Piano-Heaven Award Winner:

Piano by the Sea

(No composer given)

Global Journey

  2009

www.global-journey.com

 

  

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The option of being able to sample tracks in-store has never been put to better use than with this CD for this reviewer. Picture the scene: a somewhat run-down gift store in the Lake District, England, and amongst lots of seemingly random goods in an environment which has certainly seen better days, sits a display of Global Journey music neatly presented and with the option of listening to tracks there and then via the 'Audio Showcase'. Being something of a piano aficionado, I was immediately drawn to the CD, 'Piano by the Sea’ by Global journey, with its appealing cover of a beach that most certainly is not part of the Irish Sea coastline! The sun is cleverly used to give the 'O' of 'Piano' a sparkle; a glint to capture the reader's eye.

 

So, just who are Global Journey? They're an international company with offices in America and England (Manchester). Upon reading the insert, I immediately liked their philosophy to their music:

"At Global Journey, we believe that simple, honest pleasures and the most rewarding, and often simple, uncomplicated music can weave a subtle yet profound feeling of wellbeing."

The insert continues:

"Great musicians are a rarity, but once you find them, the rest is easy- we take their great music, add some inspiring artwork, manufacture to the highest specifications and voila, no great marketing ploys or sales techniques, just great music and our reliance on old-fashioned word-of-mouth to promote the albums."

 

I have to be honest; I did not hold out much hope for this CD. Past experiences of CDs on display boards in New-Agey type shops have not been good, but I was in for a very pleasant surprise. I listened to the first track, 'Orithyia by Moonlight' and thought, "I'm having this!" As the track opens, you hear the sound of waves rushing onto a rocky beach, before receding and leaving mini plunge-pools frothing frantically before the next wave imminently arrives. After a few seconds, a gorgeous piano melody is introduced. Gentle, appealing and perfect for relaxing one's mind and body. The waves take something of a back-seat allowing the piano to take centre-stage, but the sound of gushing water is always present in the background. Each track in this excellent CD is dedicated to a Sea Nymph who, in Greek Mythology, guided and protected sailors. Athenians apparently offered sacrifices to Orithyia in their attempt to protect their sailors and ships from the elements.

 

The second track is entitled, 'Dreaming of Callianassa'. I don't know anything about this Sea Nymph, but a more relaxing, pleasing melody you'd be hard-pressed to find. It is lovely, with a particularly gentle ending. The waves rush in once more, before the listener is introduced to 'Eudore Waves' (sometimes spelt Eudora). It means 'Good Gift', and as one of my favourite tracks on the entire CD, it most certainly is that. This piece is very uplifting, positive, and is 'feel-good' music at its best. I adore this track!

 

The fourth composition is another favourite. It is entitled 'Ode to Nemertes', with Nemertes apparently being the wisest of a set of sisters. This track is gentler than its predecessor but equally as beautiful. Tracks such as this one would be a spa owner's delight, allowing the listener to drift away with their thoughts. The melody is angelic, and the notes are as graceful as the ocean itself. Take a listen for yourself to the entire track by clicking the piano to the right.

 

'Playtime for Pasithea' is also a heavenly composition. More laid-back, this piece apparently takes its name from the Nereid meaning 'all-divine'. This perfectly sums-up how this listener feels about this music.

 

Onto Track six, 'Dione's Prayer'- Dione being another one of the Nereides known as 'the Divine'. It is a delightful piece which oozes beauty from its start to its grand finish.

 

The seventh track, 'Amathia's Rainbow' is less melodic than the other pieces, and has a slight jazzy feel to it. It's quite a moody track; you might almost hear this one in a downtown bar somewhere in New Orleans.

 

The beauty returns with the eighth composition, 'Charming Melite'- the Nereid of calm seas. The words 'charming' and 'calm' are two suitable adjectives to describe this lovely piece which relaxes and charms in equal measure.

 

'Galatea's Dance' (or Galateia)- pays tribute to the Nereid of the 'milky-white sea foam', as described in Greek Mythology. I like this piece very much- it is a bit moodier, but holds a certain appeal to the discerning ear.

 

This superb album's penultimate track is entitled 'Calypso Dreams'. Calypso lived on the island of Ogygia, and was the daughter of the Titan Atlas. The piece effortlessly soothes with its slow tempo and graceful playing.

 

'Piano by the Sea' concludes with 'Secrets of Maera'. She was the Nymph of the dog-star Seirios who, legend has it, when she rose with the sun, brought on the heat of midsummer. The piece has quite a foreboding start, but It is another beautiful composition, and brings the album to a fitting close.

 

I am immensely impressed with this album, and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys relaxing, melodic piano music with the sound of Nature in the background (the sea). All eleven tracks are solo-piano, and each piece, rather like the Sea Nymphs featured, is quite unique making for a particularly satisfying listening experience.

 

Oddly, no mention is made of the composer of these tracks, but whoever it may be, should stand up, take a bow, and accept the heart-felt applause from this reviewer.

 

'Piano by the Sea' is an original and fascinating CD, and is more than a worthy addition to anyone's piano collection. An excellent album, and whilst Global Journey's admirable approach to publicity is to rely on 'word-of-mouth', perhaps this review will help introduce a wider audience to a wonderful album and company. 

 

Please be aware there are a number of piano albums with this title, so do be sure to select the correct one (the image of the CD should assist in this, and remember it is published by Global Journey)

S.C.

 

 

 

 

 

Pachelbel Ocean

Piano by the Sea

Global Journey

 

 

Listen to

the entire fourth track:

Ode to Nemertes

 

Click the piano