There is A LOT of amazing music out today (see: albums from Shirely Collins, Clark, Bayonne and others) but the one right at the top of my listening list is Gia Margaret’s Romantic Piano. Deeply atmospheric and with a tactility that grounds its otherwise dreamy, almost lullaby-esque qualities, the dozen songs are some of the most delicate and emotive you’re likely to hear all year. City Song is pretty much the only non-instrumental track on the album – save for a few crackly samples and textures found elsewhere – but even before the vocal arrived it had me in pieces. Welcome back Gia, we’ve missed you.
Tag: modern classical
Spencer Doran – Title Screen
It’s been a crunchy old start to the week after a genuinely blissful weekend, but this is deeply relaxing stuff from Spencer Doran that’s making me feel – if not brilliant – then a bit more chill about everything. Taken from his album SEASON: A letter to the future (OST) – a soundtrack to a video game about preserving the natural world – you don’t need the accompanying visuals to be fully immersed in its gentle, meditative atmosphere.
Gia Margaret – Cicadas
If I had a musical wishlist for 2023, Gia Margaret releasing an album called Romantic Piano would be very near the top of it. Due 26 May, the double A-side Cicadas / Hinoki Wood is out now, and follows in a similarly beautiful, subdued vein as her incredible 2020 LP Mia Gargaret. Roll on sad boy/girl summer.
Steve Gunn, David Moore – Libration
I posted about the lead single from this album, Let The Moon Be A Planet – a collaboration between guitarist and songwriter Steve Gunn and pianist and composer David Moore of Bing & Ruth – back in January, and was very much looking forward to its arrival. It landed last week, and hasn’t disappointed. The album initially took form over a series of remote sessions and was completed once Gunn and Moore got together in Hudson, New York. If you’re feeling in any way stressed at all, this will help.
Steve Gunn & David Moore – Over the Dune
Announced today, the forthcoming Let the Moon Be a Planet is the first volume of Reflections, a series of contemporary collaborations between guitarist and songwriter Steve Gunn and pianist and composer David Moore of Bing & Ruth. Over The Dune is the first single, and guess what? It’s lush.
Erik Hall – Canto Ostinato (Sections 17-30)
Canto Ostinato is the new volume of classical minimalism from musician and producer Erik Hall. Written for four pianos in 1979 by Dutch composer Simeon ten Holt, the piece is freshly framed as an intimate, hour-long solo performance consisting of multitracked grand pianos, electric piano, and organ, with Sections 17-30 out now ahead of the full album. For fans of Steve Reich, Philip Glass and meditative modern classical in general.
Duval Timothy – Drift feat. Lamin Fofana
While producing his new album Meeting with a Judas Tree, Duval Timothy made a point of being in nature as much as possible, immersing himself in various habitats from South London and the hills surrounding Bath to scrubland in Ghana and the woods of Sierra Leone, taking recordings of birds, insects, monkeys, bats, plants, trees, stones on his phone, many of which made it into the final version. The result is a deeply immersive, meditative album which flits between electronic experimentation, jazz and modern classical, culminating with the sparse beauty of Drift.
This is the lead single from Micah Frank and Chet Doxas’s forthcoming LP The Music of Hildegard von Bingen Part 1, which lands in November. Ave Maria combines a masterful harp performance from Mary Lattimore with Doxas’s meandering woodwind, gently billowing electronics and the late addition of a softly pulsing kick drum. Deep chill.
Clare Bigley – Solitude (Ambient Version)
After the potential for anxiety-inducing trauma inflicted by yesterday’s post it’s time to cleanse your aural palettes with one of the most relaxing pieces of music imaginable. Unless you find birdsong triggering, in which case probably skip this one. Originally released as a solo piano piece last year, Bigley produced this new version as she “felt like I could even create a further feel of a haunting ethereal quality by adding a couple more layers.” Success.
Mabe Fratti – Aire
This came out close to a year ago as one of the tracks on Mabe Fratti’s album Será que ahora podremos entendernos, however it’s one of the most extraordinary pieces of music I’ve heard for a while so wanted to bring it to as many people’s attention as possible. The Guatemalan musician combines raging synths and layered feedback with her incredible mastery of the cello to create a singular sound that ranges from the super-chilled meditations of track like Mil Formas de Decirlo to the almost unbearable tension of Aire. Honestly, I don’t know how I missed this when it came out, but I’m very glad I’ve found it now.