has a mid tempo pop feel with the Hammond organ pushing the bridges; and 'A Little Loving' moves through seven keys and six tempos throughout eight-and-a-half minutes forming a beautiful and artistic centerpiece to the album.
Inspiration for much of 'Portraits & Paintings' came from music that is built around the piano and drums. Billy Joel and Liberty DeVitto are no doubt the most influential musicians to Glenn’s music, with Don Walker and Steve Prestwich of Cold Chisel running close second.
As a trained classical pianist, Glenn’s classical roots are never far from reach. ‘Next Stop: Würzburg’ is a transcribed improvisation and a nod to the composer's contemporary classical solo works; ‘Passion Within’ begins with a variation on a theme of Haydn; and ‘Stranded’ incorporates a rhythmically altered and half backwards arrangement of a Bach Prelude.
Glenn's past musical projects include the soundtrack to the short film 'The Door Knockers' written with Ian Dixon. This film was entered into the Northern Territory Film Festival Awards in 2010 and won Best Original Soundtrack and People’s Choice Award.
Future musical projects include classical contemporary piano works and a batch of music theatre songs which blend jazz, blues and rock music into contemporary forms à la American greats Gershwin and Bernstein.