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Album Review: Inscapes
Kate Moody
Cover image of the album Inscapes by Kate Moody
Kate Moody
2007 / CoCo Lounge Presents
51 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Inscapes is Kate Moody’s fourth CD to date, but is a happy first for me. A pianist, composer, conductor, and educator, Moody brings vast musical experience as well as knowledge to her music, making it much more than pop or background music while staying accessible and easy to grasp. Emotionally rich and full of grace, the music is soothing and calming yet complex enough to reveal new things each time it is heard. The title is defined as “the essential quality of a thing, place, person, etc., especially as expressed in an artistic work,” and the music expressed here is both deeply personal and universally understandable. It will quite possibly be one of my favorite albums of the year.

“Flowing” begins the album with a “flowing” left hand and a gentle, graceful melody that builds, almost dancelike, as the piece progresses - gorgeous! Inspired by the canyons of the Santa Monica Mountains in southern California, the middle section, while still tranquil, has a more majestic feeling - a different kind of flow. The third movement is a slower version of the first. “Stream” is another piece with a graceful flow that could be emulating water in nature or the flow of consciousness. “Sparrow” is delicate and somewhat melancholy. Based on a Native American flute tune, the melody occasionally “flies” up near the top of the piano, conveying the sense of freedom. “Dusk” is a bit more abstract and ambient, beautifully illustrating the calm and peace of a setting sun at the end of a day - one of my favorites. I love “Elegy,” a piece composed in memory of “a great cat.” I’ve had a few of those, and losing one can be heartbreaking. The feelings of loss and mourning are in this piece, but there are also happy memories to soothe the pain. This remarkable piece is included in Moody’s “Piano Solos” songbook, and I love playing it as much as I enjoy hearing Moody play it. “Huku Pa’a” is titled for the Hawaiian name for the North Star, a guiding light both literally and metaphorically. The simple closing phrase of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” is a lovely yet whimsical end. “Heart” is a sweet reminder for Moody to experience the warmth of her own heart. Flowing, elegant and very soothing, this is another beauty. “Sweet” closes the CD with a feeling of optimism for the future while appreciating the fullness of the present. Simple and quiet, yet very evocative, this is a lovely way to end an excellent CD.

Inscapes is an outstanding CD in every way, from the cover artwork and informative liner notes to the first note through the last. Discover the music of Kate Moody, and I think you’ll be as moved as I have been. It is available from katemusic.com, cdbaby.com, and iTunes. Highly recommended!
November 17, 2007
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Kathy's Favorites: 2007