Friday, October 20, 2017
Review: Serenity by Michael Kollwitz
Right from the opening piece, “Mountain Sanctuary”, it’s the beautifully calm and intimate melodies themselves that emerge as the most captivating element on the album – expressed through the vehicle of Michael’s equally beautiful instrument. Evocative of the sand and sea, the listener’s mind is easily transported to a Polynesian paradise via the leisurely arrangements of softly layered textures and atmospheric tones. Providing a listening space in which to relax and unwind, these lulling soundscapes can be appreciated as either background music or via active listening engagement. The song titles themselves suggest themes of both landscape and life experiences – such as the composition, “A New Life”, which inspires a sense of hope and remembrance; “Quiet Full Moon”, an introspective piece that portrays a scene of the lunar light reflecting upon the waters; or “Joyful Reunion”, which elicits a gentle mood of winding down after seaside festivities. One of my favorite melodies on the album is that of “Simple Pleasures”, which seemingly sways and gently rolls like ocean waves in the glow of a setting sun.
Amazed by how this rather simple looking instrument can produce these subtly dimensional soundscapes, Serenity perfectly showcases the sheer sonic beauty and gentle emotional expression of which the Chapman Stick is capable. For those unfamiliar with the body of Michael Kollwitz’ work, this album is a most excellent starting point, as well as easily his finest, thereby offering a suspended moment to get lost in, where the blue seas, clear skies and cool breeze is seemingly endless! ~Candice Michelle
For more information, please visit the artist's website. This album is available at Amazon and other retail & streaming platforms.
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