life is grand...
"This album contains 11 tracks varying greatly in tempo and mood. Several up-beat pieces reflect my love for Cape Cod and my passion for traveling: Flight, Vacation Time!, Life’s Overture, Life is Grand... on Cape Cod, Calypso and Tropical Breezes (both with definite “island feel”), and Casco Viejo (the oldest city in the Americas, located in Panama) with a Spanish sound (Gypsy Kings style). Then there are the reflective, almost hypnotic, pieces, Rain and Zenshine. Collage is a piece with two existing pieces intertwined: Rainbow Connection and Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring. The romantic ballad Forever Yours I wrote for my soulmate, Barbara. "
"Life Is Grand..." is Silvard's fifth album of original compositions, and the first since 2003's chart-topping "Touched By the Sea." As the title implies, the music reflects the joys and pleasures of life (along with the obvious reference to Silvard's grand piano), bringing the listener a bright and optimistic respite from the cares and worries of everyday life. Two of Silvard's previous albums were comprised of music composed in the studio in what Silvard calls his "free-flow" style. This is his third
album of more traditionally "composed" pieces. He also has six CDs of cover material that he has very successfully performed and sold on QVC. A marine biologist, college professor, and avid traveler, Silvard brings a wealth of experience to his music as well as an unmistakable joy for playing and performing.
"Life Is Grand..." begins with "Forever Yours," an unabashedly romantic piece that wears its love and adoration on its sleeve - a charming opening. My favorite track is "Rain," a lively and slightly melancholy piece that dances all over the piano with an infectious energy and spirit. This one makes my fingers itch - sheet music??? The title track is full of optimism and contentment as it tells of life's many wonders. "Tropical Breezes" has an easy Latin rhythm and exudes a lazy and totally relaxed mood. "Collage" is also a favorite, combining the unlikely duo of "Rainbow Connection" from The Muppets and JS Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Beholding." Sound impossible? It's a seamless pairing that works wonderfully well and makes me smile each time I hear it. "Casco Viejo" was inspired by the historical section of Panama City, the oldest European settlement in the Americas. Poignant and bittersweet, it's another beauty. "Zenshine" has a gorgeous, haunting quality with feelings of longing and reflection - I like this one a lot, too! "Flight" was inspired by a bumble bee. Lively and energetic with the exhilaration of total freedom, it swoops and soars in a sky full of sunshine. What fun!
"Life Is Grand..." was worth the wait between albums, and is sure to give just about anyone a mood-lift. Samples are available at www.silvard.com, and the music can be purchased there and from iTunes. Highly recommended!
Solo Piano Publications
Heartening solo piano from a marine biologist? Talent is where you find it and presently it resides on Cape Cod, Mass. Silvard has a Ph.D. in Marine Biology, but his first love must the piano. He is a performer and teacher and has a successful career in composing as well a half-dozen albums to his credit. If he is not hawking his albums on the QVC Network, he is probably doing live performances in Boston, the cultural center of the universe. His latest CD Life is Grand is, through music, a simple celebration of everyday achievements.
With a player piano feel, the first cut Forever Yours lives up to its name as a classic, timeless piece recalling a time when the ladies wore silk gloves and the men sported bola hats. Holding hands and walks in the park were the prelude to a marriage proposal. It is also reminiscent of undying love and faithfulness stronger than the bond of mere gold rings. If anything, the tune Zenshine has phenomenal balance. It has a florid, warm melody with a smooth current of dream-song. In this one the sun provides energy for the spirit. Sort of like inner solar power.
It starts with a single drop of rain. It makes a splotch on the pavement and then another joins it. And another. Soon wet drop after drop comes together to cool, to clean and to nourish spirits, streets and hearts. All are affected by it and everything needs it. We recently received a little rain in my drought stricken part of South East Tennessee and we are blessed for it. Silvard's tune Rain is a bright, elaborate and clean. A great tempo that makes you feel the warm drops on your skin and the growth of life around you.
The title cut Life is Grand says it all. Not exactly a march, but an obvious celebration, the tune is spirited and happy. There is a lot of misery and sadness in the world, but the world is a big place. Perhaps we should be looking at our own space and life for a bit of good news. The setting sun, gold and glorious, the first baby tooth, tiny white and temporary or the hearty handshake of a new found friend. There is no shame in putting the sadness aside for a while and cheering with the rest of the
planet. Play on Silvard!
Collage was my choice for favorite on the album. Silvard incorporates the traditional Bach's Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring and a piece called Rainbow Connection. The song segues back and forth from one theme to another perfectly and the different tempo for Jesu instead of the well-known metronome cadence is very refreshing. It comes out like a song of longing with a twist of hope at the end.
You can hear the tremendous sense of freedom in the final cut, Flight. It is not the billowy, lighter than air feeling, but a strong sense of lift and glide, soar and dive like a powerful sea bird. In the true sense of the words it gives you a fantastic sense ofindependence. It is time to take wing with your thoughts, hopes and emotions. Everyone may rise.
Silvard's unique music is used as therapy by many disciplines and in addition, Silvard uses his concerts as a medium for his message about marine ecosystems and their dependence on man's care and respect. He is also active in many fundraisers that benefits from his efforts. Whether you hear his "free flow" improvised works or his carefully composed pieces you can rest assured that your spirit can hear them just as clearly.
New Age Reporter