Mike Nock returned to Australia in 1985 after spending 25 years in the US where he established an international reputation through his many tours and recordings. Although primarily known as a jazz composer his music has been commissioned and performed by such as the Cleveland Chamber Orchestra (USA), The New Zealand Piano Quartet & New Zealand String Quartet, The Australian Chamber Orchestra, Synergy, Ensemble 24 and Melbourne Windpower among many others.
"One of the greatest moments of inspiration I had while at school in the '70s was hearing the music of Mike Nock. He, along with the early George Duke, Glenn Gould, Oscar Peterson, Paul Grabowsky, Martha Argerich and Zoltan Kocsis convinced me that the piano was worth spending a lifetime exploring. I couldn't believe he was so closely connected with Australia. One of the benefits of time is that opportunities to work with one's heroes become more probable, even if still unlikely - a little like the beginnings of life. Mike's lyrical approach and harmonic sophistication have kept his language fresh over the last 30 years, and open to ever more innovations. I think these short essays prove this. It's difficult to pin down an improviser to a definitive version of a work, much as it's difficult for an interpreter to settle on a definite execution of a music blueprint. The contained energy in attempting the unattainable however makes for compelling music." - Michael Kieran Harvey
"A chance remark from Michael Kieran Harvey after attending a master class given by him in August 1999, was the seed that led to me to finally sit down and meet the challenge of writing a collection of fully notated piano pieces. Being an improvisor most of my musical life my music has generally been written with a minimum of information, to hopefully inspire and encourage my fellow musicians to follow the whim of the moment. Although I've written many scores for larger ensembles, writing fully notated pieces for the instrument I play daily has been my biggest musical challenge so far, as my ingrained habits as an improvisor make me want to modify the compositions nearly every time I play them. My constant editing has often caused problems for many classically trained musicians who have expressed interest in performing my piano pieces. I'm therefore indebted beyond words to Michael Kieran Harvey, for persisting to the point of actually recording this music, as I realise my obsessive revisions must have often seemed to have had no end in sight. The pieces themselves are quite eclectic, the main unifying elements being they are all written for the piano and are a sonic diary of my life over the past several years. The result of a wide range of influences, this music includes arrangements/adaptations of pieces I've been playing for a long time, along with music specifically written for this collection." - Mike Nock
“In the time of Sakura shows that Nock has seamlessly integrated his many musical influences and has achieved a powerful integration of emotion and intellect.”