2003 / Arecano, Inc.
I have to admit that Yrsan Daro’s debut CD, Dreams of Wind and Water
, has me more than a little baffled. It is charting well and is getting good reviews, but the more I listen to it (about ten times so far), the more I wonder why. First, it doesn’t sound like an acoustic piano to me - the instrument has the two-dimensional sound of a keyboard or electronic piano. On the pieces with more synth added, it isn’t as apparent, but some of the music that is described as solo piano sounds flat and a little tinny like an electronic instrument. The pieces are all studio improvisations with a minimal amount of editing, much like Richard Carr’s recordings. Ideas are created before going into the studio, but the pieces are completed “on the fly” with the recording equipment rolling. While I appreciate this approach to creating music, I find that it can be exciting and fascinating in a live performance, but doesn’t hold up very well to repeated listenings. Yrsan Daro is obviously a very skilled player, and this CD has lovely moments, but I can’t say that I like it overall. Daro brings to his music a rich and varied background of many different forms of music from classical to jazz to rock and world music. These influences are all apparent, as is a free-spirited approach to composing. Some of the pieces are peaceful and thoughtful (“Moonlight on the Black Sea,” “Song of the Distant Stream,” “Storm Clearing”) while others are wilder and more impetuous (“Maelstrom,” “Carrara,” “Cascades”). If you like free-form improvisation, this could be a good choice. Dreams of Wind and Water
is available from yrsandaro.com
, cdbaby.com, and amazon.com. Samples are available at these sites, too.