Lubomyr Melnyk: Rivers and Streams (Erased Tapes, 2015)

January 26, 2016 at 10:25 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Lubomyr Melnyk: Rivers and Streams

Lubomyr Melnyk: Rivers and Streams

Ukrainian composer and musician Lubomyr Melnyk is the fastest piano player in the world, and a pioneer of a form of extremely rapid and complex piano playing he calls “continuous music.” He’s been releasing records since the ’70s, but has mostly been under the radar until recent years, with albums on labels such as Important Records and Unseen Worlds. This is his second album for Erased Tapes, and it’s a prime example of his beautiful, delicate yet intense style. The pieces here are all nature themed, specifically water and rainforests, and they have an appropriately natural flow to them. For someone with such impressive technical abilities, he doesn’t sacrifice subtlety, grace, or heart. The pieces seem simultaneously minimalist and maximalist, with a limited palette of sounds cascading and overlapping each other, but without sounding cluttered or random. On this album, he’s joined by guitarist Jamie Perera (on “Sunshimmers” and “Ripples in a Water Scene”) and Korean flautist Hyelim Kim, who adds a haunting dimension of sound to “The Amazon: The Highlands”. “The Amazon: The Lowlands” ends the album with another waterfall-like piece. Highly recommended.

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