The Road Home
2017 / PCM
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Road Home is the seventh album release from multiple award-winning composer/musician Peter Calandra. Even if his name doesn’t ring any bells, you have undoubtedly heard Calandra’s music many times. In addition to his recordings, Calandra has scored more than fifty films, written more than 2000 compositions for television, and has performed as a musician in a large number of New York Broadway productions. Calandra currently has the themes for fifteen television shows airing on four different networks. Well-versed in a broad range of music genres, Calandra easily moves within those genres to create his unique musical voice. I like this quote: “I don’t try to define anything because I find that, as a creative person, when you put something in box, you limit the creative flow.” That is so true!
The ten pieces on The Road Home were inspired by a recent cross-country road trip. The album is orchestra- and piano-driven with occasional percussion and wordless vocals by Joy Askew. Some of the pieces are more buoyant and lively while others are more introspective and calm. It’s a wonderful and well-balanced mix of music that tells a story while creating visual images for the listener to get lost in. “My goal is to create music that people love, while also fulfilling my artistic vision. I like painting pictures in sound. It is finding that space where craft and art converge that makes something memorable.” It is worth mentioning that the production quality of this album is superlative - the sound is amazing!
The album begins with “The New Dawn,” a dramatic ambient piece with a full symphonic sound and ethereal voices - the start of something big! “Mi Amore” has a more smooth-jazz vibe with laid-back percussion, piano, guitar, and strings - magical as well as a favorite! “Morning Dove” returns to a more shimmering ambient style with piano, atmospheric keyboard sounds, voices and strings - gorgeous and very peaceful! The title track is light and playful, expressing feelings of excitement and anticipation. “Points in the Sky” evokes images of a vast blackened sky with sparkling stars in every direction. Majestic yet very peaceful, it communicates a profound sense of wonder and awe - another favorite. “Nocturnal Moods” could be a very sleepy piece about winding down and preparing to sleep, but this is definitely the work of a night owl who comes alive after dark! Joyful with an infectious energy, there are very strong jazz elements until the piece begins to wind down near the end. “Distant Dreams” brings this excellent album to a close with a quiet, introspective piano solo that expresses the contentment of returning home, enriched by the journey but glad to be back.
Like Peter Calandra’s previous albums, The Road Home is a delight! It is available from Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby. Very highly recommended!
July 14, 2017