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Seeking the Light

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Album Review

Eric McCarl is a California pianist who is rooted in several traditions. There is the classical tradition of Chopin's Nocturnes; the 20th century impressionism of Debussy, Satie, and Ravel; and a jazz tradition whose harmonic ideas come from Erroll Garner and Bill Evans as well as Keith Jarrett. The title of Seeking the Light Within may sound like a new age recording, but in reality is anything but — though listeners who fancy that music would have no problem finding solace here. McCarl is wrapped tight in the transpersonal psychology realm, but it's not to be held against his gorgeous pianism, one that finds certain lushness in the sparest melodic ideas. These are only possible, of course, because McCarl's sense of intervallic harmony is keenly attuned to the nuances of silence and empty space. This is music made in a room where the imagination is allowed free rein, tempered only by an exquisite sense of melodic invention and a will to explore the nooks and crannies left in the tail ends of scalar inquiries. The left-hand strategies McCarl employs are also small, or smallish; they are the doorway to a wondrously vast sound world in miniature, a dimension that brings warmth and humanity to the mysterious, the spectral, and the ponderous. While mystery itself and its endless unfolding may be an MO for McCarl on this gorgeously rendered album, it is absolutely devoid of smoke and mirrors. What we hear is just the sound of an accomplished composer and pianist in the process of responding to his muse, while discovering the true nature of his gift. Seeking the Light Within is the first installment in the Trilogy of Light.

Biography

Born: October 8, 1958 in Bellefonte, PA

Genre: New Age

Years Active: '00s

A lifelong musician, solo pianist Eric McCarl established a secure living for himself and his family before embarking on an ambitious venture as an independent artist in the early 2000s. Born October 8, 1958, in Bellefonte, PA, McCarl began playing violin at the age of seven and soon mastered many other instruments such as piano, guitar, and trumpet in successive years. In the late '70s he studied computer science at Penn State and, after graduating in 1981 with a Bachelor's degree, moved California,...
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Seeking the Light, Eric McCarl
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