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Starlight by Michael Logozar
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 4/19/2018
A space in time for us to float within
There is a memory from deep within a moment that was so fractured for me, which created a pleasant segway to peace at a time when I needed it most, it was back in 2013 and the pathway to sanctuary came from the artist Michael Logozar and his album Time. From that moment on I became entranced with his work on the piano and here some 6 years later I find myself reviewing Starlight, released last year in 2017 and find that another port of musical solace can be found through his blissful performances.
This musical voyage of sight and sound begins with the sweet and very charming narrative of the opening offering entitled Sunrise to Sunset, in an amazing five plus minutes, Logozar takes us through the day until we achieve the vista of a glorious sunset in tone at the end.
The artist follows that up with the colourful and moving opus Twilight Peace, this is so very gently played, a calming sense of ambience will be found here and a soft and gentle refrain will ease those cares and tribulations away.
On Starlight, the title track, we have that opportunity to reveal the whole projects energy in one glorious piece and Logozar does himself proud with a quality performance on a composition that sparkles like the night sky itself. There is something very melodic and reflective about this composition, it also has a certain timeless quality about its construction as well.
Time now to walk along the Promenade with the musician and this musical moment of magic is a real gift. I adore how Logozar’s performance creates a gentle narrative of movement, we can visualise through the song, two people perhaps walking hand in hand on a summers day, while love blossoms all around.
I found the next piece Dancing Lights a fascinating arrangement, there was so much to listen to here. The scene set by the artists’ stylish composition is vast and in the mind’s eye one can see the dancing lights of a million suns moving in there radiance on the horizon of time itself, there is also a wonderful fluency about this track that will totally enhance the experience.
Dream of You was very well named and this caring and delicate offering is so carefully played, its dream like energy will entrance you with its musical charm. I found the performance by Logozar also manifested a fantasy like dance, perhaps a meeting of souls divided by the miles, meeting for a symbiotic connection during a night time meditation of sorts.
One of my favourite pieces from the release is up next and called Midnight in the Garden, the mystical and magical naming of the track allows the mind to suggest a certain imaginary. I remember as a child, escaping into the garden at midnight, back then it was something truly enchanting seen through the eyes of an innocent youth, and in parts this is exactly where the narrative of this composition takes me once more.
We now move past the half way marker and find ourselves at the door of the next offering called Nocturne, and a more serene song you will not find, this is so very beautiful and flows so expansively through a myriad dream world of night time star filled skies, this is solo piano at its true ambient best.
On Moonbeams that creation of vast ambient soundscapes continues. The mood however is deeper, it is as if we have moved far further into this realm of our night time perambulations than ever before, I found this offering so compelling, it had an essence of reflection that was quite addictive, it is as if Logozar has created a whole new realm within the night for us to enjoy, and is without doubt my favourite composition from the album.
As we move forever onwards within the dimensions of this quite beautiful album called Starlight by Michael Logozar, we come across a moment of lightness that raises the energies, it is called Hand in Hand; steeped in the tradition new age solo piano styles of Lanz and Winston, this friendly and honest composition will find friends in many quarters.
There is a very rich melody on this next offering entitled Across the Sea. The performance here by Logozar is quite breath-taking, he doesn’t only create wonderful images of sailing the oceans and travelling across the seas, there is a longing here, and a lyrical content that is literally created for you to sing along with.
The Wishing Star is above us now, and as we stand and watch and wish, allow this next song to be the soundtrack for that moment. There is a certain musical shimmer here that is very compelling. While the lightness and sparkling elements of this track are obvious, there is another layer of hope weaved deeply into this great track.
So we stand before the penultimate piece off the release and this last but one opus is called Falling. There are some pieces that will resonate with you more than others perhaps, but this one is simply outstanding, I found it quite emotive as well. Logozar manifests something truly moving here, its passion filled and very memorable in its over-all content.
The perfect end to the perfect album is about to occur, as Michael Logozar brings us his parting piece called Evening Prayer. The tranquillity of this offering is sublime and brings a level of peace and serenity of the highest quality. Evening Prayer at just over 6 minutes is also the longest piece off the album, but simply the most idyllic way to leave the project.
