Breaking News! Patrick Moraz Remembers Roger Ebert.
In 1994 and 1996 I was a delegate to The Conference on World Affairs which is held annually at University of Colorado Boulder. The Conference on World Affairs is an important and extraordinary event that is made up of a series of panels, plenaries, workshops and performances. The panelists (delegates) experts in their given fields, come from all over the world to discuss, debate and explore a tremendous variety of topics .All the sessions which are held at the University campus are free and open to the public.One of the most popular events at the CWA is the Cinema Interruptus which was hosted by Roger Ebert from 1970 to 2006.Roger, always referred to the CWA as “the Conference on Everything Conceivable."
It is there that I had the great pleasure to meet and acquaint with Roger Ebert.I’d like to share with everyone a couple of photos that were taken during a private concert that I was performing especially for the delegates.It always gives me a good feeling when I look at these photos, to see that I was able to put a smile Roger's face.
I would like to dedicate “ Soul Eternal” from my Windows of Time album which was one of the pieces I was playing that evening, to the memory of Roger Ebert, a truly remarkable film critic, Pulitzer Prize winner, educator and courageous human being.
Patrick Moraz Biography
Switzerland, Patrick Moraz began studies in violin and piano as a young child.
His serious commitment to piano really began when he had the opportunity
(because they were living in the same house in Vevey, Switzerland) to intently
watch and listen to Clara Haskil the great Romanian concert pianist who was one
of the world’s leading authorities on the music of Mozart, Shubert, Bach and
Beethoven. Later, while attending the Conservatory of Lausanne he studied
Harmony and Counterpoint, (the Art of the Fugue), with, amongst other music
celebrities, Nadia Boulanger, to name but a few.
nine, by the sheer fact that his father was managing multiplex restaurants
which included generally theaters and various stages, Patrick had already met
such luminaries as Bourvil, the comic French movie star, Louis Armstrong,
Maurice Chevalier, to name but a few.
he met John Lewis, from the Modern Jazz Quartet, from whom he got a few music
lessons, Lionel Hampton, Count Basie and even Duke Ellington.
later on that he had the pleasure and privilege to meet and be around Salvador
Dali and his wife Gala, while living near Cadaques, in the North of Spain.
At the age
of sixteen, Patrick gained attention as the youngest person to ever win the
prestigious “Best Soloist Award” at the Zurich Jazz Festival. A few years later,
with his quartet, he was opening
concerts in Europe for “Jazz
Great”, John Coltrane.
November 1964 Patrick went to England in order to start learning English. He was offered a job working as an au-pair
cook for a school in the south of England which supplied room- and- board and a
meager salary of £2.88. During this period Patrick had found a gig playing in a
local pub and also in a tearoom to supplement his income.
One day, he was ousted by the Secretary of
the Local Musicians Union Branch and two Bobbies and from there, escorted out
of the country.
Not to be
defeated a week later he was back in England after taking a boat from
France. A few months later the same
thing happened again while Patrick was playing for a church.
to finish his language studies Patrick returned to England yet again, and was
able to pass with flying colors the Proficency
for English from Cambridge University.
mid- sixties on Patrick's work assignments and musical performances had him
traveling extensively throughout Switzerland and Europe and in the mid sixties
he added India, Africa and the Middle East to his journeys.
Patrick decided to become a full time professional musician. While advancing
his studies with such notables as Pierre Boulez, Stockhausen and Xenakis, as
part of Geneva's Studio de Musique Contemporaine, he began to do film scores. His
first score was for a movie entitled “Les vieilles Lunes”, commissionned by
film-director Daniel Fahri, who later on, started with his brother 2 famous
jazz-clubs in Paris and Geneva. Then, Patrick scored and recorded
own group the music for “La Salamandre”
and “Le milieu du Monde”, by Director Alain Tanner.
this time he also went on to form, along with good friend (bassist) Jean Ristori,
the revolutionary rock-band “MAINHORSE”.
The group recorded their first and only album “Mainhorse” on Polydor
Records and they toured throughout
Western Europe, and England.
group disbanded at the beginning of 1972 Moraz and Ristori toured Japan and the
Far East with a Brazilian Ballet Company for the better part of that year.
