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Album Review: Tales of a Summer Past
Nick Davis
Cover image of the album Tales of a Summer Past by Nick Davis
Tales of a Summer Past
Nick Davis
2005 / Nick Davis
43 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Tales of a Summer Past is Australian composer Nick Davis’ third release as a solo artist, and was quite an ambitious project. The album has a very big, symphonic sound created with keyboards and synthesizers, making it classical crossover or “new age” classical or something like that. The music is very structured, both complex and accessible, and a lot of fun to listen to. Most of the tracks are upbeat and sunny, as the title implies, and instrumentation varies from full orchestra to solo acoustic guitar. Elegant and cinematic, “Tales” is a CD for classical music buffs with an adventurous spirit.

The CD opens with “A New Season Dawns,” a piece that is full of optimism and warmth. Fully orchestrated and including piano, this is a very sprightly and joyous piece that sets the tone for the album. “Train To Vienna” has a sense of adventure and fun. A chamber piece for piano and strings, this one reminds me a bit of Austrian artist Agnus Dei. “Moonlight Rendezvous” is a favorite. A bit smaller in scale, it has a dreamy, floating quality that is very beautiful and tranquil. I also really like “Summer Rain,” a piece for piano and orchestra that has an agitated energy that is infectious - this is a downpour, not a delicate summer shower! “Unrequited Love” is much more introspective, and the instrumentation is scaled down to piano with string accompaniment. This one tugs at the heartstrings, but isn’t without hope. Lovely! “Reminisce” begins as an effective acoustic guitar solo, and adds more instruments as it builds. “When a Caged Bird Sings” is another favorite. Bright and carefree, the harmonies and counter melodies in this one are amazing. “A Moment With You” is a sweet acoustic guitar piece whose simplicity makes a nice contrast to the fully orchestrated works, showcasing Nick Davis’ versatility as a composer and musician. The reprise of “Farewell to a Friend” ends this vibrant collection on a bittersweet, heartfelt note.

Tales of a Summer Past is a fascinating musical journey! Samples can be heard and purchases can be made at www.nickdavismusic.com. Good stuff!
February 11, 2005
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