Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Spotlight: Moonlight in Empty Rooms by Heidi Breyer

Music and imagery have long complimented and even depended upon one another, with both artistic expressions often enhancing the perception that one has upon the other. Titled Moonlight in Empty Rooms, the latest album by pianist-composer Heidi Breyer beautifully embodies this wonderful creative synergy. Inspired by the fine art of acclaimed painter Alexander Volkov, the album is comprised of twelve pristinely elegant and emotionally reflective compositions. Each piece is accompanied in the liner notes by one of Volkov’s gorgeous paintings, while Breyer is joined throughout by distinguished violinist Charlie Bisharat, who lends an additional classical element to the compositions. Both Breyer and Volkov wrote the album’s poetically beautiful liner notes, while the album itself was produced by Breyer, Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton, with Eaton having engineered, mixed and mastered the final recording. Also included is a DVD of music and paintings that can be further appreciated in tandem.

The opening piece, “Unfinished Conversation”, seemingly begins like an ending, or perhaps that of picking up at some point from where having left off. Wrapped in a sentimental poise, the lovely composition is tenderly carried along by the graceful pairing of piano and violin – each lingering note like a gentle brushstroke upon an aural canvas. The next couple of pieces, “Autumn Snowfall” and “Autumn in Bruges”, make for a lovely pair – both rendering sonically their respective paintings that are detailed in the liner notes. “Autumn Snowfall” – a composition centered upon the seasonal transition of Fall to Winter – conveys a more contemplative, solitary mood – while “Autumn in Bruges” comparatively relates a feeling of personal interaction and romantic companionship with its serenading semi-waltz motif.

The album’s title piece, “Moonlight in Empty Rooms”, is a pinnacle moment of compositional beauty and emotional expression. One of my favorites, I especially love the wistful touch of the violin which beautifully compliments the flowing dynamism of the piano, as the piece ebbs and flows with alternating currents of languor and liveliness. Transitioning into the Spring season, “Eastertide” aptly captures a sense of joyful peace as sparkling notes convey sunshine rays and blossoming fields. The following piece, “Rainy Day”, feels both contemplative and leisurely, with its languidly-paced piano and solemn procession of violin.

Another favorite composition is the second-to-last track, “Faith”, which is also the lengthiest at just over eight minutes. A song of searching and steadfastness, this distinctly classical-flavored piece is comprised of four variations that give it a metamorphosing and journey-like quality. Likewise showcasing some of Heidi’s most impressive piano work, cascading keys are brushed lightly by tender violin throughout – ultimately resulting in a memorably heartfelt and prepossessing composition.

Cozily intimate, romantic and even nostalgic at times, Moonlight in Empty Rooms is a calmly introspective album that feels connected to the home and its immediate surroundings of seemingly quaint towns and natural countryside. In addition to Heidi Breyer’s own compositional gifts and command of the piano, Charlie Bisharat’s enchanting performance on violin takes these lovely pieces to another level of appreciation – with the marriage of these two instruments proving all that was needed to make musical magic happen! ~Candice Michelle

For more information please visit the artist's website. This album is also available at Amazon, iTunes, CD Baby and Google Play.