2017 / Christopher Boscole
Review by Kathy Parsons
Soul Dreams is the eleventh release from pianist/composer Christopher Boscole, and I think it’s my favorite of his recordings so far. Like his previous album, Skipping On Daisies (2016), the music on Soul Dreams is infused with joy and a lightness that can provide a warm and peaceful respite from our stressful world. A Pacific Northwest native, Boscole released his first album in 1986. He has been living and sailing in Hawaii for the past several years, surrounded by the lush beauty and vibrant colors of the Hawaiian Islands. It is no wonder that his music has taken on similar characteristics.
The first seven of the twelve tracks on the album are more classically-structured and melodic while the last few pieces are freer and more ambient. Boscole composed all of the music and recorded it on a 9’ Steinway D grand piano. Joe Bongiorno at Piano Haven Studios did the digital mastering.
Soul Dreams begins with “New Hope,” a piece that flows smoothly and with just enough positive energy to keep it always moving forward. “Polyana” is a favorite. Sunny and optimistic with a grace that is sure to charm, this lovely piece feels like an encouraging smile from a dear friend. “Heart Traveler” is very light and buoyant like sunlight dancing on gently undulating water. “Happy Day” seems to express the satisfaction and peace of mind that come from a really good day that leaves you tired but very contented. “To See You Again” has a wistful sense of longing that is both beautiful and poignant. “Empathy” is another favorite with its heartfelt message of hope. Tender yet very expressive and deeply emotional, it’s a beauty! I also really like “The Question,” a piece that is somewhat darker than the others and makes very effective use of the deep bass of the piano. Gorgeous! “Souls Journey” is one of the more ambient pieces - delicate, relaxed and very expressive. The title track is also freely-structured and flowing with an ethereal touch that isn’t all that common on the piano. Sometimes almost misty and sometimes sparkling brightly, it very effectively expresses the feeling of a dream. “Peace Of the Soul” is exceptionally soothing with fluid rhythms and a delicate touch. It expresses the freedom of improvisation, drifting from one passage to the next as the music wills it to go. “Mistery” shimmers and floats effortlessly, dancing gracefully on peaceful ripples of sound. “Suite Sunshine” brings the album to a close with a very blissful feeling of warmth and calm. The spare, open melody is surrounded by quiet tremolo that sparkles as it soothes.
If you are looking for solo piano music for relaxation or meditation, Soul Dreams should do the trick. I don’t recommend putting it in your wake-up alarm, but in this case, that’s a good thing! It is available from Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby. Recommended!
January 22, 2018