2021 / Sandrose Records
Review by Kathy Parsons
Gerald Krampl's Singularities is a collection of eleven original piano solos, each standing as a "singular" piece of music. All of the music was composed during the 2020/2021 pandemic lockdowns and restrictions, and each piece expresses thoughts and interpretations of experiences in this thing called "life." A classically-trained pianist, Krampl is a lifelong musician who resides in Vienna, Austria and has created a very impressive body of work over the years that ranges from prog-rock to music and poetry with his late wide, Hilde, to soundtracks for films and web presentations to neo-classical, ambient, chamber music and solo piano. The eleven pieces on Singularities reflect Krampl's versatility as a composer and musician as well as his wide-ranging musical background. He has also recorded as part of Kyrie Eleison, Indigo, and Agnus Dei. Krampl composed the music for all three ensembles.
The album begins with "Cloudrider," a dreamy, poignant piece tinged with melancholy and mystery. The beginning of "Childlife" is playful and carefree with a few passages that are somewhat darker and more dramatic. "Compagneros" feels to me like a "song without words," telling a story with the universally-understood language of music rather than lyrics. "Fragment" is one of my favorites. More ambient than melodic, it has a somber stateliness that is both classical and contemporary. "Wayfarer" returns to a lighter tone that conveys feelings of freedom and wanderlust, moving from one theme to the next without any rush. I doubt that there are many of us who haven't longed for the freer times we had before the pandemic put the world on hold, and "Nostalgia" captures those feelings very well. I really like this one, too! "Dusk" seems to express the peaceful nature of the time right after the goes down and the skies turn soft pastel colors - very soft and dreamy. "Kaleidoscope" speeds up the tempo to a quickly swirling pace with constantly changing musical colors that move in all directions and keep changing shape. The album ends with "Condor," an ode to the largest flying land birds in the Western Hemisphere. Smooth and relaxed, I can picture one of these birds cruising through the sky with its huge wings outstretched - an experience I hope to have sometime!
Singularities is available from Amazon, Apple Music/iTunes, Spotify and Bandcamp as well as other streaming sites.
November 3, 2021