Sean Christopher (McGee)
2018 / StarMan Music
Review by Kathy Parsons
Time is the second album from pianist/composer Sean Christopher, following his 2016 debut, Mystique. (To avoid confusion with another artist with the same name, Sean uses “Los Angeles” after his name or “McGee,” his real last name.) Inspired in part by time travel, the eleven original instrumental tracks on Time share a common theme of time and the stories it can tell. The music is varied in mood and styling and features piano, viola and other instrumentation plus wordless vocals, (all or mostly digital). The sound is full and cinematic with rich emotional expression and is intended to enhance and stimulate listeners’ imagination. Because of the visual quality of his music, it is no surprise to learn that Sean has been involved in filmmaking for several years and is also a painter and photographer.
Time begins with “Nostalgia,” a wistful, dreamy piece that starts out as a piano solo. Viola is added at the first repeat of the theme, and then more orchestration and voices are added as the piece evolves - haunting and very beautiful. “The Frozen Lake” becomes livelier and more animated with piano, viola and the sound of wind. Much of the piano part is played in the upper octaves, creating a feeling of icy brittleness. I really like the contrast of the lively piano and mournful viola. The piano on “Just a Matter of Time” has a gentle, rolling energy contrasted with the smoothness of the strings. “The Forgotten”is one of those pieces that can really get under your skin. It would be incredible behind the closing credits of a sad or tragic movie. Dark, intense and very emotional, it’s one of my favorites. I also really like “Evolution,” with its driving beat behind piano, strings, voices and atmospheric sounds. “A Bridge to the Past” is one of the more delicate pieces, this time for piano and voices, with viola entering at about mid-song along with some percussion. “Leap of Faith” is much more atmospheric and ambient, gradually building and then fading away. “Paradox” begins as a long drum solo on what I interpret as Native American instruments. Drums and percussion stay in front as other sounds are added - some are nature sounds and others are more atmospheric - a very interesting and intriguing piece! “Time To Say Farewell” is quite an appropriate title for the closing piece! Very dark and mournful, piano, strings, guitar and voices tug at the heart while expressing deep emotions.
Sean Christopher has created a powerful and compelling album with Time, which is available from his own website, Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby. Recommended!
May 15, 2018