Grammy award-winning pianist, composer, author and ever-evolving musician Peter Kater is like a wellspring of flowing water that never runs dry. With over 60 critically acclaimed recordings and compositions to his credit, spanning varied genres from solo piano, new age, and contemporary jazz ensemble to music for full orchestra, film, television and even broadway plays, Peter’s heart remains humble and attentively connected to nature and humanity in all its complex forms.
Peter Kater’s latest album, Soul Story, is a beautiful compilation of solo piano songs and segments he composed in personalized musical sessions which he calls "Piano Readings". For several years now, Peter has been offering improvised pieces of music on a one-on-one basis in person or in digitally remote settings. Essentially, Peter listens intently to the individual’s heart as they share their "soul stories"; allowing for spontaneous inspiration Peter intuitively creates, tailors and weaves melodies into the participant‘s own unique life-journey.
As an added bonus, Peter professionally records each musical "reading" and gives it to the individual so they can listen to it over and over again and be uplifted by the positive energy, reassurance, and clarity channeled through each piano keystroke. Countless testimonies speak for the success of this unique musical experience. He expounds more about that on his website at peterkater.com.
Though I’ve no way of knowing exactly what experience inspired the first track "Starry Night", it reminds me of Vincent Van Gogh’s painting of the same name. There is something about gazing into the vastness of the universe on a clear, starry night that causes one to ponder on the beauty and mysteries of the human experience. Peter conveys this feeling so expertly through this quiet and gentle melody.
Interestingly, as I started to listen to "Touch of Rain", the second track, we got a much needed downpour where I live. A coincidence I’m sure but I’d like to think the song had something to do with it too! Music, like prayer, can breach the boundaries of time and distance.
The creative improvisations on the album vary in tempo and depth and range in intensity from cheerful, to melancholy, from vulnerable like in "Find Me" to determined and sure in "The Path is Clear"; from introspective to expressive, and it is evident that Peter allows the piano to follow the promptings of his heart in each song.
"Full Circle“ is a truly exquisite piece and my favorite track on the album. The piano keys in gentle circular motion, form a lovely reflective melody conveying a feeling of completeness which the song title seems to imply. Rounding out a truly therapeutic, peaceful listening session is another lovely tune titled simply "United", reminding us that we are all somehow interconnected in our life experiences, and we all have our "soul stories".
~Lissette Cascante for Auralscapes