Surviving the Storm Paul Meadors 2013 / Awkward Boy Productions 44 minutes
"Surviving the Storm" is the debut recording by Paul Meadors, an elementary school teacher and the author of Letters to eBay (under the pseudonym Art Farkas, “America’s Top Cyber-Prankster”) as well as a composer/pianist. Once he discovered the magic of the piano in high school, Meadors became a self-taught musician. The album is comprised of twelve tracks, all of which are original compositions; two are improvisations and the others have passages that are improvised. Longtime friend Kevin Memley orchestrated most of the pieces and recorded the album. Meadors states in the liner notes: “Surviving the Storm is in essence about the music. Each song serves an emotion-filled purpose.” A big fan of soundtrack music, Meadors’ sound is often big and cinematic, expressing emotions that everyone has experienced and can identify with.
"Surviving the Storm" begins with a thunder clap and the title song, a passionate and dramatic piece that conveys a mix of emotions, most of which are rather turbulent and unsettled. “The Proposal” was composed in 1999 for Meadors’ future wife and was performed right before he proposed to her. Softer and more lyrical, the instrumentation on this one is mostly piano and strings - and apparently it was successful! “First Rain” is a favorite. Piano, flutes, strings, and other orchestral instruments create images of rain from a gentle drizzle to a downpour, and express feelings of refreshment and renewal. I also really like “Transcendence,” which features more solo piano. Some passages are orchestrated and are a bit more energetic than the solos - a fascinating piece from beginning to end! “A Hope Rewarded” is the first of the improvisations. It begins as a piano solo, adding a cello later in the piece and creating a graceful, dreamy duet - another favorite. “Breeze” is the other improvisation and is more orchestrated than “A Hope Rewarded.” “Daybreak” is the peaceful and colorful soundtrack to a beautiful sunrise. Flutes, strings, and harp join the piano in suggesting images in warm, glowing shades of pink, orange, and yellow. “Afterlife” brings this promising debut to a close with a soft chord progression played on piano and harp.
"Surviving the Storm" is available from PaulMeadors. com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Check it out!
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