2019 / Point of Light Records
Review by Kathy Parsons
Peter Kater’s name has been synonymous with passionate, eloquent piano music for more than thirty-five years. An artist who never stops growing creatively, Kater’s music on Wings reaches new heights as it sings, soars, glides and weeps - definitely some of his best music to date! An artist with more than sixty albums to his credit, Kater has also scored the music for more than 100 television and film productions and has received dozens of awards and honors including 13 Grammy nominations and a Grammy Award for his 2017 album, Dancing On Water. I think this quote from the liner notes of Wings explains the origins of the music beautifully: “As I started to work on this album I noticed a theme in my life of ‘wings’ everywhere. In the art that I was drawn to, the birds that showed up during my time in Nature and the concept or fantasy of having wings emotionally, spiritually and even physically filled my thoughts.” While the piano is front and center in all of ten of the pieces on the album, strings and light orchestration enhance the beauty of some of the tracks. Many of Kater’s albums have been included in my Annual Favorites lists, but I honestly believe that this is my favorite of all of his albums. Overflowing with a wide range of emotions, Wings is “soul” music in the truest sense.
Wings begins with the graceful and elegant “Raven’s Flight,” a piece that captures the effortless sweep of these large birds as they fly from one corner of the sky to another. “Wings of Love” is very free yet passionate with strings and electronic instrumentation adding tonal color and atmospheric sound. “Hold Me Close” reaches even more emotional depth with a simple but very poignant melody that says much more than words ever could. Strings add a romantic element that gives the piece, well, wings! As the piece unfolds, passions rise to a peak and then relax to a soft and quiet close. “Angel’s Nest” is delicate and very open as it expresses tenderness with a beautiful grace. The title track begins gently, conveying the movement of wings. From there, it builds momentum, sometimes soaring and sometimes gliding effortlessly through the air. “Flight” is very powerful and my favorite piece on the album. A bit darker and more dramatic, it makes me think of birds caught in a storm or heavy winds, trying to find shelter and safety. Love it! “Swallow River” paints a musical picture of peace and serenity - smooth as glass and absolutely beautiful. “Remembrance” is very solemn and still, expressing heartfelt feelings of love and loss. “When We Meet Again” is another favorite with powerful emotions coming from deep within the soul - reaching out from one heart to another. “Flight Reprise” is very different from “Flight” in that it is warm, calm and very peaceful - a perfect closing to an amazing album.
I’ve reviewed some incredible albums so far this year, but Wings is definitely one of the best. It is available from Amazon and iTunes as well as most retail outlets and streaming sites. Don’t miss it!
August 15, 2019
Review by Michael Debbage