Matthew Labarge — Music from the Long Quiet
(Bandcamp no#, 2020, CD / DL)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2020-12-14
Virginia based pianist and composer Matthew Labarge also plays electronics and accordion, situation depending. Music from the Long Quiet is his fourth album of solo piano work, and is certainly appropriately titled, nine tracks of gentle soothing solo pieces that gently caress the listener’s spirit and open the door to perhaps a better world, and lord knows we could probably all use that right now. Much like the cover art that graces the disc, the sounds that Labarge creates here are subtle yet powerful, void of any sharp edges or harsh changes, moving softly with beauty and a sense of melodic purpose, something that can be engaging for the active listener, or suitable for meditation or even slumber for those so inclined. I probably listened to the album beginning to end two or three times before ever noticing the track titles, which seem to suit this music perfectly, titles like “Quiet,” “Longing,” “Regret,” “Redemption,” and “Compassion,” each seeming to have a singular vision and purpose, at least for the composer and performer, though most of the titles could easily apply to any of the compositions herein. All are presented with an abundance of studio ambience and measured variations in shades and shadow, one that might at times fill the room with color and light, and at other times present a haze of elusive beauty. One might play this over and over again until every detail is fully discovered and known, but it’s probably best to get to know the overall feeling it creates and open the box judiciously when needed, though one may tend to want to visit this place often.
Related artist(s): Matthew Labarge
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