1998 / Hamsa Music
Review by Kathy Parsons
From the exceptionally beautiful cover art all the way through to the final cut of Our Time, this debut album by Eric Chapelle evokes one “wow!” after another. It’s been awhile since I’ve been knocked out by the sheer beauty of an album, but this one is amazing. Bordering on “ambient” on many cuts, there is a very strong classical influence in both the instrumentation and the structure of the pieces. Gentle in tone throughout, an uplifting but not sugar-coated mood is created and sustained. All of the pieces are melodic and easily accessible, but not in a pop sense that would encourage you to hum or sing the music. Complex and yet ethereal, the pieces continue to reveal themselves with repeated hearings, allowing the listener to grow inside the music while floating away on a dreamy cloud of soothing piano, flute, and strings (as well as other synthesized sounds). Eric’s experience in composing soundtrack music is evident, but this isn’t music meant to be in the background. It deserves full attention while coaxing the cares and stresses of the day to evaporate. As I write, I keep pausing to drink in the beauty of this music. It is truly hypnotic.
Four of the cuts are solo piano, and those feel more “grounded” than the cuts with either synth accompaniment or synth orchestrations; the contrast is refreshing. The piano is evident on most of the songs, but this isn’t strictly a piano album. Some of the music is about emotional experiences we share (“Our Time”, “Reverence”, “Trust”, “Child’s Play”, “Rejoice”), and other pieces are more abstract (“Enchanted Rock”, “In Flight”, “Walking on the Moon”, and the stunning “Unconditional Love”). “Fly-Fishing” shimmers like light dancing off the water. Each and every piece is a glistening gem, and I give Our Time my highest recommendation!
Our Time is currently available in music stores in Austin, Texas and from Hamsa (ancient Sanskrit for “swan”) Music directly at [www.hamsamusic.com].
January 1, 1998