Despite the advances in technology and equipment, one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring sounds is still a few suppressed keys on an unadorned acoustic piano. It’s an idea that Lubomyr Melnyk seems to hold in high regard, though he plays many, many more notes than a few on “Corollaries,” his first album for Erased Tapes.
Over the last 35 years he has pioneered a style of piano playing called “continuous music,” which includes sustaining rapidly played notes to form a bed of constantly shifting and pulsing piano textures. It’s a kindred spirit to Charlemagne Palestine’s “Strumming Music,” but Melnyk veers a bit closer to a regulated rhythm and gliding, evolving melodies that seem to push forward as much as cycle through repetitions. The tone is set perfectly with “Pockets of Light, a 19 minute epic that sounds like it has three different sets of hands contributing to its mesmerizing piano layers and delicate harmonies. Yet, when Melnyk’s vocals appear seven minutes into the piece, it somehow feels perfectly natural. The flow isn’t broken, but instead augmented in a way that couldn’t have been anticipated and feels exactly right.
In fact, an underpinning of other instruments happens frequently on “Corollaries,” but usually they are left to set a moody backdrop or provide a rich harmony to the proceedings. It’s not until the closing two tracks that they really come to the fore. An e-bowed guitar slides alongside the piano on “Nightrail From the Sun” and, most notably, Peter Broderick’s violin provides a duet on the stunning closer “Le Miroir D’Amour.” Still, Melnyk’s exquisite piano tapestries are the clear and unbridled highlight to the album, which just happens to be one of 2013’s best. - Ryan Potts, Experimedia