2012 / Laura McMillan
"Linger Longer," pianist/composer Laura McMillan’s second solo piano CD, is a collection of twelve original compositions. Dedicated to the memory of her mother, Maureen Serres, the album also contains “Wings,” a piece McMillan composed the night her childhood friend’s son was shot in the head by a neighbor boy. McMillan has donated all proceeds from this piece to help the Stokes family with their medical expenses, and has also performed a benefit concert to help raise funds for Austin’s ongoing care. While these events bring great sadness, the music never dissolves into despair, but is reflective and hopeful. Laura McMillan is a prominent piano teacher in the Portland, Oregon area with a strong background in classical music as well as a great love for Broadway show tunes and the artists from the Windham Hill era. These varied influences give McMillan much to draw on to create her own musical voice.
"Linger Longer" begins with “The Window,” a piece as soft and gentle as a daydream. The strong melody suggests possible lyrics, but none are necessary to express the grace and beauty of this piece. “December 12th” picks up the tempo a bit, alternating between a slower theme and a very lively one. Perhaps December 12th was the date of a Christmas student recital and the piece expresses a mix of excitement and dread (I remember those feelings well)! “With All My Heart” is a graceful and heartfelt ballad - a favorite. “Empty” is grief set to music, but there is always a ray of hope shining through. “Dear Heaven” begins with a very dark intro, but softens to a quieter more prayer-like voice. As the piece evolves and develops, it becomes lighter and more joyous. The title track refers to an old sea captain’s house on Cape Cod that McMillan and her mother stayed in often, sharing time together and the beauty of the ocean. “Without You” is a tender good-bye and a gorgeous celebration, reflecting the mixed emotions that come in rapid succession in times of great loss. I really love this piece! “Wings” also spills over with emotion, and McMillan says that her motivation in writing this piece was: “The greatest mistake you can make is to do nothing, because you can only do a little.” What a wonderful gift to a young boy who nearly lost his life because of a momentary mistake that was not even his own. I don’t know where the title for “Raspberry Rain” comes from, but I like it! Lively, swirling, and upbeat, it’s an effervescent ending to a most enjoyable album!
"Linger Longer" is a beautiful follow-up to Without Words, and is available from www.perhapspiano.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Recommended!
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