ambient ambient classical modern classical piano review

Wings for Louise – Lights, Slow Places Review

A delicate beauty of ambient piano.

Sounds like…

The softest and warmest of ambient piano thoughts.

The review

French composer Charly Martin, who releases music under his alias Wings for Louise when it is not related to film soundtracks, wrote ‘Lights, Slow Places’ as a closure to lockdown in Canada. The four ambient piano tracks absolutely evoke the feeling in the title. They are pieces tied to places and the longing – or lack of – to be there again.

‘Lucie’ is the track that bucks the trend as it’s dedicated to Charly’s girlfriend who he was in lockdown with. It’s a buoyant track with the softest of piano recordings. The piano feels so warm in the mix and creamy with luxurious after echo. At the same time, you can hear the inner workings of the piano too, up close and personal. It’s the mix of distance and closeness that distinguishes out the piano here from other releases. It feels… sensitive – which sounds like an odd thing to say but there’s a childlike delicacy and innocence to its sound. This lets the track ‘Lucie’ relish in its upper octaves.

photo of Wings for Louise
Wings for Louise

Elsewhere ‘Bages’ swims in a watery murky depth of ambience as the piano glides gently along with nobility. The way the ambience creeps in and takes over is like a cloud descending on the track. ‘Lent’ – French for slow – feels like a moment of time stretched out romantically. The slow draw of the strings – the very European way of piano playing – it combines beautifully. The closing track ‘Hochelaga’ evokes a clock-watching waltz of mild annoyance and patience. It reminds me of German compositions of the 20’s – 40’s era where music felt melancholy and curious. It’s clear that of all the places Charly wants to be, perhaps this isn’t his top pick.

Under the Wings for Louise banner, ‘Lights, Slow Places’ is a beautiful and evocative release. You can feel the yearning, the kindness and the empathy Charly Martin has for each topic. The way it is recorded and sculptured into a sound so warm and inviting yet tinged with a heavy sigh really spoke to my emotional state right now too. A hidden gem any fan of piano should discover right now.

Recommended track: Bages

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Wings for Louise - Lights, Slow Places



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