For a man who taught himself the piano, does not own one, just simply borrows someone else’s, this latest stripped back version of Michael Whalen at the keys, Cupid Blindfolded, is a collection of ten tracks, pure in their delivery and composed as a tribute or possibly other, to love. In this instance the piano belongs to Will Ackerman and the album was recorded live.
As an introduction Cupid Blindfolded is a sparse, intriguing piece which could very easily be considered as a bit of a tilt at love, at Cupid the Greek God of desire, erotic love and attraction!
The track titles are also interesting as, when matched to the corresponding pieces, make for many interesting deductions as to their actual interpretation, but as with all music the emotion of each of the pieces is as the listener perceives and the composer constructs.
Sunrise in the Desert is a particularly appealing piece, lighter in context and evocative of the early, early, morning when the sun is just beginning to show that it will soon be here to fill the day with light. Soft, gentle and reflective, the notes of the piano reach out to create the perfection of a new day dawning.
A muse is a source of inspiration for creativity. The Muse, is once again a very intriguing piece. With stripping the music back, there is no place to hide for the creator, as the emotion of the piece is portrayed through the fingers on the keys, the emotion felt at the time of delivery, therefor raising the question what or who is the inspiration behind this very cleverly constructed piece.
An intimate piece, Serendipity, a title which evokes the happiness element of any romance, delivers just that, happiness; a joyful element which invokes the chance element of life and love.
One of the many favourite places of mine is The Isle of Skye, so it was interesting to see what emotions appealed to Whalen when he created this piece. He has captured the elements and emotion that make Skye a very special place; the openness of the landscape, the secretive little villages, the majesty of the Cuillen’s with their brooding drama, the fresh, saltiness of the air, the rich history and the wonderful, peaty warmth of their whisky after a day in the elements. Yet another construct on the element of love!
City of Lights draws a singularly charming concert to a closure, leaving behind a collection of emotions, that of intrigue, enjoyment and discovery as this is a work that demands to be listened to several times to be able to truly understand the simple complexity of the emotions contained within the pieces.
A perfect piece which in today’s world of hustle is refreshing and most enjoyable.