Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Spotlight: Rural Renewal by Gerhard Daum

Gerhard Daum is a German multi-instrumentalist who’s composed music for film and TV, as well as toured through Europe with his jazz and rock ensemble called Gerhard Daum Quartet. Having formerly lived and travelled in the United States before returning to Berlin, Daum’s latest album, Rural Renewal, draws its inspiration from both the natural scenery and personal experiences of having lived in both countries. An acoustic ensemble album in the contemporary instrumental genre, the compositions incorporate guitar, violin, piano, midi-keyboard and computer programming throughout – with Sarah Piorkowsky and Till Handrick providing additional violin solos on a couple of tracks. Comprised of twelve, all-instrumental compositions spanning approximately thirty-four minutes, most of the songs clock-in at under three minutes, while all them are less than four minutes duration. 

“Best Friends” initially opens the album with plucking keyboard effects that soon unfolds into a festive and warmly upbeat ensemble comprised of acoustic guitar, violin and drums, as a picturesque overview of woodlands and countryside immediately springs to mind. Following next is “Indian Summer” – a slower-paced number and one of my favorites. Here a warm, echoing twang is emitted on the guitar, as it beautifully blends among accompanying violin and a smoothly steady drumbeat. The title piece, “Rural Renewal”, ensues with more classical-tinged guitar and violins that jointly lend it a subtle renaissance flair, as thundering distant drums seemingly feel evocative of travelling along a winding mountain road.

Songs like “Gentle Rain” and “Smooth Sailing” skew a bit more exotic with their subtle world percussive undercurrents and romantic Mediterranean overtones. In subtle contrast, other pieces such as “Heartland” and “Early Sunrise” are seasoned with more Americana flavors that’s characterized by twangier guitar licks and steady soft-rock rhythms, as classical strings imbue them with a touch of graceful elegance.

Thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end, fans especially of warmly melodic, acoustic ensemble music that’s equally rejuvenating and relaxing – while possessing just the right amount of stylistic variety to keep things interesting – will certainly find much to appreciate on this album! ~Candice Michelle

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