I’ve been reviewing Christine Brown’s albums since her 1997 release, Winter Tapestry, and she has become one of my very favorite artists. A mixture of passion, exceptional playing chops and an abundance of grace consistently puts her music in a category of its own. Souvenirs
is a collection of fourteen breathtaking original piano solos inspired at least in part by the arrival of Brown’s new piano, a Kawai RX-7 grand. The pieces express a wide range of emotions and experiences with depth, sincerity and an elegant touch. Already nominated as “Album of the Year” by Whisperings Solo Piano Radio, I’m sure Souvenirs
will be on my list of Favorites for the year as well. The album was recorded and mastered by Joe Bongiorno on his Shigeru Kawai at his Piano Haven Studio in Sedona, AZ - as always, impeccable!
begins with “Rhythm of the Rain,” another wonderful example of how well the piano expresses the feeling of rain, be it a wild and crazy storm or a gentle shower. This is somewhere in the middle, flowing gently but steadily with varying levels of intensity. The title track is a beautiful, bittersweet waltz (the original title!) composed after the passing of a close friend to cancer. More reflective than mournful, it’s one of my favorites. I also really love “Shiver,” which went without a title for nearly two years. The piece is in constant motion, sometimes gracefully and sometimes more intense. It makes my fingers itch! “Prelude to Sunrise” is more ambient and descriptive, often using rapidly arpeggiated chords to depict beams of light coming through clouds (my interpretation). “Aqua Abyss” is yet another favorite. Brown says, “I don’t recall what initiated the writing of this song, but it immediately reminded me of falling gently, spiraling downward in the water, dark and mysterious, yet calm and beautiful,” and that’s exactly how it feels. Gorgeous!!! “Silhouette” was the first piece Brown composed on her new piano, exploring the touch and dynamics of the instrument. The resulting piece sounds a bit like a classic movie theme - nostalgic, sentimental, and very beautiful. “The Hour Glass” reflects on the passage of time. Gently but relentlessly flowing, it pauses only occasionally. “Stepping Stones” happily recalls life’s milestones, what Brown refers to as the “stepping stones of life.” “Guardian Angel” is a heartfelt prayer full of love, sincerity and deep emotion. Inspired by the white field of clouds below the airplane on a recent trip, “Cashmere Clouds” is a peaceful lullaby that serenely brings us to the end of this excellent album.
Christine Brown’s tenth album could be her best music yet - truly inspired and from the heart - and I give it my highest recommendation! Souvenirs
is available from ChristineBrownPiano.com
, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby.