With Panorama, Frank Maston pays homage to the classic era of library records and Italian soundtracks of the 70s. A blissed-out, grooving collection of filmic cues, it continues the unique brilliance of Tulips and Darkland. Elegant and easy, subtle and stylish, breezy and beautiful; this is his Maston-piece. Commissioned by legendary label KPM, Panorama cements Maston as a master of modern classics and the most mesmeric of contemporary composers.
In early 2020, Be With suggested to Frank that he should make a KPM record. He wasn't aware that they were still putting out new library records - but he was super keen: "It was completely surreal and it still hasn't fully sank in that I have a record in that catalog, sitting alongside those incredible albums that were so influential to me."
Frank was visiting family in his hometown of LA in March 2020 when the world ground to a halt so the KPM project arrived at a fortuitous moment. Having fantasised about committing to a record with no distractions, with a proper budget, access to his gear and space to work in - to really dig in and try to write and arrange the best work he could possibly make - it was a real "be careful what you wish for" moment. But, as Frank explained, "it completely saved my year and sanity to have something to focus on and get excited about. It was my lifeline." He spent seven months on it, working almost every day.
Maston had already been making library-influenced music so when KPM outlined the criteria for the tracks it was exactly what he had been doing all along. He thought the best approach would be to make a follow-up to Tulips that had a parallel life as a KPM record. Enjoying complete creative freedom, “gave me the drive to power through and dig in deep. I'm not sure if I could have kept myself on such a rigorous recording schedule under my own steam, and I think the momentum I had writing and recording it is part of the strength of this record."
Maston’s sleek retro-groove instrumentals emulate the classic KPM “Greensleeve” reel-to-reel recordings that provided mood-setting music for mid-century cinema, television, and radio programs. Apparently in close conversation with the John Cameron-Keith Mansfield KPM pastoral masterclass Voices In Harmony, Maston's Panorama could be heard as that record's funky follow-up. Yes, it's *that good*. Another reference point from the hallowed library would be Francis Coppieter's wonderful Piano Viberations.