My name is Michael Davies but for musical purposes I add my grandfathers surname (see below). This is done to distinguish myself from the many `Michael Davies” online. I only use this name for my music projects.
My grandfather, George Henry Parcell (1895 – 1967) was a choirmaster who wrote many hymns. So from an early age I was attuned to the emotional power of religious classical music – especially the spine-tingling effects of certain chord progressions in four-part harmony. S.A.T.B. (Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass) was the basis of musical expression in my childhood. So it was inevitable that when I began to take an interest in writing music myself I was attracted to the glorious grandeur of romantic classical chord progressions. But there was another element missing. Someone once said about Beethoven’s music – that you could either pray to it or dance to it. But in face, that was a perceptive evaluation of the nature of all music. With music you can deepen your meditative state of mind (Yin) or tap your feet and be lost in the rhythm (Yang). Music which has little of either quality (lacks Yink or Yang, just hovers around the muddy middle of the road) seldom captivates us.
Many activities can be enhanced by music. The more active the task the more we tend to associate it with `Yang’ music. The more meditative the task the more we tend to associate it with `Yin’ music. The more violent the exercise the faster the BPM (beats per minute); the more meditative the exercise the more the listener is attracted to static or slowly-moving chords. There is no doubt mind-body disciplines require a `Yin’ listening experience. They are moving meditation – profound and consciousness-expanding. The majority of music I have written can be classified using the modern term `new age genre’ but in fact it is strongly built on the classical romanticism of my grandfather’s hymns.
I have several of my albums on iTunes and two of them were composed especially for practising Jiangan – the Chinese Health Wand.
His entry in “Welsh Biography Online” reads;
“His home in ‘ Mile End ’ was a true academy of music with an ever-open door to welcome students free of charge. Under his influence Fforest-fach developed as a centre of musical culture of the first order. People flocked from far and wide to the annual concerts in Saron chapel to listen to the choir and to world-renowned artists performing the works of the masters…But above all, he taught generation after generation to master the tonic sol-fa thereby enabling them to sing hymns and anthems in four-part harmony. One cannot consider church music in Wales without being reminded of the contribution which he and others like him have made. In this context he represents a generation of benefactors whose importance cannot be exaggerated.”
Saron chapel in Gendros (Forest-fach), Swansea was the focus of my grandfather’s musical activity but it is now long demolished. From my memory, it looked almost identical to the chapel in the photo I have used for the Youtube video.
I have produced a fantasia for piano based on four of my grandfather’s best hymns, which you can hear in the embedded Youtube player below.