A fantastic new addition to the pantheon of modern classical composers
‘OPW’ is the debut album for composer and musician Oliver Patrice Weder. Mixing up classical instrumentation with a pinch of studio trickery and inventive arrangements, ‘OPW’ transports you away into the clouds for a wonderful journey.
The beauty of what Oliver creates is immediately demonstrated with ‘For a Troubled Mind’. As the piano, string and synth arrangement marches on it becomes more difficult to know which instrument is which. Synths become strings, strings are bent into other sounds and the piano starts to distort into synths.
Listening carefully rewards you throughout. ‘Tulips’ palette cleanses you with a beautiful piano piece before ‘A Stones Throw’ brings in ambient strings, a double bass, rainsticks and all kinds of dainty percussion. Over the top waxes and wanes a Chinese style string arrangement. It is elegant and playful. ‘Max’ is an intimately recorded prepared piano. Some notes seem fuzzy and warped to the point where you question if they may be electronic. The fun is working out how it’s all pieced together.
It’s not all trickery though. ‘Hercules By the Ocean’ is a beautiful composition of piano and string alone. Its ebb and flow is like a wave and is one of my favourites of the album. Oliver Patrice Weder doesn’t stay still though as ‘Starchild’ evokes nautical magic in the sky. It is far more gentle than its counterpart and uses a sound like a dolphin call as one of the main synths to great effect.
Water moves into jazz-tinged classical music with ‘A Night in Santa Teresa’ and ‘Treehouse’. The former introducing brass to the album whereas the latter plays with curious piano motifs to pull you in. That curiosity turns to warmth with ‘Dear Friend’, a sombre tone with ‘Sol’s Lullaby’ and then an expressive piano outro with ‘Goodbye. With each track, the piano leads the way but changes shape, tone and style throughout.
Oliver Patrice Weder really knows how to take a few traditional instruments and twist them out of focus to a blur of their former selves. It’s what makes ‘OPW’ such an interesting album. Not one song approaches the piano the same way and so they all feel unique. Weder has created a piece of understated brilliance and I’ll have it on during the midnight hours for many moons to come.
Recommended track: Hercules By The Ocean
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