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Album Review: Another Place and Time
Heidi Breyer
Cover image of the album Another Place and Time by Heidi Breyer
Another Place and Time
Heidi Breyer
2010 / Winterhall Records
68 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Another Place and Time... is Heidi Anne Breyer’s second release and has been submitted in six categories for the 2011 Grammy Awards. Produced and engineered by the legendary team of Will Ackerman and Corin Nelsen, the sound quality is impeccable and the accompanying musicians are some of the best anywhere. Breyer’s piano-based music includes vocals by herself and Noah Wilding - a haunting combination - as well as duets (mostly) with other instruments. The result is a compelling variation of sounds with a fairly consistent mood of contemplation and reflection. Some of the music was inspired by the paintings of Alexander Volkov, an American/Russian realist, who is also Breyer’s life partner, while other inspiration came from those intimate moments when we return to our true selves. The liner notes include a few of the paintings that inspired the music as well as the lyrics to the songs. It’s a beautiful package, and the album is well worth checking out!

Another Place and Time opens with “All Souls Lullaby,” a gorgeous duet with Jill Haley on English horn. Beginning with an exquisite solo prelude, Haley sets the mood and tonal color. As the piano enters, there is a quiet, even flow of sound that caresses the mind as the piece slowly evolves. “On His Wings” brings in Charlie Bisharat on violin and Jeff Oster on flugelhorn. Dark and very pensive for the first half of the piece, it picks up momentum in the middle and begins to soar, returning later to the somber opening themes - very effective! “Conversation” features Eugene Friesen on cello along with piano and the two vocalists - very haunting yet warm and loving. “American Gothic” was inspired by a painting of the inside of an old barn that has fallen into disrepair. Light filters through holes in the roof and walls, and one senses that this old barn could tell many stories. The piece is a duet with Breyer on piano and Oster with a muted trumpet. Slow and reflective with a touch of reverence, the piece tells a story of its own. “After the Last Rain” is one of two duets with Breyer on piano and Ackerman on guitar - sweet and very peaceful. The title track is a soulful, nostalgic duet with Bisharat - my favorite track. “In a Region of Clouds” puts Ackerman and his guitar in the front with Breyer accompanying on piano - tranquil and soothing! “Off Season” is the only piano solo, and it reminds me just a bit of Erik Satie - simple, melancholy, and delicate. I really like this one, too! “So It Was” is a gorgeous solo guitar piece performed by David Cullen. “Chaconne For Our World” is another favorite. A duet for piano and English horn, the two instruments blend beautifully to express a solemn, if not sorrowful, message. It gives me goosebumps! The final track, “Awakenings,” features piano, flugel horn, and the two vocalists - this time without lyrics. Very smooth, soothing, and open, the album ends as peacefully and beautifully as it started.

Another Place and Time will undoubtedly be on many “best of the year” lists. Hear it for yourself at www.heidibreyer.com, Amazon, CD Baby, and iTunes. Recommended!
October 12, 2010
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