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Beautiful Journey by Brenda Warren
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 10/18/2018
Bathe in the marvelous tones
There is something so utterly charming about Beautiful Journey by Brenda Warren, she has a unique style and creates such a blissful musical narrative with the piano, it is a Beautiful Journey indeed.
From the very sun kissed opening piece Imagine Spring she guides our way, and from its refrains flows so majestically into the lush and calming opus of Open Heart, a track so serene and calming, this contains the first essences of the magic hand of Will Ackerman’s team at Imaginary Road Studios with such a mournful, but soothing string section.
This voyage of charm and grace offers up a wondrous 12 magical tracks to simply get lost within. Like the title track itself or the absolutely delightful New Morning, once more embracing the subtle, but dreamy violin of Charlie Bisharat.
The ambience created by Warren on this album is beyond time and measure, we could wonder in its tones with ease, and helping us along the way would be gems like the peace filled Blue Sky Day, a track so redolent of sitting on the side of a hill and watching the day go by, and to finish with the so smooth and poignant offering entitled Forgiveness, was a touch of sublime genius.
Brenda Warren and Beautiful Journey has to be one of the most chilled and relaxing piano based albums I have heard for a long while. Warren has a performance style that is so musically colourful and sensitive, it’s just a pleasure to bathe in its tones and her marvellous creations and allow the tranquillity of the moment to take control, a thoroughly recommended album indeed.
Rating: Excellent
Lonely Satellite by Lena Natalia
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 10/18/2018
Colourful, exciting and accessible to all
Lena Natalia has a style all of her own, she is a crafting musician who cares for each and every nuance of her work, now on her latest release entitled Lonely Satellite, that care and attention to detail is very evident indeed.
This mixture of piano and keyboards, manifest a level of contemporary instrumental music that is simply addictive to listen to, tracks like Munich Train 7HO4, drive the constant narrative onward, and you literally ride down the tracks of the German railway with ease.
Her solo piano performances are equally colourful and filled with such a pristine quality and style, examples of such can be found on the pieces Papillon and A Heroine of our Time (Lenatov), both compositions are so very fluent indeed.
Lonely Satellite is one of those albums that whilst listening to, time seems to just drift by, and daylight has become night with a seamless transition; offerings like the mood filled Duel, an energetic and intense composition with a fine flavouring of multi-instrumentalism, and the moody and hovering Gathering Clouds, create a narrative of for a foreboding future ahead, these really do highlight a sublime care of composition and arrangement.
Natalia touches the hem of passion on the all imploring Misunderstanding, and then lightens the load with a truly fun track called On the Merry-Go-Round, whilst finishing with the classic closing finale called The End Approaches.
I have always had a lot of respect for the work of Lena Natalia and Lonely Satellite, a 15 track offering, goes a long way to establishing her as one of the best female contemporary instrumental artists around today, her artistic endeavours and creative spirit are indeed her strong suit, and from this heart on a sleeve approach Natalia has once again delivered an album to the listeners, that is extremely colourful, exciting and accessible to all.
Rating: Excellent
Well Past Midnight by Rachel LaFond
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 10/18/2018
Deeply moving
There is a time beyond all that we know, a time where our reality wanes and the mystical energies of other realms begin to merge with what we comprehend to be our normality, that time is, Well Past Midnight.
Rachel La Fond has created her third album with a real darkness about its construction; one could see this entire album being used in a Tim Burton movie, indeed the first two pieces entitled Dark Canyon and Alone in the Mist would be a perfect for the director to use.
Next up is Skelly’s Waltz, a wonderfully macabre offering, then the mood filled moments continue throughout this compilation of ambient otherworldly realms, and in between the tick and tock of the clock we can find true gems of a spacious and mysterious nature in the almost neo classical style, Darling and the reflective and heartfelt Apparition, these are pieces I particularly resonated with, their dark eddies and murky waters taking me to a place I have not sojourned too for quite some time.
Each of the five arrangements are then taken by producer Mike Bloemendal and given a cinematic make over, taking the whole concept to a much higher emotive level, Skelly’s Waltz being one of my highlights from this collection, the back drop of production genius really created an image of misty graveyards at well past midnight and perhaps even a dance of the Corpse Bride herself!
Rachel LaFond has created something here that is deep and moving, but also ambient and extremely artistically descriptive. Well Past Midnight is a fine example of a pianist who feels her music and then enhances it further with some truly magical production, which makes the entire album and its contents very accessible to all and allows the listener to travel to a whole new dimension of musical brilliance.
Rating: Excellent
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