This week we spoke with Allan Gilliland to catch up and discuss his new single “Perryscope” and his brand new album release Dreaming: The Prague Sessions. He talked about his inspiration and what to expect from his new album.
The song is very dynamic and fun; what was the recording process like?
Because there were 70 musicians in the room during the whole process, it was a real test in organizational skills and making sure we had what we wanted before moving on. Kudos to conductor Raymond Baril for keeping it all together.
What was your inspiration for the single?
This entire piece was originally going to be a concerto for saxophone and piano. Unfortunately, Tommy Banks had to withdraw from the project when he got sick and eventually passed away.
So, I was thinking about the balance between the piano and saxophone, and it’s one of the reasons there is a prominent piano part in this and the 2nd movement. I knew I wanted it to be up-tempo and virtuosic. I also wanted it to have a set of chord changes that PJ Perry would have fun improvising on the track. Finally, as I was writing, I thought a lot about the key as I knew PJ would be playing the alto saxophone.
What was the writing process like?
This piece came quite easily. I have a very strict writing process. I get up every morning at 5 am and write until around 8. With that schedule, it takes me 4-6 months to write a concerto of this scope.
What was it like recording in Prague?
A complete dream! It was a very complicated project to put together, nine people traveling from Canada plus a 65-piece orchestra. Still, it all came together so much better than I hoped, and I’m so proud of everyone who took part.