If I had to sum
up this splendid album by prolific Canadian composer
Eric Harry in one word, it would be atmospheric. The
music contained within this CD is extremely relaxing
and soothing; each track is a melodic showcase of
this composer's undoubted talent. It is made even
more special by the fact that the album was entirely
improvisational- everything was recorded in just one
take. I am still getting my head around this fact!
It opens with
‘Silver Stream’, and judging by the titles on this
album, nature plays a large part in this pianist's
life- it is clearly a source of inspiration for him.
What follows is a gentle, meandering piece-
extremely graceful and easy on the listener's ear.
I love the
slightly haunting opening to the second track,
‘Unrequited’, and the way reverb is used for effect.
A simple melody ensues. The music is uncluttered,
bordering on minimalist. The exquisite piano playing
makes for a delightful listening experience on this
track and indeed throughout the duration of the CD.
Icicles’ is a lovely title. The delicate touch on
the piano shines through once again. Timing is
everything on a piece like this, and Eric Harry
shows what an accomplished pianist he is with the
graceful way in which each and every note is played.
‘Northern Lights’, opens in a curious way with a
helping of the glass harmonica before the piano
takes centre-stage for another soporific journey,
this time into the night sky. As with all of Eric's
tracks on this CD, I could quite easily nod off
whilst listening to this; they are all incredibly
relaxing. The glass harmonica makes another
appearance at the end of the piece.
Passage‘ is the title given to the fifth track on
this remarkably consistent CD. It opens with a
flurry of notes, reminding me of water. This to me
is a happy piece of music, and the music once again
shimmers with beauty.
was aroused by the opening of the sixth track,
‘Indian Summer’, and what sounded like piano strings
being plucked (together with the playing of the
glass harmonica). Reference to the back cover of the
CD case confirmed this. After a while, normal piano
playing resumes, and another delightful melody takes
hold before the piece concludes as it started.
album's penultimate track is entitled ‘Sunlit
Shadows’- yet another reference to nature. In
keeping with the rest of this CD, the ensuing music
is the ultimate in relaxation. Eric's
musical compositions are utterly inoffensive, each
one like a delicate butterfly fluttering playfully
between Summer's beautifully scented flowers. This
is a CD which I just cannot turn off- it deserves to
be listened to from beginning to end, and the
delightful melodies make it much more than just mere
track is saved to last. ‘Ice Boating’ has a playful
and majestic feel to it, and is melodically gorgeous. It is
probably the most upbeat cut on the entire CD, and
it feels very spontaneous- almost as if the message
given here is to make the most of every moment. Quite where this ice boating occurred only Eric
knows, but it feels like a lot of fun was had in the
process. As I listen to this piece, I feel the
enjoyment the composer clearly gets from playing the
piano. Eric is having fun here. I urge the reader to
click the play button to the right to hear a sample. A beautiful way to
end such a special CD.
might be interested to know that there are actually
two versions of this CD- the solo piano one reviewed
above, and a symphonic one.
has released a number of other critically acclaimed
CDs, including ‘Imaginary Picnic’, ‘The Language of
Flowers’, ‘Fly’ and ‘Away, Melancholy, Away’. This
was, however, his first CD, and as he rightly says,
"I am very proud of this album." He is
the founder of the highly successful ‘Calm Radio’,
and this Toronto-based pianist has also written lots of
music for commercials.
clearly a special connection- an empathy-
between Eric Harry and his piano. It is as if they
are as one. Music as special as this certainly
doesn't come around every day, so I urge you to
listen to some samples and investigate the work of
this gifted pianist further.
highly recommended CD. Lovers of relaxing, melodic
piano music cannot go wrong with this album.