During this time, I have been listening to Michael Jones’ two disc Pianoscapes, as well as the album Wind and Whispers, particularly during my time working at the computer. Originally released as a single disc set, this deluxe version of Pianoscapes includes the full recorded output of the one-take project as well as unreleased versions of tunes from the pianist’s Sunscapes album.
These albums have been well received by my flitting and frantic mind. I suppose they fit in the archaic “New Age” category, but most music so labeled bores me, puts me to sleep. These improvised piano solos do neither. They do not engage me intellectually as my favorite pianists do, but that may be the point. They are stimulating and beautiful without being distracting. These pieces seem to be about being part of the environment where one lives rather than the focal point of that environment, perhaps helping to bring balance or harmony to those overwhelmed by the stress brought to and invading the room. Such seems to be intent of most so-called “new age” music, but these pieces actually achieve the goal.