"eQuinox" is the long-awaited fourth solo piano release from Swiss composer/pianist Ralph Zurmuhle. If you are familiar with his Our Mother (2007), Communion (2003), and/or Between (2000), you can understand why this is an exciting event! Zurmuhle has been composing music for film and multimedia for quite some time in addition to recording his CDs, and his music says so much with so little. Composed with a process that combines improvisation with revision and development, Zurmuhle’s music comes from a very deep place within. Although his music is often very spare and sometimes ambient, Zurmuhle has an incredible playing technique that he uses in ways that serve the music best rather than to show off or impress. It comes as no surprise that artists from around the world want to collaborate with Ralph, as he is a master himself. There are no weak tracks on this album (there are ten), and it is very likely to be on my list of favorites for 2011.
"eQuinox" begins with “Picnic in the Desert,” a lovely piece reflective of the two years Zurmuhle and his wife lived in Arizona (USA). Performed at a relaxed and easy pace, the piece suggests a spiritual experience rather than simply an outdoor meal with friends. “Auld Lang Syne” and “Shenandoah” are two traditional folk songs that Zurmuhle arranged for solo piano. Both were arranged with wistful, dreamy moods that suit the songs perfectly. “Mediterranean Suite” is a stunning 9+ minute piece that evolves gradually, telling its story in soft spoken, haunting tones as well as with powerful drama. “Serenade” is a graceful love song that comes from a place of tenderness and passion. “The Beacon” appeared twice on Zurmuhle’s debut, Between. It appears here as a new “2010” version, updated and expanded by about three minutes. “Horses” has a slow, flowing melody played over a more energetic left hand, suggesting spirit and freedom. “Epitaph” is another 9+ minute piece, this time very dark and overflowing with feelings of grief and loss. The spaces between the notes are almost as powerful as the notes themselves in this piece, and the emotional impact is overwhelming. “Sonora In My Heart” is a beautiful love song to the desert. Full of longing and cherished memories, Zurmuhle bid farewell to Arizona before returning to Spain earlier this year. What a great album!
Whether or not you are familiar with the artistry of Ralph Zurmuhle, do your ears and heart a favor and check this one out! Very highly recommended!
Excellent Beyond Words!
Ralph Zurmuhle's music is refined and sophisticated! His music is a tender expression of deeply, meaningful moments of life; reflections of a sensitive, gentle spirit. His music creates peace, wonderment, and personal contemplation. His pieces make me pause and listen to them over and over stretching for that deeper place where my soul and heaven meet. Highest recommendations!