The Language of Flowers
2009 / Calm Records
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Language of Flowers is my first experience with Eric Harry’s music, and what a treat it is! The founder of Calm Radio and Calm Records, the Canadian pianist/composer’s music is an elegant blend of new age and classical styles. The piano is usually the focal point of his music, but most of the fifteen tracks are orchestrated to some degree. Harry is also an award-winning producer of music for Canadian and US TV and radio, providing music and sound design for a wide range of applications. In his two years as a solo artist, Eric Harry has produced eight albums of original music, so he is proving to be a very prolific and extraordinary artist. Lucky us!
I can’t tell you about all of the music on The Language of Flowers, but I’ll describe some of its many highlights. “Aphelion” (the point where the earth is the farthest from the sun) is more ambient than melodic, and the sounds behind the piano create feelings of deep space and icy cold. “Songbird” has more of a folk influence and suggests a soundtrack to a rural scene. As its title suggests, “Rays of Light, Signs of Life” is warm and optimistic. The strings and piano cause emotions to swell to a passionate state and then trail off into bliss - a beauty! “Sun Children” is fully orchestrated with the piano as the focus. The first and last sections are very gentle and serene while the middle is big and cinematic. “Blossoms” is radiant in its simplicity, with piano and strings painting a picture of serene beauty. The title track is one of my favorites. The graceful piano melody is uncluttered and direct with strings softening the percussive edge of the rhythm - gorgeous! “Rain Rain Rain” is a classically-styled waltz for piano with string accompaniment - playful and carefree. “Fluttering” is another quiet piece of extraordinary beauty and grace - very cinematic with a bittersweet touch. “The Scent of Attraction” is also a favorite. I love cello and piano together - a duo capable of breaking your heart and then soothing it back to life. This lovely piece aches with longing and hope as it tells its story. If that song doesn’t dissolve you into a happy puddle, “Dandelion Tears” will. Piano with occasional string accompaniment, it has a gentle energy as well as a compelling sadness - wow! “The Eventuality of Flowers” is piano with gentle, haunting voices in the background, creating a quiet, mournful mood. The solo piano “Requiem” is a powerful expression of grief and loss. The concluding “When Flowers Sleep” returns to gentle ambience depicting graceful, subtle movement and a quiet peacefulness.
The Language of Flowers is brilliant from start to finish. I have five more of Eric Harry’s CDs here to review, and I can’t wait to get into each one! Flowers is available from amazon.com, and cdbaby.com. Very highly recommended!
October 10, 2009