GIA MARGARET - Romantic Piano LP

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First, Gia Margaret called her new album Romantic Piano to be a little cheeky. Because the spare, gentle piano pieces have more in common with Erik Satie, Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guébrou and the "Marginalia" releases by Masakatsu Takagi than with a cozy candlelit date night. But there is a hidden intention in this cheekiness: The beautiful set suggests "romance" in a more classic sense, which the Germans call forest solitude. The compositions evoke the lofty themes of the Romantic poets: solitude in nature, nature's ability to heal and teach, a sense of contented melancholy. "I wanted to make music that was useful," says Margaret, grossly understating the power of the record. Romantic Piano is curious, soothing, patient and incredibly moving - but it doesn't linger for more than a second. Margaret's debut album There's Always Glimmer was a lyrical marvel, but when an illness prevented her from singing on tour, she recorded her ambient album Mia Gargaret (another cheeky title!), which has a keen sense of arrangement and composition showed that wasn't fully realized in the lyrical songs of There's Always Glimmer. Romantic Piano also manages almost entirely without words. "Writing instrumental music is generally a much more enjoyable process than writing lyrics, and it ultimately affects my songwriting," she says. Romantic piano strengthens her as a compositional force. Margaret had originally aimed for a degree in composition, but dropped out of music school halfway through. "I really didn't want to play in an orchestra," she says of her decision, "I really only wanted to write film music. Then I started to focus more and more on being a songwriter." Romantic Piano indeed touches on a rare emotion in art, often reserved only for cinema - the simultaneous awe of existence with the big lens and the intimate inner monologue after language when we're stuck in our skulls. And that's very romantic!