Starlight by Michael Logozar is a real treat of an album; it’s a gift so soothing that you will find many relaxing star filled oasis along the way. Logozar has really pulled the stops out here, he plays from the heart to the heart and has manifested an album that is truly masterful in creating a breathing space in time for us to all float within; fans of the solo piano genre are going to lap this one up.
Rating: Excellent
Serenity II: More Peaceful Music on the Chapman Stick by Michael Kollwitz
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 4/19/2018
Ease the trials and tribulations of the day
The first time around I adored the work of Michael Kollwitz and his original album Serenity, with the second edition arriving some months later, we are gifted with no less than 16 more tracks to soothe our souls and ease our minds with Serenity II.
The supreme smoothness and calmness of approach can be found with ease on tracks like the opener The Presence and the attractive and kindly composition Wrapped in Love.
What Kollwitz does so well is create an serene atmosphere, which is constant and gentle throughout the entire hour, fine examples of that fluency can be found on the forever onward energies of Climbing the Mountain, a track that has a slow sense of focused movement and then the openness of Clear Passage, a piece that contains a certain sense of a light hearted quality within.
The Chapman Stick may be worth some research if you are not aware of the instrument, I would say that of all the artists who perform with this instrument, Kollwitz must be at the top of that musical tree, this is so evident with you listen to pieces like Live and Let Live, this has a distinct Jazz ethic to its construction and the ever charming The Balance, a warm composition that creates a wonderful sense of well-being whilst listening, but then again the whole album does.
The warmth of this release is a total boon, especially if you feature the previous album on a playlist, you will have near on two hours of serenity, those subtle tones of tranquillity can be further emphasised by compositions like Blue Skies, a song with such depth of colour and musical field, or Pure Signal, an arrangement that simply floats with the bliss of a summers day.
The Chapman Stick manifests a liquid like tone to its refrains like no other instrument, and a much eased back motif comes as a result of this very careful and crafted performance, two good examples of this are the pieces Welcome Home, a track that seems to have a divine balminess about its construction and the smooth confidence of A Greater Purpose.
There is also a superb technical essence to this album that can be really enjoyed as well, listen to the gentle intricacies of compositions like One With Nature, a calm short form styled song that is as tender as it is peaceful, or Shaman’s Cave, where one will find a wonderful narrative to guide you along your way within the piece.
Michael Kollwitz has a talent for creating a temperate atmospheric musical environment with each track, pieces like Easy Does It, the perfect Sunday morning opus and the crafted and quite brilliant Breaking Free, a song with the chilled ambience of a spring afternoon in the mountains.
By the time you have reached this point, you will be so relaxed and calm, you may just want to lay back and close your eyes, I would imagine the sleep that would follow would be some of the best ever, so to gift you two last sublimely laid back and unflustered arrangements is the total pleasure of the artist.
The shortest track off the album is our penultimate offering and called Beyond the Clouds, a piece that contains a composed and still feeling, akin to laying on your back looking up at an August sky, cloud watching. The last composition is probably the most placid and gentle of all and called Way of Knowledge, this one will really give you such a sublime sense of calmness as it plays.
Michael Kollwitz has done it again; he has created yet another alternate dimension of supreme tranquillity to get lost in. Serenity II connects perfectly with its sister album and gifts to you yet another hour of utter bliss with which to ease the trials and tribulations of the day completely away.
Rating: Excellent
Sunset Breeze by Lynn Yew Evers
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 4/17/2018
Touching hearts and minds
Today had been filled with much beauty for me, but as the afternoon crawled into the pit of the evening, and the sun began to slide below the distant horizon, it was time to bath in some magical tones and revitalise the senses, the music of choice would be Sunset Breeze from Lynn Yew Evers.
