In his new album, London-based composer John. D. Reedy has used his multi-instrumentalist background to create a mosaic of human emotion. “The Great Long Distance,” is a musical account of the first twelve months of a long distance relationship. Each track on the album reflects each month’s experiences, and the album therefore has its most profound effect when heard sequentially from beginning to end. This album takes listeners through both the ups and downs of the human experience. Reedy’s ambient composition style engulfs us, creating a cocoon of sound that allows listeners to absorb every emotion the music exhumes. His
Nathan Shubert – Folds There comes a time in many musicians’ careers when they decide to step out of the shadows of working as a side-man and announce themselves, and for Nathan Shubert, that time came last March on Piano Day 2016. That was the day the Vancouver pianist released Saga Norén, Länskrim, Malmö, and it immediately caught the attention of Nils Frahm, who added it to his Piano Day playlist and made sure his fans were aware of this new talent on the scene. Shubert has been playing with various local acts for some time in the Vancouver area,
Elegant, diverse and distinct, the arctic vitality of Thomas Ragsdale’s ‘Bait’ – whose origins arose as the soundtrack to the Dominic Brunt film of the same name – tells a solemn and in places disquieting tale that stands well on its own, riddled with delicate nuance and a hyperborean conviction.
With tracks such as ‘Who Holds The Devil, Hold Him Well’ acting as a somewhat blissful introduction to the inevitably weighty and emotive chronicle that is to follow, immediately from the launch of this sonic anthology we are met with an intricacy and persuasion inclined towards that of rapturous energy. We are enticed deeper into the mellifluous warrens of Ragsdale’s dulcet environment as ‘Warning Mass’ seeks to lock our attentiveness with denser noisescapes and lacunar chords of pensive sureness, thus demonstrating the perfection of temper held throughout the album’s entirety.
Post-classical composer Steve Gibbs’s debut solo EP, Adrift, is an ethereal piece of work which gorgeously brings together piano and strings with ambient electronic textures. Released in 2014, this solemn five-track EP sounds positively cinematic. It is not difficult to understand why Gibbs’ work has been used in movies and ad campaigns. The general lack of prominent melody throughout the album makes it perfect as soundtrack music as well as, of course, being ideal listening material when in a reflective and open mood.
The opening track ‘Adrift’ begins with an ambient soundscape that is astral and recalls Brian Eno’s Apollo in its expansiveness. The sounds of reversed guitars steadily filter into the mix. Soon there enters the muffled sound of piano chords which light up this tapestry of sound. We are certainly ‘adrift’ now: there is a sense of hanging in the ether to this track which sets the atmosphere for the rest of the EP. This sense of intedeterminacy is not a troubling one, but a feeling of liberation from constraints, a cool and calm lack of focus which is perfect for this sombre time of year. Softly dancing, arpeggio-like treble piano figurations come in out of this abstraction and are given warmth and depth by the prominent, swelling baseline.
Leah Kardos & Ben Dawson – Three Preludes
A fascinating presentation, Three Preludes contrasts the natural with the artificial, juxtaposing a trio of hand played piano pieces with derivative electronic-based abstract interpretations, commenting on music’s changing states by showing it’s progression and origins. The final recordings of Leah Kardos’s three original compositions are informed by recordings of the process that preceded them, from the first sight read with all it’s mistakes to ambient noise from the rehearsals. By considering this the listener becomes acutely aware of not only the process that is behind a recording but also the human element of the pieces; one can imagine Ben Dawson sitting down at the piano to play, warming up his hands and adjusting his seat before putting his fingers to the keys and beginning to navigate the bars in front of him, his understanding of what he is performing growing with each note played.
The longest of the three piano pieces, Draw, plays on moments of intense sadness and passages of uplifting hopefulness echoing the idea of process that underpins the Ep. It begins somewhere in between the two extremes with a strong nostalgia that casts a rose tinted lens over ones memories, summoning happy moments from the past. Then rather suddenly the melody lifts, rising and cascading with all the flurry of activity and aspiration, no longer looking back but carving a path into what is to come. Before long it settles once again but now the joyful sense of retrospect has been lost and the listener is left in the cold, unforgiving preset. The music starts to drag and falter like aspirations that have been crushed.
L P – Mystery Solved [soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/83266120″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /] Dirk Maassen feat. PessoaZ – Nightflight [soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/94688572″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /] Jon Hopkins – Immunity http://smarturl.it/immunity-itunes
Valerio Matola Pianist and Composer originating from Italy, was born in a musical family and by the age of 7 wrote his first compositions. He later came to Athens and studied Classical Piano and Composition at the Greek National Conservatory. Wrote several works for Films / Video art / Theatre and contemporary dance plays.
Valerio you composed your first song at the age of five. Are you from a musical family?
Yes, my father was a guitar player and singer and his grandmother was a well known opera singer.At the time I was born my father was working as a musician for the king of Jordan. We stayed in Amman for some years and then we moved to South Italy which is my father’s native country. When I was 8 years old we came to Greece where I am living right now.
So you took piano lessons in Greece? You have studied at the National Greek Conservatorium. That was you first encounter with classical composers?
Well actually yes. My parents did not listen too much classical music so the first time I listened Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Prokovief, Liszt to name some of the composers that have inspired me a lot was at the conservatorium. My teacher was Russian, a student of Tatiana Nikolayeva and he introduced me to Russian composers mainly. I studied with him for a couple of years and then with another teacher but soon found out that I wanted to write my own music.
That’s why you are an accomplished piano player. Your interpretations receive very good comments as well as your compositions. So tell me how is your life now?
I live in a suburb near the sea. I have a passion for nature and especially for free diving. So I have the chance to dive two to three times per week . Ideally I would like to move to an island and be able to work with my music and dive every day.
Do you find inspiration in nature? What inspires you to write music?
Yes, nature fascinates me. The colours of the sky, the changing shapes of the clouds, the mist in the air, the depth and the mystery of the sea. But a big part of my work comes also from incidents that have happened to me. From the way I look at things.