Life is a journey best undertaken with a large dose of naiveite, as the pathway is not always as expected, with life’s twists and turns often containing bitter sweet moments of lessons learned, changes accepted and pure joy, all waiting to be discovered.
Over the past five years pianist Cathy Oakes has experienced much of life’s emotion, now reflected in her new album On The Other Side. Each of the pieces have been created in acceptance and respect to the many aspects of her journey over the past years and offer a wonderful, gentle, reflective perspective on a journey followed by all.
Beginning with the heartfelt song Hymn for Peace, this track sets the standard for all the pieces to follow. The beautiful From This Day is in celebration of the marriage of her son. Kessia’s Waltz, a lovely jaunty little piece, is dedicated to her granddaughter Kessia, which comes with an inbuilt smile or two.
The intriguing title Puddle Dance brings with it a range of images; from small children in galoshes jumping in puddles with joy and gay abandon, lost in the moment of time, to adults enjoying a special moment when they to do the same things, snatching a moment from their childhood. A lovely fun piece.
In remembrance of friends who have lost loved ones in is the immensely beautiful Lullaby from Afar, a piece which delights and enchants with its simple melody; a dedication and offering of pure love to the small children, whose lives were all too short.
A longer piece is the once again reflective Ripples On The Water, written in contemplation of the effect of throwing a rock in a still pool of water; the ripples continuing on long after the impact is felt. Used as a metaphor for the actions taken in life and the effect this can cause, this sombre and deeply mediative song this is a piece to be enjoyed slowly and at leisure.
Be Still My Soul is a nicely presented medley of the hymn It Is Well With My Soul and Be Still My Soul, penned in memory of, and favourites of, her mother Trellis McIntyre and precious friend Rhonda Hanson.
Concluding a journey of healing and acceptance is the title track On The Other Side created in homage to her mother’s last words shared, ‘Don’t worry baby. I’ll see you on the other side.’; a piece of acceptance, healing and reverence.
Overall this solo piano work is an absolute delight, best enjoyed when the mood is right for reflection, acceptance, moving on and signing off on so many of the emotions felt and experienced on life’s most intriguing journey – yours!