Una Corda is the latest album from pianist-composer Peter Colclasure. It is also a playground for the imagination; the kind of encounter which almost knowingly taps into personal thoughts and evokes rich emotions with warmth and individuality.
Currently based in San Jose, California, Colclasure plays piano at the New Ballet School, in addition to teaching at Evergreen Studio of Music and the Arts. He also plays with several groups, including Cola, the Jean Jackets, the Rose Peddlers, and the Vanities and occasionally performs with ground-breaking artist Cellista with visits to Seattle to record and perform with the Foghorns.
Una Corda is the successor to the acclaimed 2019 album, Long Form, and was written and recorded during the winter of 2019-20 before the world was consumed by a certain pandemic. Written, performed, recorded and mixed by Colclasure on his laptop, the album was mastered by Kenny Schick at Basement3Production with its sound and aesthetic inspired by the works of Max Richter, Philip Glass, and Steve Reich, as well as John Luther Adams and Arvo Pärt.
Within those cold facts, the album is a release which, through shadows, light and intimation, will spark thoughts and memories individual to each listener; its calm breath and melodic caresses as keenly an inspiration to melancholy and joy as they are reflections and new dreams of hopeful things. Una Corda is a soft but rich incitement, minimalistic yet full in that intimation with each track like a soundtrack to personal movies woven in memory and experience; one and all a romance with the imagination.
From album opener and title track, Una Corda captivated; the shimmer of keys a veil to a time experienced or imagined brought into sharper focus by the serene but potent suggestion of singular keys woven into another evocative incitement. The track is the first ripple in the album’s pool of dreams, each piece to follow exploring its own heart and landscape but from title to music all seeds to the listener’s own conjuring and intimate exploration.
There is also a drama to each track, one varying in strength with the likes of Etude and The Underdown thick in its evocation whilst others stroke its body to line rather than soak their visions. A Likely Carrington Event is one which relishes both, its initial dreamy atmospheric flight building to almost imposing impacts, each crescendo like a grand station looming up within life’s mist bound railway.
Beauty and elegance similarly seduce throughout, Pavane a piece of melodic sentiment as melancholic in thought as it is radiant in body whilst Architecture and Gardening provide an emotive immersion into respective urban and nature borne isolation; though the charm of each outweighs the shadows of reality and emotion.
One particular favourite moment is Slow Dancing Drunk To Satie, a short but inspiring piece which romances the imagination and teases the absurd in the world around us; one like many within Una Corda which by chance perfectly suits the moment we are living right now.
A great whiff of discord kisses ears from within Plies For M, the track pushing the gently eclectic breath of the release while Sleeping Metal Giants Awake is a yawning upon a darker industrial realm though as we suggest, personal thoughts inspired will undoubtedly vary from imagination to imagination through song by song.
With the great fuzz filtered rock ‘n’ roll of Nur Wer Die Punkrock Kennt, another majorly compelling highlight, Una Corda left ears, thoughts and emotions ignited. It is not an album we would instinctively be drawn to before a wealth of verily flavoured releases but now having immersed in it can declare it one of the most captivating that you are likely to discover.
Una Corda is available via online stores such as Apple Music and streaming platforms such as Spotify and @ https://petercolclasure.bandcamp.com/album/una-corda
Pete RingMaster 12/01/2021