Having watched this album from solo pianist Pam Asberry unfold over the past year, waiting with keen interest to see what her third solo album would contain, The Presence of Wonder simply goes on to underscore the many tributes and awards received for her first album Seashells in My Pocket, released in 2017 and then Thankful Heart, Joyful Mind in 2018.
As a musician coming into composition late in her stellar career, her work is reflective of the art of Thankfulness and the joy of wonder at the beauty to be found in the simple things in life, as the title of each track reveals. Each of the pieces is a complete and most enjoyable peek into wonder, joy, sorrow and so many of the lessons learned on life’s pathway.
The Presence of Wonder as the introductory piece, presents a real treat for fans of solo piano as it seems to say, come in, welcome, spend a little time with me. Contemplative and relaxing this is a delightful beginning to a gracious album.
Drifting along, the flow of the music gently ushers in the delicate and beautiful piece Lullaby for Mackenzie, a tribute to her daughter Mackenzie Colleen Geyer (4-10 May 1994;) here for such a short time but so very cherished.
Surrender uses the range of the piano as a metaphor for denial and then eventual acceptance. Commencing with some serious bass keywork representing the dark moments of the soul, the work slowly moves into a mellow, contemplative element before eventually finding peace. Surrender will resonate deeply.
A favourite is Devotion, a lovely upbeat piece that lifts the heart and brings with it rays of sunshine and happiness – delightful, carefree, devoted to the canine companions who bring, joy, love and a happiness into so many lives.
Bringing to a soft close the mediation of NOW is simply divine; soft, gentle and a reminder that no matter what life offers up, it is important to remember that nothing lasts forever, that to live in the moment is all important.
Glorious and gentle, this album is a real treat and one to be savoured slowly.