Contemplation (solo piano version)
2020 / Louismusic
Review by Kathy Parsons
The solo piano version of Louis Colaiannia’s Contemplation album is an interesting contrast and very beautiful companion to the the ensemble version. The two versions combined are considered to be a double album, but since both are only available as digital downloads, you can pick and choose specific tracks or download one version or both. Contemplation is Colaiannia’s fourteenth album and is quite a bit quieter and more subdued than some of his previous recordings. The most dramatic difference between the two recordings is the song “Believe in Peace,” which features the voices of children from around the world on the ensemble recording. On the solo version, it is just piano, and it’s still very moving!
Contemplation begins with “The River,” a relaxed and flowing piece that is something of a daydream set to music. Quite a bit of the right hand of the piece is played at the upper end of the piano keyboard, suggesting sparkles of light dancing on the flowing water. I don’t think any musical instrument describes rain better than the piano does, and Colaiannia makes full use of that capability in “Gentle Rain” with lots of arpeggios that run up and down the piano at various speeds. Sometimes very quick and sometimes slow with pauses between the notes, the free and easy style is refreshing! The solo version of the title track is even darker and more introspective than the version with cello, conveying the emotions of someone lost in very deep thought. “After Goodbye” has a poignant and slightly bittersweet feeling that comes from exploring inner thoughts and emotions. “Mystic Nights” has an easy tempo with a dark and mysterious atmosphere that also feels very internal - deep thoughts in the middle of a sleepless night. “What If” is a question people often ask while contemplating recent events or life in general, and this piece varies from very quiet and peaceful to more powerful and passionate. I think “I Am” is my favorite track on this album. Feelings of solitude and stark aloneness belie the minimalistic approach to this heartfelt piece. “Forbidden Feelings” is much bigger and more dynamic, bringing the album to powerful close.
Contemplation (solo piano version) is available on Amazon and iTunes as well as several streaming sites.
January 10, 2020