Current work consists of six CDs which were written as two trilogies,
one consisting of Vocal Pop/Literary Rock, the other, melodic and inspired
Solo Piano. Please see the detailed descriptions below.
Wildernessed–Following the contours of the life and work of Oscar Wilde, is the first of three albums dealing with love, art, and the intricacies of the struggle between intellect and emotion. Using the idea of Wilde's humor and pathos as a template Wildernessed and the subsequent two albums seek to involve the listener on multiple levels–sympathizer, participant and voyer. The songs evoke every facet of a relationship from stammering joy to sarcastic cleverness to apologetic and hollow observances of past glories. Wildernessed is full of the pain of life that somehow–to quote 1924 songwriter Gus Kahn – "makes me feel good, just to feel bad, thinking of you".
Entire CD or individual tracks available at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/pburke5
Scarecrow–Religion comes barreling in on the first track, plaintive and a-capella. The listener is implored with a kind of "why is everyone so different when they're obviously the same" question at the end of Down In The River To Pray which seems at first to be a purely Christian endeavor but in Burke's version ends up as a universal calling. Without waiting for the shock to wear off the music advances with the light stepping of a completely non-sensical lyric and happiness-personified melody in Blue Fish Make The Water Shine. Following up with the hands-down love song Sky at Night this album weaves a transcendental path among universal questions, (Scarecrow, God or Just a Slow Breeze), freedom from gravity, (Picnic for Two Guitars), and that gaping yaw in the psyche some seem to think may indeed be the soul (Endless and Eternal.) Not wanting to leave it there, a compelling rendition of Elvis Presley's Blue Christmas fills out the phono-gram.
This CD is currently only available at live shows.
The Secret Diaries–The temptation to record an album comprised of other people's music has always been a strong one for Burke and this cd quenches that thirst once and for all. The running theme is love unrequited with a nod to Oscar Wilde, since the subject seems to bring out the most emotional outpourings from any artist in any medium and is one toward which every human being is drawn. With a rare deftness Patrick Burke is able to weave graceful continuity into a surprising variety of songstyles creating a beautifully unique and emotionally seductive collection. Johnny Cash, Coldplay, Irving Berlin, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and more all find their place in delicious and compelling synthesis. Such personal songs written by people we've never met seem to go right to the very heart of our own troubled, exultant, priceless, worthless, godawful and spiritually-blessed-by-the-power-of-the-universe existence. Isn't that why we listen in the first place?
This CD is currently only available at live shows.
The Butler's Bullfinch–Composer and fine-art photographer Patrick Burke's CD of original solo piano compositions cheerfully entitled The Butler's Bullfinch consists of memorable melodies played in a simple and very accessible style. There is also an element of humor and playfulness to Burke's music which is in short supply among his solo piano contemporaries. An eight-page color booklet included with the CD features Burke's fine-art skills with a photo illustration for each of the 13 tracks. A bust of Mozart confidently seated in an empty sardine can corresponds to his neoclassical Mozart In Sardinia. The title of the CD and several of the tracks were inspired by writer P.G. Wodehouse. “Like other composers I write beauty and drama, but I also believe there's never enough humor in the world and I'm not afraid of writing songs that are overtly happy” says Burke.
Entire CD or individual tracks available at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/pburke2
Narcissus Reflects–Here is a thoughtful and thought-provoking collection of songs. Narcissus Reflects, the title track (which at over 12 minutes is also the longest) starts almost comically, then begins to change after the first three stanzas. With one dramatic melody sweeping over another, and tumbling crescendos giving way to still-water emotion, Narcissus Reflects is a complete journey in itself. And that's only the first track.... The experience continues with the moody and proper sounding Pittock Mansion. There is quiet dignity in this piece and the easy-going feel of a previous era. Three Chosen Clouds is a trilogy, with each piece subtly echoing the other two. Park Bench, 4AM is peace and security personified featuring a conclusion that seeps into the unconscious with understated grace. Apple God, a Gershwin-esque arrangement includes unique melodies of perceived urgency, unspoken longing, and pure joy. Narcissus Reflects has rightfully been called “a sound track for the wandering mind.”
Entire CD or individual tracks available at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/pburke3
The Calming–The Calming is the final installment of Patrick Burke's well received Bullfinch Trilogy. As the name would imply this is the most tranquil of the three and Burke has made a special point of writing music which is highly introspective and engaging. This is one of those CDs which will grow on you a little more with each listen. It has the effect of defining a time and place in your life. Stories are told, conclusions reached. Patrick Burke's Bullfinch Trilogy as a whole defies the current New Age stereotype in that the music is not simply lovely background fluff (not that there’s anything wrong with that), rather, there is variation, personality, and most of all, drama in the theme and mood of each collection. As the listener you are given the wonderful choice of really focusing on the finer details and subtleties or, if you prefer, simply allowing the music to float by of its own accord. Just listen, drift and dream.
Entire CD or individual tracks available at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/pburke4