For the past several years, it seems that the first review I’ve written each year was for a new album by pianist/composer Kathryn Kaye. I really can’t think of a better way to start the new year! Kathryn Kaye has the most incredible velvet touch on the piano keys I have ever heard. Songs of Changing Light
is her seventh album in as many years and is a compilation of fourteen pieces inspired by light and nature. The pieces were chosen from each of Kaye’s previous six albums, and this time they are all presented as piano solos. What an amazing treat this music is - from one heart to another with grace, beauty and that amazing touch. I have always enjoyed the additional instrumentation from Will Ackerman’s very impressive crew of artists, but Kaye’s music in solo form is so delicate, expressive and intimate. Even though it’s my first review of the year, I can promise that Songs of Changing Light
will be on my Favorites list for 2018!
The album begins with “Winter’s Deepest Sleep” from Kaye’s 2017 release, Reflected In a Flowing Stream
. As a solo, the beauty of Kaye’s lyrical melody and expressive touch gently soothe and caress the senses. “Summer Afternoon” is languid and lazy, feeling something like a sweet daydream. “Taos Song” was one of my favorites from Kaye’s 2010 debut, Dreaming Still
, and I like it even better as a solo. The title song from her 2011 Heavy As a Feather
effortlessly drifts on the gentlest of breezes - perfection! “Distances” expresses feelings of longing with a delicate melancholy. “A Lark In the Last Light of Day” makes almost as much use of the space between the notes as the notes themselves - very Impressionistic and elegant. “Willow Waltz” is one of my all-time favorite Kathryn Kaye pieces. Delicate, graceful and bittersweet with a hypnotic slowly-swirling melody, I just love this one! “Adrift in Fading Light” is another favorite, also from Patterns of Sun and Shade
(2015) - melancholy, and very poignant. “There Was a Time” seems to be a fairy-tale of sorts told without words. Who needs words with an expressive touch that says so much? I’d be very hard-pressed to choose a favorite between “Willow Waltz” and “Arctic Night,” the closing track on the album. Fortunately, I don’t have to choose, so I won’t. Both pieces are amazing and paint very different pictures. You can almost feel an icy wind in “Arctic Night” as well as experiencing the profound silence of falling snow.
This is my favorite of Kathryn Kaye’s albums so far! If you are new to her music, this is an excellent place to start. If you have any or all of her previous albums, this one is a must! It is available from https://www.kathrynkaye-music.com/latest-release
, Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby. I give Songs of Changing Light
my highest recommendation!