Happy Piano Day! And what better way to celebrate than with a new piano EP? This tiny treasure comes courtesy of Euan Alexander Millar-McMeeken (glacis), and it’s his fourth in a row. For 22 1/2 minutes, the composer weaves a web of captivating melancholy, culminating in a piece performed with site favorite William Ryan Fritch on multitracked cello.
While the six-track set has no declared theme, one can be gleaned through the titles, especially the overall EP title love, if you love me, lie beside me now and that of the closer, “there is nothing, yet i am here.” This seems like the soundtrack to a romance that ends peacefully, with each person continuing to care for the other. This would explain the sadness inherent in such tracks as the opener, “no one can reach us now, or ever,” in which three sombre notes are offset by one brighter note. In the slow title piece, the creaks of the piano can be heard, an intimate invitation that suggests nothing is hidden: every emotion, every thought is out in the open. The spaces between the notes are like those between sentences: words unsaid, thoughts unspoken in order to protect the feelings of the other.
Are we projecting? Of course we’re projecting! A good instrumental work allows a listener to inscribe his or her own story on the music, expanding on the guidelines provided by the titles. To one listener, the album may come across as purely romantic; to another, purely heartrending. Less discussion will revolve around the talent of the composer and players, as their tender work pulls on one heartstring or the other, guaranteeing a response. With each note so carefully delivered, this set acts as a caress, giving sonic form to its inspiration. (Richard Allen)