"Tree Spirits" is the fifth of Eric Harry's CDs that I've reviewed recently, and you'd think that after awhile the music would all start sounding the same - not so! Each of Harry's albums has a distinctive sound and mood, and all are quite different from each other. There are two versions of "Tree Spirits" - this one, which is solo piano, and a symphonic version which features spoken poetry over the music (review coming very soon!). The solo piano version is perhaps the darkest and moodiest of Harry's albums so far, but it is also stunningly beautiful and very haunting.
"Tree Spirits" begins with "Silver Stream, a quiet meditation that creates a pensive mood of reflection and deep emotion. "Unrequited" goes even deeper, with an intensity on a par with Chopin. It is very spare and almost ambient, conveying a feeling of loss and solitude. "Tiny Icicles" lightens the mood considerably - delicate, graceful, and chilly. Even though the icicles are sparkling and small, they still have an edge and a bite. "Northern Lights" is an amazing piece. Beginning with glass armonica, which creates a very strange yet beautiful sound, we are pulled into a setting of wonder and awe. Bitter cold surrounds us as vivid colors dance in the sky. The armonica is used in other parts of the piece to create atmosphere and a sense of vast open sky. Wow! "Spiritual Passage" is played mostly in the mid and upper registers of the piano - dancing and free yet mysterious. "Indian Summer" is my favorite track. Beginning with plucked piano strings and the glass armonica (both performed by Harry), there is a shimmering effect as the various harmonies merge. As the piano comes in, its voice is almost mournful. The emotional impact of this piece is amazing. Over the course of 7 1/2 minutes, Harry takes you on an emotional excursion that will leave you breathless. "Sunlit Shadows" is very spare and evocative - quiet and calm, but not quite at peace. "Ice Boating" paints a picture of sparkling cold. Percussive notes dancing around on the piano keyboard invite and chill at the same time. I need something hot to drink to warm up now!
"Tree Spirits" is another incredible album from Eric Harry, an artist who seems to have appeared out of nowhere. I predict he will be a major name in new age/new classical music in a very short time. Very highly recommended!
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About the reviewer
Kathy Parsons (kathypiano)
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
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