2022 / David Wahler
Review by Kathy Parsons
Collection is a selection of ten of David Wahler's favorite original works from the past year of seclusion and self-imposed lockdown. Soothing, hypnotic, healing, spiritual, and most of all - beautiful - are all words that come to mind while listening to this amazing album - a breath of musical fresh air! Most of the tracks are a combination of piano and keyboard orchestration; a few feature wordless vocals. The act of creating - be it music, art, poetry or something else - can bring comfort and peace to the creator, but when those qualities can be shared with others, it is truly a gift. I've been reviewing David Wahler's music since his 2009 debut, Antiquus, and new music from him is always a very special treat. Four singles have been released ahead of the full album - "Noctorno," "Carried Away," "Lost Coast," and "Invictus" - and even if you have all four of them, adding the other six tracks should be easy and you'll have the complete the album.
Collection begins with "Lost Coast," which includes the sounds of sea birds, the ocean and a foghorn. A bit on the mysterious side, it could have been inspired by being on the coast when the shoreline was shrouded in fog. Walking on the beach in dense fog can be an otherworldly experience with no sense of direction or of what's ahead of you - peaceful but a little bit disconcerting! I love that experience, so this piece really speaks to me! "Lila" has a gentle energy that keeps it moving forward as the rhythm swirls around it. "Noctorno" is a favorite. Piano, strings and keyboard are quietly hypnotic and suggest the stillness of night when the whole world seems to be at rest. I suspect that if Chopin were alive today, he'd be composing music much like this elegant piece. "Blame It On the Moon" features an operatic soprano voice that soars over the delicate and magical instrumentation. "Carried Away" has a very simple keyboard melody over a quickly-flowing piano rhythm. Dreamy yet gently energetic, it's another favorite. "Invictus" is very special. Quoting David: "It is an anthem dedicated to the strength, courage and fortitude of the Ukrainian people." Bells, piano, choral voices and light orchestration come together to create a stirring and heartfelt musical tribute. "Easy Peasy" is sure to calm the most jangled nerves and soothe away any stress - ahhhh! "Adagio `ala Carlos" feels both Baroque and contemporary. The styling and electronic instrumentation make me think it might be a nod to Wendy Carlos' early work. And what a beautiful piece it is, no matter what inspired it! "Rite" again features the operatic soprano voice over very quiet and peaceful instrumentation - a fascinating study in contrasts. "Peace On Earth" begins with the sounds of the ocean and the call of seabirds before becoming a shimmering ambient piece that soothes the mind as it quiets the spirit.
What a great album! Collection is available on Amazon, Apple Music/iTunes, and many streaming sites like Spotify. Very highly recommended - don't miss it!
May 29, 2022