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Memories of Water and Light by Scott Cossu
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 2/4/2020
An albumfull of music that needs to be heard
Over the years artist Scott Cossu has brought us many musical delights, the one I remember most was back in 2015 and entitled Safe In Your Arms, now he is back and brings us a sparkling and very touching new album called Memories of Water and Light. The combination of multi instrumentation works perfectly on this release and as such it is an offering that delivers to us, the ever eager listeners, one of the finest examples of contemporary instrumental music this year.
The journey begins with the track Wedding Lanterns, the energy of performance is utterly transcendent, its refrains are sweetly enjoyed and a fine performance by Cossu can be found here, on this most charming of opening offerings.
I felt truly moved by this next track; the name given to it is equally as beautiful and called Memories of Water and Light ,this is of course the title track from the album and an extremely memorable one as well. The combination of Cossu’s piano is so well partnered by the intricate guitar of Van Manakas, in what is a sublime moment of acoustic magic.
One of the most impressive tracks for me was the colourful Cerulean Eyes, this is a truly attractive opus that has a gentle touch to its energy, it has to be said that Scott Cossu is at his absolute best here, in this creative composition that at times is ambient, but at all times, creative.
The tightness and collective professionalism can be wonderfully felt on this following piece called Follow Your Heart. This is indeed a passionate offering, but also one craft-fully performed, the smart and intelligent symbiotic combination of Cossu (Piano) Manakas (Guitar) and Holly Reeves on (Cello) really hits home here with such class, and is truly something to behold.
I have just mentioned Reeves in the previous track, her Cello starts this next offering with its deep and textured refrains; it is called Here With You. A song with such a sweet melody is about to unfurl before you, one that is so vibrant and light, that just listening to it gives one a warm feeling of joy, which is deeply felt in such abundance.
As we gracefully step into the latter half of the album we come across a track called Makena, this would turn out to be another favourite offering of mine, the Cello here of Reeves is so emotive and beautifully played, then the magical guitar of Manakas joins Cossu in this dance of colour and light, and magic is made.
Sometimes when you hear the first few bars of a track it entrances you, that can be said for this following composition called Luminoso, the multi-instrumental nature of this song is wonderful, but within the structure there is so much more, a little Jazz can even be found in the weave of a truly expressive offering.
We now swim in the deeper waters of the release and as we do so we come across a reflective opus entitled Ascending Angels, there is something quite moving about this piece that really raises ones mood, the performance is dynamic, but also empowering in disposition.
It seems amazing that we arrive at the penultimate offering off the release, it is called Lucid Watercolors. I feel a TV theme coming on here for this track, there is something really appealing about it, as it has a certain warmth and charming narrative about its construction which makes it so easy to listen to.
With that final turn of the corner we arrive at the very last portal to this musical realm created by Scott Cossu, and we are therefore gifted one final composition entitled Last Snow. I have to say that this is such a treat to end with a composition of such style and panache as this, a combination of everything we have heard and more, and a track that illustrated perfectly the last snows of a sullen winter, with performances that were so deeply emotive, but with a relaxing motif that would be as glowing as the log fire warming the bones from this most harsh of seasons.
Memories of Water and Light is a compelling album indeed, musical partnerships have been forged in fire on this release and from this melodic furnace comes genius. Scott Cossu has brought into this world something that is so desperately needed, a classy album absolutely packed with compositions that simply cry out to be heard, and one for me very easy to recommend.
Rating: Excellent
Contemplation by Louis Colaiannia
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 1/16/2020
Lovingly created, colourful and warm
Louis Colaiannia is one of the most expressive pianists around these days, his works of art are constantly drawing a musical narrative, that at times is incredibly compelling, but in all moments most warmly encapsulating, and here on Contemplation his latest work, we have a masterclass in musical painting and self-expression. This is a double album, each containing 10 tracks, but with disc 1 being instrumental and disc 2 the solo piano versions of these.
The opening piece entitled The River is a memory filled opus of endless movement and time, and to follow that up with one of my personal favourites called Gentle Rain was a sublime moment of genius, one that captures the mood of the moment perfectly.
The album itself is like walking into a massive room with 10 windows, and the view through each is vastly different, but equally expressive and impressive, much like the title header Contemplation. There is a really crafted sense of depth here that is so persuasive.
