"if only ..." by GALYA

Having listened to Galya’s CD, I asked myself what’s with the cheerful picture of the sea, the blue sky and the girl on the cover. The tracks on the CD are quite depressing, mostly sad, and left me in an emotional state I found myself in for the first time having listened to George Winston's "December". The music is wintery, nostalgic, contemplative, and sad, but at the same time brilliantly different from anything you’ve heard before. Trained in classical music, Galya plays skilfully with tone structures as if they were objects, the form and proportions of which can be remodelled any way you like. Sometimes they end up being abstract, something you can barely describe, other times they result in a clearly identifiable harmonious form which appears to be somewhat familiar. The single keystrokes sometimes come across like an affectionate hug, and sometimes they appear to be a thunderous salvo from the guns. The individual chords sometimes sound tender and harmonious, at other times they come across as being dissonant and threatening. There are positions in the music where one can recognise musical constructs well known from great new age piano masters like George Winston and David Lanz – almost monotonous, repetative phrases, which create a unique sound ambiance and arouse undefinable feelings. Galya artistically packages new age piano music in the form of an almost classical piano music, recognisably influenced by Claude Debussy in the harmony. For me the cover is a kind of metaphor for the unreachable – a dream figure which is gone when we wake up. Just like Galya’s music. It is announcing the summer, but resounds from the depths of winter.

"if only …" by Galya is one of the most interesting new age piano CDs that I have listened to in the past few years! Strongly recommended to all fans of classical new age piano.

By Robert J. Wierzbicki

Sunday, January 24, 2010"Origin" by Clifford Borg

Clifford Borg, 'Origin'

The musical atmosphere on Clifford Borg's second album "Origin" is somewhat cloudy. The unfolding of the music is like a mental strife between sadness and smiles but with not really much space left for the latter. The 16 tracks on the album work perfectly together creating a melodramatic-like audible scenery and very stringent musical dramaturgy.

Borg manipulates the listeners' emotions in a fantastic way using tension in creating piano music elements and mixing seemingly divergent musical styles - from cinematic tunes in "Emergence", through romantic waltz music in "Un-leaving" to the nocturne-like "Closed Chapter".

A comparison with any contemporary or classical piano artist or style does not really make sense in Borg's case. His piano style is unique - a kind of epic orchestral soundtrack played without an orchestra. Borg's musical textures augmented with moving images appear even more emotional and expressive. The prize Borg won for his track "Emergence" in the category Best Music for Digital Film at the SL:MIMA 2009 emphasizes his talent as a musical artist and composer of gripping film soundtracks.

By Robert J. WIerzbicki

Saturday, November 28, 2009'A New Kind of Love' by Robin Spielberg

In this busy life it is not always easy to take time out to reflect, dream, and take in our surroundings . With her new album "A New Kind of Love" Robin Spielberg seems to find a way through music ,to slow life down just enough so listeners can do just that. It is easy to breeze through the tracks on this CD. Played with elegant simplicity, the music is sometimes happy, sometimes solemn and always performed with a pleasant touch and just the right amount of greenness.

When listening to A New Kind of Love, you have the impression that you are getting an insight right into Robin Spielberg's (musical) heart and , perhaps, you will be able to recognize parts of yourself in it. This album is her 15th, which is a large number. However, her songs do not sound "worn out" at all. On the contrary, one can clearly hear just how beautifully played all the tracks are, whilst they are at the same time oratorical. A New Kind of love emanates with Robin's love for the world and this is what you both hear and most certainly feel while listening to it.

By Xenia Wierzbicki

Wednesday, November 5, 2008"Adolescent Reflections" by Thanatip Viturawong

'Adolescent Reflections' by Thanatip Viturawong

While not just simply an album of “easy-listening” piano music that would allow your thoughts to drift without direction, Thanatip Viturawong’s music gives you the sort of whimsical airiness you miss in so many contemporary works. Delightful melodies will act as a medium through which your imagination is unleashed while the serious emotions will keep you engaged. Listening to this album will transport you to a different world – a world with only yourself and the simple but very special piano music. Absolutely to be recommended!

By Xenia Wierzbicki


Wednesday, September 10, 2008"Stone Rose" by Ola Gjeilo

'Stone Rose' by Ola Gjeilo

Ola Gjeilo's debut album invites you to dream. Inspiring and multifaceted his music can’t be stereotyped due to its variety. This music lifts you up but it can be just as serious while not losing this special kind of warmth. The Stone Rose Album seems to guide you through different landscapes and times while you just have to lean back and relax. It is not hard to imagine "Snow in New York" or "Sidewalks" while listening to the charming melodies and seeing everything by just closing your eyes. With the greatest of ease he is able to make you enter a different sweet world full of romantic melodies, or astonishingly experiencing your own real world from a different perspective which makes everything so much more friendly and picturesque.

By Xenia Wierzbicki