Review by KATHY PARSONS – Mainly Piano.com
If I had to choose my favorite album for 2009 right now, Eric Harry’s Away Melancholy, Away would be it. What a mind blower! The eleven original tracks are piano and string quartet, with the cello prominently featured on several (I LOVE piano and cello!). A virtuoso pianist in his own right, Eric Harry is a producer of music for Canadian film and television. In his first two years as a solo artist, he has written eight albums of new age and new classical music. In January 2009, he also founded Calm Radio, an iTunes internet radio station that is one of the top stations for new age and classical music. As the title indicates, the music on Away Melancholy, Away is deeply emotional and soulful. It is also extremely well-crafted and engineered, making it one must-hear album. 2009 has been an exceptionally good year for new music, but this one rises right to the top. Samples are available on the Calm Radio website if you need any more convincing!
There isn’t a weak track on this album. “Falling Hearts” begins the CD in a quiet voice that immediately gets your attention. It starts out with just piano playing the melody and a simple accompaniment. The passions as well as the harmonies of the strings send this piece soaring. “The Art of Allowing” is stunning. The opening reminds me just a bit of the theme from The Piano, which I love, and then it goes off on its own – gorgeous! “Silhouettes in the Moonlight” lightens the mood a bit, shimmering with graceful, gentle movement. “Waltz for Afternoons” is an elegant, classically-styled minor-key waltz. “Remembering Provence” is a dreamy, reflective piece for piano and cello. The cello’s low notes accentuate the emotions as the piano tells its story. “Lovers’ Prelude” is the only piano solo on the album, and it’s wonderful! Passion abounds as hearts take flight – this one definitely isn’t melancholy, but the depth of emotion is stirring. “Introspective Dream” is also more reflective than melancholy with the fluid, filmy quality of a dream and the honesty of a soliloquy.
In one sentence, Away Melancholy, Away is breathtaking. It’s a treat for the ears, but even more of a balm for the soul. I can’t recommend this album highly enough! It is available from www.calmradio.com, Amazon, and CD Baby. Check it out!
Kathy Parsons – MainlyPiano.com – 10/12/09
Eric Harry's resume is like a who's who of great writers. He worked on some major Hollywood blockbusters like Universal's “The Border” starring Jack Nicholson with music by Ry Cooder (Buena Vista Social Club”, also on Warner Brothers “Cutter's Way” starring Jeff Bridges with music by Oscar award-winning composer Jack Niztsche – see article.