kinetoscope five :: 015 :: four brilliant piano ambient collaborations

I love piano, I love ambient, I love drones, I love... well so much music it's silly.  But piano is my first love. I've been playing since I was 5. It's a part of me both physically when I play - it's like an extension of my body, and for lack of a better word... "spiritually". Piano is in my soul.

Here are four piano ambient albums - all collaborations that I've played a ton of times each... that all move me in different ways.  They share a few similarities... they all make use of sparse melodic piano lines - leaving plenty of space for the piano to linger.  Plenty of space for the background and the music surrounding and interacting with the piano to come forth. There's breath here, there's life.

James Johnson & Robert Scott Thompson - Forgotten Places

This is elegant ambient defined. Beautiful piano, beautiful backgrounds, beautiful spaces between the notes, a completely enjoyable, dare I say... beautiful experience. I've listened to this album many times since I got this, sheesh, a decade ago? Beautiful. I know I said "beautiful" too many times... I'm a musician, not a reviewer!

Bruno Sanfilippo & Matthias Grassow - CROMO piano and drones

Here again - the space is the key... Bruno's piano is never overbearing... plenty of room for everything to breathe. He takes his time. Matthias' drones are exquisite creating the perfect backdrop for the piano. 

Harold Budd & Brian Eno - The Pearl

No piano / ambient album list would be complete with this piece of utter perfection.  Classic, amazing. It deserves to be on all those "best of" lists I see it on.  I love it. I love Plateaux of Mirror as well.

Adam Williams & Leonardo Rosado - Take This Longing

Adam playing piano here - and once again - fulfilling my desire for piano melody with plenty of space, patience, purposefulness.  On the other hand, Leonardo Rosado doesn't simply drift along in the background here, his processing and glitchery fades in and out and the two musicians intertwine and have a musical conversation.




image:  Heidi took this shot of me playing piano - 


Views: 159

Tags: kinetoscopefive

Comment by John K-N on August 8, 2012 at 2:55pm

I'm listening to Max Richter's - The Blue Notebooks - and the piano in that is just jaw dropping amazing. It's not purely a piano album (although there is lots of piano) - but wow - if you've not heard this you are missing out.

Comment by Eric Jackson on August 8, 2012 at 9:30pm

The piano is an unbelievably elegant instrument capable of so much. Great post. I'll have to familiarize myself with the albums you mentioned.

Are you familiar with Michael Harrison's piano album "Revelation"?

Comment by S. K. Yeatts on August 8, 2012 at 9:54pm

John: 99.99% of your posts are right on the money - however, the inclusion of Adam Williams & Leonardo Rosado’s "Take This Longing" with the other three stellar achievements and ambient oeuvres you mentioned is misplaced (to put it nicely). Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, (that is one of the reasons I love the RM site) - but putting Williams & Rosado’s work up with "Forgotten Places"; "CHROMO Drones" & (possible the best ambient work ever) "The Pearl" - is like insinuating Bob Dylan is in the class of a Mozart (or a Steve Roach, keeping with the ambient genre)!   I always enjoy your posts, but this one was somewhat misleading (IMHO...)… Tell me if you think I missed your point!

Comment by John K-N on August 9, 2012 at 6:40am

I loved your response to this!  This is one of the core amazing things about music - the divergent opinions.

We can't all agree - and I do truly like Take This Longing.  No it does not have the level of amazingly pristine production the other three have.  It's much rawer.  I enjoy the album a lot and it's survived many an iPod "purge" to make room for other albums.  So I stand by my enjoyment and recommend the album.


Comment by John K-N on August 9, 2012 at 6:42am

Eric - no I'm not familiar with Michael Harrison...  I'll check that out soon!


You need to be a member of Relaxed Machinery to add comments!

Join Relaxed Machinery

© 2015   Created by John K-N.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service