The multi-instrumental nature of this album is quite stunning, but at all times perfectly balanced and well thought out, for example the hovering and mysterious Mystic Nights and the ambient classical motifs of What If, both a delight to listen to deeply and meaningfully.
A review of this album cannot be concluded without a mention of one of the highlights of the album, a track called Believe in Peace. This moving and beautiful offering contains the honest and uncluttered views and voices of a collection of children from across the world, including his own grandchildren, promoting what really matters on this Earth, peace above all else.
Contemplation is a delightful album and Louis Colaiannia must be proud of his creation, one that I rate as his best work so far. The release is a true reflection of the artist’s heart; each composition has been lovingly created to manifest the best from each moment of musical time, and if you embrace this opportunity to purchase this colourful and warming collection of superb music, your heart and your ears will love you forever.
Rating: Excellent
Bach Side of the Moon (Baroque Adagios Reimagined) by Piers Adams & Larry Lush
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 1/16/2020
A refuge of favourites, lovingly caressed
I found fascinating juxtapositions emanating from this release that would touch me in ways I never imagined; my father and I had a difficult relationship at one time when I was a teenager, but we found a loving friendship through my love of electronic music (Vangelis/Tomita) and his love of all things classical, we shared musical ideas and pathways, ones which would create a great and long lasting relationship, when I look at Bach side of the Moon by Piers Adams & Larry Lush I see a familiar theme occurring.
There are, on this offering many tracks and composers I was introduced to, and I know if my father had of been alive today he would have adored this release, especially from two artists from the county where he once lived in Sussex, and where I once worked for the BBC. This journey of sorts starts with BACH Siciliano (from the Flute Sonata), this piece resonates in my heart to this day and the lush combination of recorder and synths, with that specific Bach motif is quite emotionally beautiful.
I remember to this day my father introducing me to ALBINONI Adagio (from Oboe Concerto Op. 9 No. 2). Still now it moves me and transports my thoughts back to Sunday afternoons in a winter sun listening to it, proving to me, if I needed proof, that music is indeed timeless. The talents of the two artists here is deeply respectful and thoroughly professional, as much can also be said for the tracks VIVALDI Adagio (from the Oboe Concerto), a deep and beautifully fluent arrangement and performance, and into the arms of a truly masterful opus entitled SAMMARTINI Siciliano (from the Recorder Concerto), a piece that retained a certain lightness of performance, but held within it an emotive energy that was so deeply enjoyable.
There are so many pieces that I know so well on this album, ones that have been lovingly caressed into the womb of the 21st century by the guiding hands of the recorder and synths/keyboards of Adams and Lush. An example is the quite exquisite HANDEL Largo (from Trio Sonata Op. 2 No. 1) a composer who was always more than Water Music, then the moody offering of PURCELL Dido's Lament (from Dido and Aeneas). A track where the scene is set so beautifully and with such depth by the synths of Lush, and to prove my previous ejaculation about Handel, his Eternal Source of Light (from Birthday Ode to Queen Anne) by the performances on all three I was completely transfixed.
If you have been in search of something different musically to enjoy, then that quest will be completed if you purchase this release, as you will find your new age classical fix being totally satisfied, especially with offerings like GLUCK Dance of the Blessed Spirits (from Orfeo) and one of my all-time favourites VIVALDI Cantabile (from the Flute Concerto 'Il Gardellino), such tender delights can be found within both pristine performances.
BACH Adagio (from the Flute Sonata) carries it’s calmness with such a wonderful regal posture, whilst VIVALDI Largo (from the Recorder Concerto) was literally transformed into an arrangement that would reveal an avant-garde energy, while the tones and timbre of ALBINONI Adagio (from the Oboe Concerto Op. 7 No. 3) would grace us by being our penultimate composition, one that would suit my futuristic desires beautifully. The whole project would be fluently finished off by a performance granting us a delicate presentation of BACH Andante (from the Flute Sonata), for me I couldn’t think of a better way to finish, and the recorder of Adams ends this illustrious voyage of plenty, with such style and panache.
Bach Side of the Moon by Piers Adams & Larry Lush is the album you may have been searching for all your life, for within its musical walls the listener will find not only a refuge from much of the banal material that one is bombarded with from the media these days, but a new playground of classical favourites, ones lovingly caressed into this new century by a pairing of artists who clearly both play with their hearts on their proverbial sleeves.
Rating: Excellent
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