Speck has carefully created a few piano laden releases but the first full length release, Piano Nights #3, elevates Speck’s style to a new height.
Opening with the solemn “Stars (Reprise)” which elongates some notes and stretches the rumbles of the lonely low chords. It makes the piano feel like it’s grinding up something slowly. “Wonderswan” is in an entirely higher octave with gentle and fluid playing. It doesn’t break out into a full tune as it just lightly plays to its own pace. “Maybe Next Year” is very reflective as the production gives a bucket load of warmth to the echo that follows each chord. “Come On In, Forest King” is the first track to fluidly play and build on a track as it feels like a single riff that is repeated and iterated on. It’s beautiful and feels like a constant trickle of water in a forest stream. “Untitled #10” again uses piano harmonics as a synth instrument to underpin a sparse piece.
“World Keeps Turning” feels like the first happy track although it’s by now means joyous however “Traveler” appears to be stuck on almost a single note and doesn’t really move very much. “Untitled #11” has the speakers so close to the keys it gives it an icy feel. “Where River Sings” is interesting with added bird song to the quieter moments of the track whilst “Outsider” feels like an improvisation at flexes and bends in volume and the melody, whilst not immediate, is lovely. “Stars” rounds off the release as a nice symbiosis to the opening.
Speck’s music is introspective and quiet. The melodies are few and far between and it’s about the feeling of the sounds made. For some, this will be too boring, too minimalist and maybe a bit one note in its delivery. Sometimes, I have to agree but when I’m feeling particularly down, Speck’s music often is a great place to retreat to.