Timothy Cooper is not only an acclaimed solo pianist, he’s a composer, a novelist, a photographer and a film maker, but also an advocate for people’s rights and a tireless worker helping other countries improve their environmental and sociological positions. What he sees and the people he meets when he travels around the world directly inspired the music on his third album, Global Skies.
On this his New Solo Piano CD, Timothy Cooper shatters the conventions of New Age music. He reinvigorates the genre, offering a brand New Sound. It's a triumphant sound of emotional fury and pure sonic beauty. This album ‘Global Skies’ is practically a force of nature.
Timothy Cooper draws inspiration from his extensive travels all over the world to create music that is powerful, eclectic and sonically unique. “The more I travel, the more I cross cultures and borders, the more I listen to people with divergent views speak their minds, the more I appreciate the world's breathtaking diversity and recognize it for what I think it is: humanity's greatest strength,” states Cooper. “But we have to work to bring together a planet splintered by prejudice and contorted by irrational fears.
“For life on our planet to remain sustainable, indeed, for humanity to survive at all, we need to strive to build a more inclusive, more unified world that ultimately works for everyone. But to accomplish this, we need to face down our fears and embrace a new spirit of universality that heals the old wounds while still celebrating our diversity. On the album Global Skies, I created music from my heart crying out for that new world.”
In addition to using music to try to construct a better world, Timothy Cooper also utilizes art, literature and films as well as his organizational efforts assisting people, cultures and countries. Currently he leads a consortium of major international companies in an effort to help low-lying nations in Asia mitigate the devastating impact of sea level rise through the use of sensible environmental practices. From 2002-2010, Timothy Cooper served as executive director of World Rights, a non-governmental organization specializing in human rights and environmental issues. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Middle East Peace Civic Forum, a Washington, D.C.- based peace group set up in association with the J. William and Harriet Fulbright Center. In 2016, he published a major article in Global Policy Journal about a new strategy for achieving a lasting Palestinian-Israeli peace (click here to read the article).
Prior to Global Skies, Timothy Cooper released two other well-received solo piano recordings - Light on the Water (influenced by the tragic terrorist acts of 9/11 and the subsequent healing process that the American public went through) and East Wind (inspired by the people, culture, art and scenery of the Far East as well as the ancient mystery and compelling power of the Orient).
Light on the Water went Top 15 and East Wind climbed into the Top 10 on the Top 100 Zone Music Reporter international new age music chart. In 2017, Cooper produced (in association with Enlightened Piano Artists) Solo Piano Songs of Peace, a compilation album featuring sixteen distinguished new age pianists.
“I want to help our global society become more peaceful and harmonious, and one way to do that is to release gentle and positive music into the world,” explains Cooper. “My music is meant to please the listener, but it is also about a new worldwide call for action. It is about human liberation and freedom, renewal and resurgence, creating rather than destroying, and protecting our planet.
“The music reflects the need to build a true world civilization that utilizes the best of humanity’s spectacular creativity and energies to live up to the necessary mandate of caring for the underprivileged, eliminating poverty, educating everyone, defeating base tyranny and state-sponsored repression, ending all wars, and alleviating unnecessary human suffering. It is about humankind’s indomitable spirit and desire for a better world.”
Cooper began his musical career at a young age singing in the choir at the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul in Washington, DC. “I received a very deep exposure to choral and sacred music. It was very, very rigorous training.” The choir also toured the United States and United Kingdom, and recorded several albums.
When he was in his teens Timothy Cooper traveled extensively and began taking photographs, primarily of people, in Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, England and Ireland. “I was beginning to understand humanity and the human condition. It gave me a sense of the global community.” In high school Timothy also learned to play guitar, but after hearing Ravi Shankar on sitar, Cooper began playing that instrument for several years. At age 19, Cooper began learning to play the piano, and from then on he has regularly practiced his improvisational creativity. Over the years Cooper has been inspired by acoustic-oriented musicians such as Keith Jarrett, Liz Story, Will Ackerman, Philip Aaberg and Suzanne Ciani.
Global Skies begins with ‘Singapore Sunrise’ (“the moment of blinding dawn symbolizes the definitive moment when love arises in a distant land, born out of storm and rain”) followed by ‘Prague Horizons’ (“Timothy once arrived in Prague when it was wrapped in a dense, flowing, white fog obscuring all horizons which made him realize we can still expand the horizons in our minds with thought, dreams and imagination”).
‘Geneva Moonlight Rainbow’ is “a rhapsody about the mystifying polarity of love, its ecstasy and anguish, as signified here by night and day, moonlight and a rainbow, joys and heartaches.” The tune is reprised later on the album and “hints at Johann Sebastian Bach’s influence on his work,” Cooper says.
‘Warsaw Nights’ was inspired by Timothy’s first trip there about ten years after the Soviets withdrew leaving a patina that still stained the city’s face, but with the people there was an exhilarating feeling of freedom, liberation and hope. ‘Global Skies’ is about overcoming prejudice by walking new pathways, crossing borders and making connections, integrating everyone into a new world.
On ‘Jerusalem Dreamings’ Timothy tried to capture that special light you see there, that clean, clear light, endowed with spirituality and universality, illuminating the dream of peace. ‘The Light After,’ which he wrote for Solo Piano Songs of Peace album, it’s his anthem for celebrating peace following the tragedy and ravages of senseless war. “Peace is a gift to cherish and sustain. Peace is paradise on earth.”
“Global Skies is about shifting perspectives, just as skies are ever-changing,” states Cooper. “I have hope that in time people’s openness to whole new sets of perspectives will give them the grace to accept the views of all those who stand under different skies.”