Written on: 01/11/2012
How does an artist, especially a solo artist, create magic with their music? No layered instruments, no fancy studio gimmicks. Just pure, sweet, natural tones and notes arising from, in this case, the grand piano. There are only a handful of notes and they have been played together in millions of combinations since notes were first invented. What makes one series of notes sound more pleasing and special than another?
Paz del Castillo is a solo pianist who puts her fingers on those keys and magic ensues. Some things are not meant to be explained, but merely enjoyed. Her new album is Eleven Drops. Find it.
Del Castillo is one of those musicians who does not feel like she has to play fast to impress the listener, or fill every moment so the audience won’t get bored. She does not play forcefully to get her points across or to wake up the listener. She flows and glides for awhile, and then pauses or plays some simple, meaningful notes that hang in the air by themselves as poignant reminders that simplicity can be beautiful, and then she turns left or right and creates a new section of the piece that takes us to another wonderful place. There is a feeling of the gingerbread house in the forest, enticing us with sweet pleasure, but with an ominous foreboding in the background letting us know that life is not all sunshine and roses.
Del Castillo is a brilliant, fairly-new force in the world of piano music, and she has a lot to offer both the casual and discerning listener. If you are going to take a chance on a new piano album this year, let this be the one.
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