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The Sounding Board by R J Lannan
RJ Lannan is the reviewer for The Sounding Board.
Other reviews from The Sounding Board by R J Lannan:
  Journey of Tears by Monica Williams, reviewed by RJ Lannan on 10/11/2018
  High Tech. High Touch by Wendy Loomis, reviewed by RJ Lannan on 10/11/2018
  A Trick of the Wind by Erik Scott, reviewed by RJ Lannan on 8/2/2018
<<-later reviews | earlier reviews->>   <<- all reviews ->>
High Tech. High Touch
By Wendy Loomis
Label: Self-Released
Released 6/14/2018
High Tech. High Touch tracks
1. Omar Sosa  
2. Cassiopeia  
3. Birthday Beat  
4. Synchronicity  
5. Rings  
6. Apogee  
7. Pleiades  
8. Sarah's Blessing  
9. Cumulus Cloud  
10. Julio  
11. Romantic Hearts  
12. You're Too Sensitive  
13. Nagano Reflection  
14. Safe Travel  
15. One Snowy Night  
16. Eternity  
At Your Fingertips
Pianist and composer Wendy Loomis does double duty on her latest release, High Tech. High Touch. The 2-disc CD contains sixteen tracks of pleasing, energizing music. Eight tracks are acoustic and the other eight are electronic. Loomis has achieved a very good balance between two worlds. The acoustic side has some classical elements mixed with contemporary themes. The electronic side has space music and ambient components that offer a variety and a great listening experience. Overall, the music is contemporary amiability.

Wendy Loomis hails from San Francisco with a plethora of releases to her credit, more than fifteen additional recordings. She is noted for her contributions to film music and she also plays with a jazz band called Copus. Wendy is very active in the Indie music scene and has performed around the country and in other parts of the world.

High Tech:
Using synthesizer, pan flutes, and violin throughout the High Tech disc, side one begins with Omar Sosa. Wendy pays tribute to the Cuban composer and jazz pianist. It is obvious that in a galaxy not too far away, Sosa is a star that lights up the jazz firmament. Bouncy rhythms and synth backgrounds highlight Wendy’s spacey xylophone. Inorganic chorus chimes in on this upbeat electronic incursion beyond the planets.

A deep resonant bass voice, maybe electronic cello, opens the spatial tune Rings. Four distinct planets in our own galaxy have rings, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. In the music we touch on all of them, where travel is instant and the journey, albeit a sometimes discordant one, is the thrill of a lifetime. The complex work is quite monumental.

We encounter a strong violin lead courtesy of Michele Walther on the driving tune Pleiades. Popping percussion and a dramatic metal drum background vie for aural attention, but it is the violin that wins out. The musical encounter with the Seven Sisters is a heart racing foray into the Taurus system where five hundred stars abide, but the Sisters outshine them all.

High Touch:
Disc 2 opens with a very dramatic, somewhat muted score called Cumulus Cloud. Yes, those big puffy white clouds are the stuff that dreams are made of. Just above us, they move like animated pictures that fire up the imagination. They dredge up dragons, create castles, and produce pretty maid-in-waiting for the fairy princess to fashion stories. All ages need apply.

A dark Spanish night, a sky full of stars and a rendezvous in the making. You can hear that in more in Loomis’ ballad, Julio where her solo piano tempers the mood very well. There is a sound of romance in the notes, and a dance that will never end. This turned out to be a favorite for its emotional drama.

One Snowy Night reminded me of an old John Tesh tune called 3 Seabury Road. It is based off of one of Erik Satie’s works and I loved Wendy’s tune for its hidden classical parlance. Her music is so very definite that I could imagine a cold winter’s night where I turned on the floodlights outside and just watched as the big flakes of snow piled up on everything outside, creating a miraculous white landscape.

There is a great deal of creativity on High Tech. High Touch, but there is also a wonderful amount of variety. I never got tired of changing from one disc to another as the mood changed along with the music. All of it good.
- reviewed by RJ Lannan on 10/11/2018
 
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