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Moonlight In Empty Rooms by Heidi Anne Breyer
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 4/2/2018
Heidi's best work thus far!
It was great catching up with Heidi again, I hadn’t realised until our conversation on Skype, that it had been some three years since I had written about her last album, and a staggering six years since we had last chatted live, time steals away the hours and leaves dust behind it seems!
Now the dust is swept away and a lush new recording is upon us and called Moonlight In Empty Rooms, apart from being a splendid title, it conjures up lots of artistic thoughts, and it is this sojourn we now take with the artist as we walk through this veritable art gallery of tone with her.
As the softness of the day unfurled its angelic wings, I begin by gazing at the portrait of the first offering entitled Unfinished Conversation. As humans we have many of these, those moments when we never really say what we want, or think, and then that moment is like a child’s summer, long gone. This has been beautifully portrayed by Breyer and her compatriot on this release, the quite breath taking Charlie Bisharat on violin.
Our next offering happens to be one of my favourites, not that I will ever probably see this again, but Autumn Snowfall does conjure up old memories of when the mistress of winter, flirts with the old grand master of autumn, this momentary symbiosis is rare, but very pleasantly manifested by Breyer and Bisharat, a slow tempo, a moving opus of age and time, combining to give us a vista of colour and mood that is almost pristine in its overall construction.
Following on the theme of autumn, the lively and extremely attractive opus Autumn In Bruges is up next, this is a delightful piece, it has its own radiant energy and Breyer’s performance on it is sublimely brilliant. The violin of Bisharat is so in tune with Breyer’s performance, that one can see an autumnal dance forming within the falling leaves of a fading season.
On Christian’s Workshop, we have a melodic build, but one that has a real element of memory and time passed. There is a real dust in the attic feel to this one, Breyer goes solo here and creates such wonderful imagery whilst doing so and the slight pause adds a sublime delicacy to the performance that makes it so very reflective and addictive.
We now move through the sun dappled rooms of our musical art gallery and come across the master piece of them all, the title track, and of course entitled Moonlight In Empty Rooms. I have to state that this is one of the best compositions I think I have ever heard from Heidi Breyer. This has everything, a certain mournful refrain, a powerful intention of tone and an intensity of emotions that will have every hair standing up on the back of your neck. Two words can sum this offering up, utterly awesome, and one can see why, through this pictorial arrangement, that this album is a musical study of the work of Alexander Volkov.
We have arrived at Eastertide and it’s always a moment to be grateful, as winters clutch has weakened and gone, leaving the one word through the eons that always resounds around this time, hope. There is a real lightness to this composition, one that crafts sunbeams of light to cascade through the windows of our gallery; the smooth vibrations created by Bisharat are equally delightful to float upon.
Sadly we don’t get many of these here in Cyprus, a Rainy Day, but if we did, it would be a total pleasure to listen to this while the sky cries as a soundtrack for this moment of beauty. Rainy Day has an almost sullen opening refrain, but that’s the way the creation is brought to life, each note and key touched manifests an opportunity to be at one within this moment in time. This piece has a certain historical energy about it as well, one could, through the performance, easily watch, the watchers watching the rain, as the century’s rolled by, a timeless offering indeed.
The very start of this next piece The Sound and The Fury drew a wonderful narrative for me again; perhaps a further autumn feeling as the strength of Breyer’s piano was enough to shake the leaves from the tress themselves, while Bisharat’s violin cried the tears of the years. There is also a defined cinematic quality about this composition too and its narration is indeed deeply moving as through its intensity, one can almost feel the energy of creative release here. A piece with floating desire and passion, and that’s never a bad thing.
Winter Rose has a beautifully crisp essence about its construction that is so very charming. The progression of the piece is also very artistically manifested, as such one seems to be waiting for the next segment to follow, there is a slight elevation in power, but one that is redolent to the subject matter, and allowing the mind its liberty, the image of a snow covered rose is not that hard to bring into reality.
Another inventive title, that’s always good to see, as it captures the imagination before a note is played, this can be laid at the feet of the piece, Half Hour Before Spring. Listen to the tentative start and then as the piece continues, it’s like watching a musical bud open and eventually flower, this is without doubt one of the most beautiful pieces from the release.
Faith, the penultimate piece will be familiar with many people I have no doubt, but this hymn has been arranged quite cleverly by the artist and brings with it, not only a charming moment of musical bliss, but a totally fresh arrangement of something old into something new, the Old 100th lives on and is the longest piece off the album at just over eight minutes.
The last picture is now upon us, and this parting gift from the artist is called End of Summer. Time for a moment of reflection, one that is quite emotional at times or perhaps is it that one is sad to be leaving this musical art gallery of sorts, but at least through the magic of the technology, we can always listen over again, many times.
Moonlight In Empty Rooms has to be Heidi Breyer’s best work so far, it has a perfection of composition and arrangement that is professionally sublime, the narration and flow of the music will carry the listener on a musical journey of supreme artistic endeavour. This is piano and violin at its very best and played from the heart, to the heart, in a way that only really good music can.
Rating: Excellent
Sunset Breeze by Lynn Yew Evers
- posted by Dyan Garris on 3/30/2018
Sunset Breeze - Lynn Yew Evers
The title track, “Sunset Breeze,” on track 6, is beautifully composed, with perfect timing, movement, sensitivity, and flow. Lynn is one with her instrument and this translates through to the listener easily and effortlessly.
