Sunday 14 October 2012

CD Review - I remember

Ben Moore-Morris is a young pianist/songwriter/composer who has just released his first album I remember eleven tracks each of which features Moore-Morris’s piano playing along with Karin Fransson’s vocals. Moore-Morris is a self taught pianist with an interest in film music and his web-site describes him as a cinematic composer. The disc has eleven tracks on it, all reassuringly long (over five minutes) with an indication that Moore-Morris is not frightened of trying to develop his material, in fact I would rather have liked a couple of seriously long tracks with substantial, more highly developed pieces on them. Of the eleven tracks, five are purely instrumental.

The disc opens with the song Walk to me. With this, as for all the songs except for The Secret, Moore-Morris has written both the lyrics and the music. The lyrics evoke remembrance of a lost love and generally all the songs seem to be evoking such memories. This song (and all but The Secret) is sung by the London-based Swedish singer/songwriter Karin Fransson. She has a high, lyric voice attractively breathy and closely recorded. In fact, all the songs rather lack a feeling of air round them.

Walk with Me is a large scale lyrical ballad, the form evidently preferred by Moore-Morris and it features the characteristics which reoccur in all the pieces on the disc; an elaborate, nicely flowing keyboard part and very romantic strings. In all the pieces of the disc Moore-Morris has a penchant for striking piano melodies and textures surrounded by echoing strings.

Stay in my dream is an elaborate, romantic piano solo, Just a thought is a more up tempo song which is hauntingly evocative. For the instrumental Pure uncertainty Moore-Morris introduces some interesting multi-tracking resulting in some quite interestingly busy piano work.

As Moore-Morris is a keyboard based songwriter, his music features the piano at the tore, in surprisingly mobile and elaborate textures and different figurations. For the instrumental A Child's life he introduces the celeste, resulting in some fascinating textures. Some of the later numbers also include sounds of nature, with running water and birdsong.

By Our war music end I began to see how Moore-Morris regards himself as a cinematic composer, his music has the large-scale ability to create mood. Though I would have liked a few more edgy moments, a feeling of real drama. In all there are 11 tracks including the final, bonus track, which features vocals and words by Rebekah Walker.

Moore-Morris has a nice line in big romantic ballads, but an over reliance on a small repertoire of gestures, notably piano surrounded by strings. He needs to challenge himself to move in another direction.

I Remember
Walk to me [5.11]
Stay in my dream [5.18]
Just a thought [6.55]
Pure uncertainty [5.57]
A childs life [5.56]
A place for a dream [6.28]
Here you are truly safe [4.27]
It can only be right [5.33]
Our war must end [5.55]
I remember [6.30]
a secret [6.05]
Ben Moore-Morris

HR191001CD 1CD [62.51]

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