Freeman, E.: La Speranza
Label: Big Round Records
Composer and songwriter Elaine Freeman and Navona Records present LA SPERANZA, a careful selection of piano music, composed by ear, memory and touch without sheet music. Not quite classical, not quite pop, these pieces have the ability to appeal to both the casual listener and fans of musical minimalism. Structured around a central motive or rhythm, most of the works on LA SPERANZA seem to have an inner clock, an inner mechanism. The pieces' playability works in their favor, yet they pack an emotional punch: there's nostalgia, turmoil, grief, a quest for purpose, a struggle for beauty and clarity, all reflective of Freeman's life at various stages, and of the specific periods of their creation. The Composer claims to love all music regardless of genre, and this eclecticism definitely shows in LA SPERANZA. There's always the levity and catchiness of pop music, but one would be hard-pressed to sort the pieces into a definite category. More than anything, they are a unique expression of their inventor's inner world: generally calm and reflected, occasionally wistful and brooding, sometimes bright and soothing. Unconventionally, Freeman wrote all of these pieces by ear, and continues to play them as such. This results in a great spontaneity, forming a coherent whole with both the works' internal structure as well as the autobiographical background behind them.