Album Review by Dyan Garris
Nothing “vague” about this lovely solo piano album. Clear, crisp, clean, this is like a breath of fresh air or a soft wave of elegance that washes over you and calms the spirit. In French, “vagues” means “waves,” and we can truly feel that graceful caress all through. – Dyan Garris
“Vagues: Compositions Au Piano” is the third solo piano album from Pierre Guérin. Pierre is an intuitive piano player and composer who has been composing music since he was a child. He is inspired by those encounters with humanity which have touched his heart and made an impression on him in some way. His compositions are passionate as well as calming, and all with a deep sense of vibrancy and life-force energy. They are alive.
Pierre’s style ranges from classical to popular. Emotion shines through on all 15 tracks on “Vagues.” Each is perfectly played, with perfect cadence, flow, and movement, but it’s the sentiments and nuances of life itself that are even more perfectly conveyed here.
The album opens with the title track, “La Vague” which sets the tone with a flowing melody and wonderful use of both upper and lower registers of the piano. Flowing, and very calming to the spirit.
Following is the soft and very playful, “Sous Le Charme” which in English means “in love.” This is simply charming and delightful, perfectly capturing all we love about the game of love. Another playful tune is “Le Chat” which means “cat.” Dreamy and lighthearted, again – and throughout this album – skillfully combining both upper and lower piano registers, this is lovable. It paints the perfect soundscape of the interesting behavior of cats.
Some other favorites on this album: “Je La Vois” means “I see her.” This is melodic, tender, and romantic, with a wonderful and memorable piano melody. Very pretty. “Sage” is twinkly, soft, and flowing. “Élan” in French means “momentum” in English. This is really likeable in every way, and like “Comme Un Bourgeon” which means, “like a bud,” truly showcases Pierre’s awesome and precise keyboard skills, as well as his obviously honed composition skills.
Fun and lighthearted, “Bulles” which means “bubbles” in English, is also one not to be missed. This is lively and happy. “Soie d’époque” means “vintage silk” in English, and this piece is just like that, smooth and flowy. This is also one to love here. “L’espoir (re-vie)” which is “hope and new life” in English, is just gorgeous, imbuing us with an easy sense of optimism and renewal
The album closes out with “Au tout début” which means “at the beginning.” An ending is always a new beginning, right? This is a very brief, gentle piece, which perfectly closes out this lovely album. And there is a long space of essentially silence (with some deliberate and vague sounds, as is also found for a few seconds on the very first track of this album), about 1/3 of the way through. What better way to end this lovely album? Artistic perfection.
Be sure to watch the beautiful video for the title track on YouTube.
Ed & Stacey Bonk