Lionel Sainsbury (right) with Bob Lord, CEO of PARMA Recordings, after the recording of Sainsbury’s Time of the Comet (Olomouc, Czech Republic) Photo By: Marina Altschiller

Lionel Sainsbury, a multifaceted composer and pianist, released his deep-space inspired composition Time of the Comet on the newest PARMA compilation album PRISMA, a collection of contemporary works for orchestra.

Today, Sainsbury is our next featured artist in “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the inner workings and personalities of our artists. Read on to see how Sainsbury suggests surviving the impending zombie apocalypse…

What is your guilty pleasure?

Fine French wines.

In the event of a zombie apocalypse, what are the three things you absolutely can’t live without?

May I have four? Above all, my friends, unless they’re all assumed to have perished in the zombie apocalypse. The other three would be strong coffee at breakfast, made with an Italian Bialetti coffee maker, plenty of ping-pong, and my Yamaha grand piano.

What was your most unusual performance?

Perhaps the most unusual was performing my Five Tangos near Buenos Aires to a mostly Argentine audience…and living to tell the tale! A lovely experience.

What was your favorite musical moment on the album?

Actually, it’s something rather more than a specific moment. It’s the vital playing of the Moravian Philharmonic under Petr Vronsky, which was most exciting at the recording session, and remains a delight.

What does this album mean to you personally?

The fulfillment of a long held ambition to my Time of the Comet performed and recorded. It’s associated with great memories of a fun time in the Czech Republic.

Is there a specific feeling you want listeners to tune into when hearing your work?

There are lots of different feelings! Something of the excitement of glimpsing the comet, something of feeling it hurtling through the heavens, and something of our contemplative reaction while witnessing it. But, listeners will always bring their own subjectivity. Above all I’d hope that the listener might enter into it as an emotional experience, an expression of feelings, which to my mind is what music is about.


Lionel’s composition Time of the Comet appears on the compilation album PRISMA and is now available for streaming or purchase. Click here to explore PRISMA.