With world travel all but shut down amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a virtual tour with pianist-composer Jeremy Siskind is highly recommended.
Perpetual Motion Etudes for Piano more than lives up to its name with nine distinct studies (learning them can’t help but improve the technical and improvisational skills of any serious musician) that travel with a seemingly endless flow of creativity—ever at rest until every excursion’s double bar is reached.
“Sometimes I Wander” deftly sets the stage with its energizingly busy lines—at times purposely frantic. The ear is instantly engaged, filled with a flurry of flying fingers that confirms Siskind’s technical prowess and “How about this?” acumen.
The master’s brush can be heard and felt in “Van Gogh’s Dream.” Swirls indeed, with such a soothing, forward-moving musical canvas replete with scale-like constructions that are at one with the notion that no two cobblestones are exactly alike. The build and its resolution are masterfully written and rendered.
An impressive balance of textures and ideas makes “Brooklyn Sunset” an early highlight. Now the epicentre of the planet’s latest calamity, the reflections of the sun’s sinking warmth will light any listener’s imagination. The occasional use of repeated, pedal-like notes contributes to the overall feeling of peace and calm.
Of course, we have all been “Homesick”, many more now even though not far away. This one is filled with thoughtful “hesitato”, understated thoughts and great changes. All of which subliminally combine to ask: “Where are we going?”
“Piccadilly Circus” offers a bounty of arid fun. Just enjoy and savour the side trips to Broadway (and an infectious bass line).
Appropriately delicate, rollicking at times, “Temple Bells” reignited fond memories of Japan (and Thailand more recently). Delicate bits of poignant dissonance only added to the palette.
Most certainly, “Floating” does. In many of its finest moments, Debussy is never far away, gently calming the soul prior to some contrasting jazzy outbursts. The return fits the proverbial glove to a T.
Who says the “Blues” have to be sad. This quasi boogie-woogie has power to burn and enough energy to heat Manhattan for a week!
To conclude, “Enchanted Forest” (what stories remain in the leaves…) brings the traveller home. It always knows where it is going, even with its loose-and-easy feel. Sure, let’s grow together and let music help us all to survive whatever life brings along our trek.
Merci mille fois. JWR