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Tony Gorman - SONGS OF HOPE

Our top selling record of 2004. And 2nd best seller of 2005 !!

Tony Gorman’s solo clarinet performances touch the soul in the same way that a virtuoso Shakespeare performance might.

Scottish born Gorman’s 35 year professional career as a musician, composer and producer has made him one of the most respected artists in Australia.

Three time ARIA Award winner, Gorman has previously performed in ensembles including MARA!, Michele Morgan’s Chelate Compound, the Australian Art Orchestra and is the co-leader of groups including GEST8, Clarion Fracture Zone and The Original Otto Orchestra.

In 1997, Gorman’s life dramatically changed when he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. MS is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the central nervous system, and Gorman’s first symptoms were waking up one morning and losing the feeling from the waist down. Following a battery of tests, he was diagnosed with a disease that would see the end to most musician’s careers.

However, Gorman has gradually changed the way in which he plays, developing a style that didn’t pain him to play, but expresses what he experiences musically. People that think of him performing in Fracture Zone with its fast, Turkish derived melodies, will be surprised by the dramatic simplicity of Gorman’s long notes and soulful clarinet melodies.

“I didn’t have the energy to go wild like I used to, but I find this music’s just as wild in its own way” (Radio National, Music Show, ABC).

Interspersing performances with stories from his life, Gorman describes himself as a musical butterfly, not conforming to one genre, but taking elements of folk, jazz and classical music with influences of Greek and Turkish clarinet players, to create a sound that is unique.

Music critic John Shand said “Like Tony Gorman, Shakespeare understood the basic truth that depictions of the desolation of the human soul are all the more powerful for having a release…Gorman has great strength, without pretending things are better than they are. In fact his infectious optimism is an object lesson in dealing with adversity, and it is this optimism which bubbles through his improvised chat, and provides such a strong counterpoint to the poignant beauty of the improvised playing” ( March 11, 2004).

As well as creating performance art in response to his illness, Gorman released an album called ‘Songs of Hope’ which has become a consistent best seller at the Birdland Records store in Sydney. If you ever get the chance to see Tony expect an extraordinary performance interspersed with Gorman’s interaction with the audience. “A natural raconteur, he generously lets us into the world of living with MS, gave background to the compositions, told stories against himself, and told gags that had the audience crying with laughter – just as the music had us crying for another reason. A wonderfully complete night.” ( John Shand, 2004)

Check Tony’s interview on the Music Show :

Tony and Bobby Singh  recorded their in-store performance at Birdland. CD out now - "As wide as the sky "

Tony Gorman - SONGS OF HOPE 


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