The title is appropriate as the day had been a warm one but with a nice costal breeze, so listening to this album was like listening to the soundtrack of that moment, but what beauty flowed from Yew Evers piano was exquisite especially the opening piece called The Dancing Doll, this is a track that is chilling in its imaginative brilliance, this opus truly draws the narrative of an old room where a box slowly opens, and this dusty old doll begins to dance a dance that no one will ever see, but one steeped with memory and emotion, this is one of the best starts to an album I have heard for ages.
The artist then follows that up with another outstanding offering called Ocean Wind, this reverie is so charming, and as one who lives near the sea, I can guarantee to you that this is a superb musical interpretation of that mood. Yew Evers has a way with her piano, she creates an opportunity for it to talk and as it comes alive, it creates such wonderful melodies of emotive memory.
The calmness of the sunset is now upon me; the music flows through, it soothes my soul and in this energy I could live for an Eternity. That is the name of this next track, and that is exactly the essence and mood that is depicted here. Yes this is technically brilliant, but the touch of emotive genius is magnificently manifested.
As we move to next composition, we come across a divine moment of musical mastery with the piece Oriental Moon. The opening segment creates a momentary sense of drama, but the fluency of what follows is simply spectacular. There is something about the performance here that reminds me of my neighbour David Lanz; it has that sense of majesty about it, one that creates such a charming and scenic vista.
Soaring is up next and the gentleness of this composition is pleasing to the ear, here is a track that is steeped in the traditional style of new age piano, which I am sure the aforementioned Lanz and the great George Winston would tip their hats to, and recognise a piece with a lush quality and a superior nature of performance.
That oh so special moment has arrived, yes it’s the title track Sunset Breeze, a perfect start, a slight pause and the melody of a halcyon moment is drawn in the storyline of this piece. The warm nature with which this is played is simply wonderful to feel. One could sit on their balcony and literally enjoy a sunset breeze with this rapturous musical moment of pure class.
We have now arrived at the half way juncture of the album, and as such we come across a delicate offering entitled, Where Do I Go From Here. This a little moment of reflection, a slight emotional mood floats from the keys, as the title poses a question that is seemingly yet to be answered. The care and attention to detail on this piece is very evident and well played indeed.
Without Words is up next, sometimes this is the best way of communicating, sometimes you just don’t need words, so let music do it for you and here on this most of sincere of pieces we have a sense of love portrayed within its energies. This song drifts along so serenely, but its honest refrains plays to our hearts at all times.
The next track hooked me completely; I am of course referring to You Are The Promise, You Are My Home. Now this is a rare occurrence as this doesn’t happen too much, but as the composition played, I started to invent the lyrics and sing along with the melody; maybe I will have to start writing songs lyrics again?
Reminisce has a similar energy about its construction as well. The smoothness with which this track is played is delicious; the cinematic elements of this arrangement must also not be ignored, it has a true sense of grandeur that makes it quite memorable, a delectable musical offering indeed.
We now drift into the back waters of the latter part of the release and come across a piece entitled Khai Qin's Song. This track is quite remarkable and one that has a certain level of sensitivity about its essence. The steady tempo and honest narrative brings us a truly respectful and sincere opus of a kindly piano and performer.
Heim Angelus had an almost reverential feel about its way. The style of performance was something quite outstanding, there were times I could literally feel a level of emotion, one that could see the notes of passion flood from the piano as they were so craft fully played.
The penultimate offering from this very classy release is called A Walk In A Chinese Garden. The softness of presentation here made this track for me; if one truly listens, a deep sense of rhythm can be found here, one so profound that it could even be meditative at its source.
So the gateway to the last track of the album has been reached, but before we depart from this musical realm, the artist, Lynn Yew Evers has one last gift of tone and harmony to offer us, and it is the classic Prelude in D Minor. The classically trained Evers ends with a composition of great character and style.
Sunset Breeze by Lynn Yew Evers is that solo piano release that all fans of the genre are going to fall head over heels in love with. Technically gifted, passionate in approach and artistic in her endeavours, Sunset Breeze by Lynn Yew Evers is an album that must win awards and reach the hearts and minds of anyone who truly adores really good piano music, performed brilliantly, by an artist who truly cares.
Rating: Excellent
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