When poet Thomas Hardy wrote ‘On A Fine Morning’ in the early 1900s’, never would he have envisaged his poetry as providing the inspiration for Nathan Spiers latest album some hundred years later.
The piece written by Hardy asks the time old question, ‘What is solace’? His conclusion is that solace is something made up of a little of this and that in the mix of life, which brings eventual contentment and happiness and is all a ‘part of the kindly plan……’
As this collection of songs unfolds, Speirs has taken the metaphor of a little of this and that to create an album which touches on so very many aspects of what could loosely be referred to as ambient music in all its many faceted shades and colours.
Mellow and entrancing Hued Embowment combines piano, cello and singing bowls as an introduction to the seduction to follow, as he adds electronic guitar, rain shakers and a touch of tympani to As We Turn, moving away from the almost hypnotic pull, and feel of the first track.
A dreamy little piece, Good Seasons is paying tribute to yet another aspect of lie, that of the good to be found within the seasons of life. Simply played on acoustic guitar, with a dash of cello’, the music encourages a sense of drifting, relaxing, moving into the total ambience of the moment, season, time or place, bringing with it a great sense of peace and healing.
Shifting the pace up a notch with Passing Charcoal Clouds Speirs introduces a neo classical feel with what can easily be felt as a slightly chunky sound, changing rhythms to create a rather unusual melody which has a definite appeal.
Adding a squeaky chair noise, wind chimes, a spinning piano stool and other selected household noises to a composition truly embraces the philosophy of ‘a little of this and that’ going to make up Serenity In This House which is once again played on piano and nylon stringed guitar, winding its way to a single, pure conclusion!
Ethereal and transcendental notes of guitar and cello blends, underpinned with the haunting sounds of the Native American Flute played so very softly, heralds in the beautiful Praxis, a piece written to encourage listeners to choose a discipline in life and persevere, improve and enjoy the journey of the learning created.
The finale Breathing On This Shore, has been written at ‘62 beats per minute’ as a deliberate aid to meditation to fit in with the ebb and flow of breath, the ebb and flow of the tides or the waves on the lapping at the shore.
His music has as always a beautiful ambience, a delicate richness, creating a reflection on life, an element of choice as to how it is used: as a relaxation before retiring, a meditation on life and living or simply as music to waft in and out of the consciousness at any given time, allowing a munificence of solace to enter and remain in the soul.