While the whole album from start to finish, is timeless, elegant, and extraordinarily graceful, Track 7, “Where Do I Go From Here,” is particularly so. Alive and beautifully structured, one can almost surely hear lyrics where there are ostensibly none. Following on Track 8 is the lovely “Without Words,” which definitely doesn’t need any to convey its ageless message.
Track 12, “Heim Angelus,” which I believe translates to “Home of the Angels,” is exceptionally beautiful, and one to listen to again and again. It’s effortlessly fluent, expertly composed and arranged, as well as impeccably performed.
“Sunset Breeze” is a superb album and a special recording that is highly recommended to all. So exquisitely beautiful.

“Sunset Breeze” releases April 20, 2018. Pre-order at Amazon.
Artist website:
A Piano Story by Jim Pearce
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 3/29/2018
Filling all of your musical desires
Today brought with it an abundant layer of sunshine and warmth, and a real feel good, spring is here mood about the day, as such I was fortunate enough to find the latest album by Jim Pearce called A Piano Story on my desk for a review, which turned out to be the perfect soundtrack for this day for me.
So let’s take a sojourn within the realms of this new release with the artist, and begin our voyage of sound with the very pleasant opener entitled Tender Story. The soft and delicate performance here by Pearce is sublime and is so redolent of the subject matter, it is truly moving.
The resonance of energy has changed and we now have a real empowering moment, in fact an a moment of Uplifting Piano is upon us, the tempo here raises the rhythms and brings us a positive piece as we move deeper into the realms of the release.
The Old Neighbourhood has a certain feeling of reminiscence about it that is attractive; there is a slight Jazz motif, but one that mixes well with the contemporary flavour of the composition. We could imagine roaming old haunts and playgrounds to this one, the strings here manifest a real energy of remembrance too.
The fluency of the keyboards on Beautiful Moment is quite moving, Pearce creates something magical on this arrangement, one which bristles with reveries of the past and present, mingling together to bring us something truly memorable and at times quite emotive as well.
On A Leap of Heart, we have a piece that has lightness about its construction, a certain hope filled narrative of giving oneself to the moment, this sun kissed twinkling of musical brilliance, is a really refreshing point to have reached in the album, and one extremely well placed on it.
Preludial Moon is our next doorway of music we must enter, and you will be glad of this new room of tone and sound, the performance on piano and added instrumentation builds a really beautiful short form composition for us, one that seems to just hover and float around us with consummate ease.
We now have this symbiosis with strings and piano on The Years Gone By, but there is also a very intricate piece that deserves multiple listens, it has a hint of Jazz, a smooth orchestral flavour, with a mixture of flute and also a lush ethereal energy about its overall construction too.
We continue of our journey with Jim Pearce with the composition Deep In Your Eyes, the piano gets us underway with a strong and meaningful narrative, you can enjoy a level of musical sincerity here that is quite charming to listen to.
Hymn to Rain takes us on, and I for one hope the gods on Mount Olympus are listening to this one as we need loads! This is an almost processional motif that has its roots in a hymnal style, but transcends even that.
Ecstatic Musing is our next port of call, here Pearce, probably better known for his Jazz and TV offerings, has produced a perfect almost idyllic starting point, and falling nicely into the new age and piano with instrumentation genres, fondly known as contemporary instrumental music with ease, this light hearted reverie is simply divine.
Twilight Reveries is a charming piece, very easy and calming as befits that time of day, and the laid back tempo creates a soothing narrative with piano and keyboards that will lull us into a peaceful sleep.
My Heart is Yours, well that’s not a statement, but the title of the next track and a more honest and loving piece you will find hard to discover. There is a delicacy about the string sections within this composition that seem to almost dance in a symbiotic way with the piano.
Now we come across a most curious title and this next opus is entitled Clouds and Bicycles. This is a most clever track indeed and manifests the sense of onward movement with great skill and attention; this is one of those, riding down country roads, with the sun on your face, wind in your hair, happy tracks, which will give the listener freedom and a blissful sense of floating on clouds of tone to enjoy.
Dark Mood Sets, the next arrangement off the album, really highlights the talents of Pearce the pianist, and the mood set here is a lush but reflective moment of musical magic. One could visualise sitting by a window on a dour day, watching the never ending rain fall on the glass, creating puddles of tears on the ground below, a sombre, but artistic offering can be found here.
The longest track off the album at well over four minutes also happens to be the penultimate one and is up next, it’s called You Are My Sun and Moon. With a turn of the switch, Pearce drops into his more familiar back yard of Jazz, and produces one very smooth and warm offering that will ease the listener further into this musical voyage of tranquillity.
My favourite track off the release also happens to be the final one, it is entitled Hope Breaks Out, there is a wonderful sense of a new world or dimension trying to form within this offering and all created in just under two amazing minutes.
Piano Story by Jim Pearce is an album that will caress the musical senses and create pockets of harmonious peace each time you voyage within the contents of the release. The artist has built a dimension of warmth and radiance on Piano Story, which will full fill each and every corner of your musical desires.
Rating: Excellent
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