Piano 1 signals a change of instrument for Kevin Kastning, perhaps better known for his more recent compositions using the 36-string Double Contraguitar and 30-string Contra-alto, as well as his previous albums with Sandor Szabo and Balázs Major, Kismaros and Ethereal II.
As with all of his compositions they are vastly different, challenging, almost confrontational, saying ‘dare you to let me take you to a musical place you have not been to before’. As always, his music is inspirational, strangely comforting, reassuring in its spare and yet complex simplicity.
A composer of classical music, Kastning has worked with, and composed for, many solo and chamber music performers over the years as well as building a firmly established background in Jazz and contemporary classical music, all of which manifest on each of his diverse collections in an ‘avant garde’ style.
Once again, his wonderful mastery of improv makes each one of his pieces unique, pushing the defined boundaries of what consists of classical music.
Having his more recent album Ethereal II compared to a high level of improv similar to that of Jazz musicians being in the moment, the vibe, this comparison holds true for this new work, Piano I which can also be compared to a very, almost transcendental level of pure music, pure sound.
The sound is adventurous, a man at one with the piano, allowing the spirit that is there to be recorded, to come into being, there to be enjoyed. Consisting of three Constructions, a Component and an Element, the work is linear, progressing from one stage to another in regulated order, placed in a controlled and definitive order.
Although piano is not a new element to Kastning, recording a solo album on this instrument certainly is a new direction, which will be interesting to see where it leads to in the future.