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Carolyn Hume: Solo Piano Works

John Eyles By

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For her fifth album since the turn of the millennium, all released on Leo, Carolyn Hume breaks the pattern of the previous four. Firstly, she is no longer paired with drummer Paul May, instead opting to play solo. Secondly, she only plays piano here, rather than adding other keyboards and recorder as before. The pared-back approach suits the music well, showing it off to best effect.

In the past, among other things, Hume's music has been described as "chill out. While it is easy on the ear and unwinds at its own pace without any gratuitous displays of virtuosity or pyrotechnics, it is not easy listening—at least not in the pejorative sense of the phrase. It is music that can be used as background, without causing offence, but the more attention is paid to it, the more it delivers.

The music is "mainly improvised, but it is impossible to detect the joins between sections that are improvised and those that are not. It has an easy, natural ebb and flow. Throughout, it is full of melody and harmony, replete with repetition which recalls Satie, Eno, Harold Budd and various minimalists (and also Lola Perrin, who is currently working in a very similar vein to Hume). The longest track, "Ephemere, is also one of the best, typifying the album's strengths. To hear it, plus tracks from all of Hume's albums, visit Carolyn Hume on the web.

Track Listing: Edge of Restraint; Obsession; In Absence;

Personnel: Carolyn Hume: piano.

Title: Solo Piano Works | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Leo Records

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