Love’s Embrace Ken Townshend 2014 / Lucid Creativity 68 minutes
"Love’s Embrace" is a newly updated re-release of pianist/composer Ken Townshend’s 2009 album by the same name. Some of the pieces have been changed or re-recorded and some are newer compositions. I felt the 2009 version was some of Townshend’s best work to date and this new version is even better. Townshend has adopted the tagline “Gentle Music for Gentle Hearts” and it suits his music perfectly. Very ethereal and “floating,” Townshend plays the main part of most of his music on piano or keyboard and then adds washes of peaceful sounds and reverb that soften the edges and remove the percussive effect of the piano. Sometimes melodic and sometimes more on the ambient side, Townshend’s music is all about his love of gentle feelings and emotions. Some of the music hints at Townshend’s Japanese heritage and adds a unique quality to his compositions and improvisations.
"Love’s Embrace" begins with an improvisation called “My Beautiful Catharina,” named for Townshend’s wife. At just under seven minutes, the piece has time to create a peaceful mood as it evolves and sets the tone for the album. “Feeling the Flow of Love” is a sweetly tender piano solo with a minimum of atmospheric sound behind it. Uncomplicated and from the heart, it soothes the mind as well as the soul. The title track has a warm and graceful shimmer that enhances the gentle melody. “Peaceful Moments” is the perfect name for this daydream of a piece. Like floating on a cloud with a warm spring breeze moving you ever so gently through the sky, this one will definitely calm you for at least its nine-minute duration. “Tears of Joy” is a two-part piano and synth piece that explores the mystery and beauty of happy tears. The blissful “Dreams of You” is expressed with a harp sound that is effortless and oh so peaceful. “Ashley’s Spirit” was orchestrated by one of Townshend’s friends, but doesn’t feel at all out of place among the other tracks. Piano, strings, and woodwinds blend to create a piece that is more upbeat yet still very tender. “It Will Always Be You” is a very gentle and loving duet by Townshend and his wife, Cat - “gentle music BY gentle hearts”!
It’s been a long time between releases for Ken Townshend, and it’s great to have him back with an album of such musical tranquility. "Love’s Embrace" is available from www.kentownshendmusic.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Guaranteed to soothe and calm!
I have been a private piano teacher since 1981. I have been writing reviews for a long time, and have my own review and interview site, MainlyPiano.com. I teach piano in person and online, so now I can … more