Furthering their Far-Eastern explorations, they lived and worked also in
Hong-Kong, appearing on Chinese Televsion under the name of “The Patrick Moraz Quartet”, which included also 2 additional
return to Switzerland, Patrick scored,
with the help of his friend and mentor, world famous organist Guy Bovet, the
soundtrack for the movie “L'
Invitation”, by Director Claude Goretta, which won the prestigious “Grand Prix
du Jury” (the most coveted award aside from the “Palme d' Or”) at the 1973
Cannes Film Festival.
after that Patrick scored another movie for the same director Claude
Goretta, “Pas si mechant que ça”
starring the two of the most important film-stars of France at the time, Gerard Depardieu and Marlène Jobert.
movie scores followed during the next twenty years.
moved to London in the spring of 1973 and formed the Rock Trio “REFUGEE” with
two English musicians he had met a few years earlier, Lee Jackson and Brian
Davison, both former members of “The Nice”.
Rising to international fame in 1973-1974, “Refugee” split up after
their first and only successful tour of England and Europe and their critically
acclaimed eponymous LP-Album of the same name.
of 1974 Patrick Moraz was invited to become the keyboardist and member of one
of the biggest rock bands in the world: “YES”.
proved to be quite at home in this most complex period in
YES'S evolution and in fact after only a few weeks of
recording and rehearsing, provided his musical creative input to what many fans consider to be the band's
pinnacle of artistic creativity…the album “Relayer”. During the “Relayer Tour”, the group
performed virtually non-stop, worldwide, for the next three years. In 1976 during America's bi-centenial year of
celebrations many of YES’s audiences numbered in the tens of thousands, with the largest audience to date
,for YES, reaching a number of 135,000 at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia on June
breaks from band work, all of the members of YES recorded their own solo
albums. Patrick's first solo album was
the visionary “i” (a.k.a.
of i” ) which was released in 1976 by Atlantic Records and won the highest
place in the Polls which awarded him the very prestigious “Best Keyboard Album
of the Year”, by Keyboard Magazine.
year, Patrick also won the 1st
place in that Poll, with the coveted title of “Best New Talent “.
accomplished musicians Patrick chose to work and play with on his album were
Jeff Berlin, (bass), Alphonse Mouzon (drums), Ray Gomez (guitar), Andy Newmark
(drums), as well as 16 of the top Brazilian percussionists, having recorded the
original tracks with them in Rio-de Janeiro at the beginning of 1975.
addition to all the instrumental music and French lyrics that Patrick composed
and performed for the album, he chose, as lead singer for the project, the
English singer and lyricist John McBurnie, who co-wrote the three English songs with Moraz, with
additional backing vocals by Vivienne McAuliffe.
spring of 1977 after the recording of “Out In The Sun” Patrick moved to Brazil
and learned the native musical languages and idioms of this most exotic
land. During previous visits to the country Patrick had built a unique band
of sixteen percussionists. For over two years,
the group recorded at numerous recording studios and performed at
festivals and concerts, mainly throughout the Latin American Nations.
engaged by the Moody Blues in 1978 to take part in a promotional World Tour for
their comeback album “Octave”. Patrick was made a full time member of the Moody
Blues in 1980, during the recording of “Long Distance Voyager” which went on to
become #1 in “Billboard”, “Cashbox” and across the board in US and
Canadian charts, reaching worldwide sales of over 11 million albums.
addition to circling the globe and performing with the Moodies, Patrick was
giving concerts with his own band from Brazil. Invited by Claude Nobs, the
visionnary founder of the world-famous Montreux Jazz Festival, to play at the
Montreux and Sao Paolo Jazz Festivals,
he met jazz greats George Duke, Stan
Getz and Chick Corea,
he worked with on two albums, along with French bass virtuoso Bunny Brunel whom
he had introduced previously in England to Chick.
also continued to record his solo albums during this period including the
revolutionnary “Future Memories1” in 1979 and “Future Memories ll” in 1982 which were chosen to represent
Switzerland at the Montreux Golden Rose Festival. They were both spontaneously
composed and broadcast live on television throughout Europe.
