Piano-Heaven Award Winner:

Heart-Aid Project

Various Artists

Spring-Hill Media

  2002

www.springhillmedia.com

 

 

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Mainly Piano

 

 

 

 

This is a special CD. Just prior to the awful September 11th. attacks in America, California based piano teacher and chief reviewer of the excellent Mainly Piano website, sent out an e-mail inviting her piano friends to complete the following: "Music is....". One of the recipients was US based pianist Eric Chapelle- composer of, amongst other CDs, "Our Time". The following week, Chapelle watched the terrible events unfold on television and, like millions of others around the world, was deeply affected by what he was witnessing. About a week later, he returned to the e-mail from Kathy Parsons, and an idea was planted inside his head. Initially, Chapelle intended to compose music himself that could then be sold, with the proceeds going to help the families of those deceased. However, he came to realise that other pianists might be thinking along similar lines. He replied to Kathy Parsons, suggesting that the idea of a "Tribute CD" was sent out to her original contacts. The response was incredible, with compositions flooding in. Eric Chapelle quickly concluded that a compilation CD was the way forward, and the Heart-Aid Project was initiated. The rest, as they say, is history. Spring Hill Music deserve credit for releasing this CD- with all profits going to help the families of those affected by the disaster.

 

Selecting the tracks for such a CD was an onerous task, such was the high standard of submissions. However, select they did, and the end product is a touching legacy to those who perished on one of the world's darkest days.

The CD opens with the delightful Robin Spielberg track, "Wherever You Go". It is a piece filled with optimism, and makes the ideal opening track for the healing aim of the project. Equally lovely, is the CDs third track, "Journey", by Jamie Campbell. This track begins mournfully, with piano and cello. However, a positive feel is created later in the track. The cello, played by the wonderful Martin Tillman, also features on the album's next track, "I'll Carry You Through" by well known pianist John Boswell. It is very beautiful and rather sombre.

Evan Gould has created a delightful short melody in "First Embrace", lasting just one minute and forty three seconds. It is quite a jolly, upbeat track. Gould is a vice-president of finance, but is currently working on a second album. He is also exceptionally kind, sending me his excellent "As Always" CD, which is virtually impossible to get hold  of online or in the shops. "Grace", by Michael Hoppé is equally good, but far more mournful. It is slow and quite minimalist, but exceptionally nice to listen to. The tempo gradually increases, suggesting hope can be found in the darkest of times. I love it! It's made all the more special because this track was written especially for this CD and is previously unreleased. Another highlight is the album's eighth track, "Ivory" by Ray Lynch. Lynch rarely ventures into playing the piano in his compositions, which is a great shame as this particular track is nothing short of outstanding. He combines the piano and flute, and the end result is incredible. This track is one of my all-time favourite pieces of music. It is a happy, feel good music, again part of the healing process that this CD aims to facilitate.

 

Hiker Zola Van's release from her 2000 album, "River to River Trail" amply demonstrates her skills as a pianist, and is quite classical in feel. It is the album's ninth track. Suzanne Ciani has enjoyed considerable success as a pianist, especially after her biggest hit- the wonderful, "The Velocity of Love". Here, her contribution is the aptly titled "Turning"- perhaps suggesting the way is forward. It is from her Pianissimo III album. Dan Chadburn's "Silence Once Served" is a very evocative, heart-felt piece. Amazingly, this is an improvisation, but it certainly has a polished and accomplished feel to it.

I also very much enjoyed Jeff Bjorck's "Porch Swing Summer Night" from his album Pure Piano Panoramas. It manages to be uplifting and emotional all in one- quite a feat! I have two of Jeff's albums, and enjoy his music. Out of interest, he is also a a clinical psychologist. Ken Pedersen's "The Dance Left Behind" is very touching. Pedersen came to my attention through the brilliant track "Quest" which I have on one of his albums. "Lullaby", just as the title suggests, is a gentle little number by Karen Fitzgerald. Perhaps a time of reflective optimism. The CD closes with a jazz number by Julie Rivers-  "When the Sun Goes Down".

I highly recommend this CD, published by Spring-Hill Music, the profits of which, as mentioned earlier, go to the continued support of those who lost loved ones on that devastating day.

S.C.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Hill Music

The Heart-Aid Project

A 9/11 Benefit Piano

Collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kathy Parsons