1979, Moraz recorded a series of original works based on musical idioms , with
the pan pipe virtuoso Simon “Syrinx” Stanciu resulting with the album
“Co-Existence” which was later re-released as “Libertate”, and to provide some
funding for a Charity Organization in favor of the children of Romania, after
the 1989 Revolution.
marriage of musical styles symbolically “erased” cultural boundaries, blending
the ancient, melodic tones of the pan pipe wooden flute with modern day
synthesizers, elctronic keyboards, acoustic piano, ethnic percussions and rock
extraordinary, once again “ahead-of-its-time” venture, Patrick continued to
work as a member of “The Moody Blues” and also
to record and perform as a solo artist, collaborating with fellow YES
alumnus Bill Bruford, on two acclaimed albums, “Music for Piano and Drums” and
“Flags”. He also recorded with bass virtuoso Bunny Brunel and guitarist Kazumi
Watanabe on different solo projects of each, including some tracks for the
up-&-coming “Change of Space”,which was eventually released later in the
left “The Moody Blues” in 1991 to pursue a career as a solo artist. In 1994 he released his 9th solo album, his
piano solo debut
of Time”. Robert Doerschuk of Keyboard
Magazine hailed it as a monumental work saying:
Beethoven had gigged with YES, he might have wound up sounding like this”!
1995 “Coming Home America Tour”, better known as “CHAT”, may well be one of the
most unique and courageous undertakings yet, in an illustrious career marked by
innovation. In his determination to bring artist and audience closer together, in order to truly
share the emotional intensity that is the creative acoustic experience, Patrick
took it upon himself to go directly to his public by offering private and
semi-private bookings via the Internet.
The response was immediate and enthusiastic leading to an equally
successful “CHAT ll” tour.
Patrick was commissioned to write an hour of music for a large symphony
orchestra in France.
It took him nine
months and the work was performed and broadcast live on French speaking
television for the Miss France contest on channels all over the world at the
end of that year.
composing extensively at the Audio Playground Synthesizer Museum and Studios in
Orlando, FL, to where he was invited to work at by the owners themselves, at
that time, Joseph and Michelle Rivers. Since 1998, Patrick also released two
new works for piano: “Resonance”, released in 2000, and “ESP”
(Etudes-Sonatas-Preludes) released in September of 2003.
then, Patrick Moraz continued to compose, record and develop various musical
and artistic projects.
around 2005, Patrick met Rob Ayling, the visionary Music aficionado and
entrepreneur from England who took it
upon himself to have a very important roster of artists works released and
re-released worldwide through his own distribution company “Voice Print
Records”, recently re-named “Gonzo Multimedia”.
artists, including Patrick Moraz, came from the very fabric which made the
musical History of the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and of the 21st Century so
vibrant and interesting. Aided by a very efficient team, Rob Ayling found the
way to have all these “gems” reprised and manufactured in the best way
possible, thus prolongating the lives, not only of the products, but of the
2006, he has remastered twenty CD’s and two DVD’s.
Patrick released his latest CD to date, “Change of Space” which is a collection
of songs and instrumental pieces of “never-released material” which Patrick
worked on, composing, recording, mixing and “polishing” over a period spanning
a time-frame betwwen 1989 and 2003.
These pieces reflect very much some of the music he composed and
developed over the years and recorded on his own as well as with other
remarkable musicians and engineers.
“Change of Space” was mastered by Jean Ristori at MTX Mastering
the great musicians who are featured on this album are:
Brunel (bass), John Wackerman (drums), Kazumi Watanabe (guitarist), Alex Acuna
(Perc.) Alex Ligertwood (lead vocals), Don Adey (lead vocals), Janis Liebhart
(backing vocals), Ronnie Ciago (drums), Michael Tovar (rthm. Guitar)
Patrick released three entirely new CDs which are:
Moraz-Bruford double CD recording of a concert in Maryland,
a new solo
piano CD entitled “PianissiMoraz” and the brand new
Wide Human Interface Live from Abbey Road with Patrick Moraz”, which was
completley performed and recorded live, entirely on his own in 1987, at the
Beatles Abbey Road Studio #2, London, England.
also, still working in the preparation of his up and coming new studio CD
“A w a y
t o F r e e d o m”.
Patrick Moraz says that he is progressing parallelly in the development and
“finition” of several major works including a Symphony in 4 movements,
featuring electronic instrumentation as well as more conventional
orchestrations and a futuristic ballet. Last but not least is a Cantata for
SATB Choirs in 7 movements which is an homage to “Our Planet”.