The Emotive Leaf
The Emotive Leaf is a rich experience that connects broad emotive themes with a universally 'personal' journey. From 2013 to the present date pianist and composer, Nathan Speir has written, performed, recorded, and produced a double disc album that has become The Emotive Leaf. It is his sixth album self-produced as an independent artist.
Nathan Speir, released The Emotive Leaf, on January 5th 2015. This is a two disc album of ambient chamber music on disc 1 and solo piano on disc 2.
As a pianist and composer putting on the 'producer cap', Nathan Speir used the best resources for piano he could afford, and then he painted several other textures around it. Having no desire to hide the beauty of solo piano, as most of his music has been piano based, Nathan Speir was compelled to relay a host of impressions from recent inner journeys that needed to be expressed this way. The result on Disc 1 was an emotionally moving, piano based, ambient chamber soundtrack.
Describing in his own words Nathan Speir says "Producing this album was like getting in my only and best car (my home studio) and driving it to a new and unknown destination, setting up camp and bringing back photos and memories of those recent experiences. Kind of an emotive novel summed up on a leaflet ....'The Emotive Leaf'. All these new instrumental textures were included to relay those impressions from the recent journey...internal. I found a place there that was on the edge of timelessness....impressions of the maze of time casting a shadow on eternity, it was where no words can reach."
"Even though the essence of those experiences are untouchable, I know that I was able to capture the energies of those experiences into the music because I had to wipe the tears off after performing each piece during the recording. I believe that deep inside our heart is a well of experiences and emotions, and they are precious. In my inner journeys these past seasons, I put some of those archetypes on a musical leaflet. I imagined that part of us is like a leaf on a tree that processes food and, at the same time, plays the role of a catharsis for the organism. What I am describing is 'The Emotive Leaf'...our noetic heart."
The emotions or experiences that Nathan Speir relates in this music seemingly follow the outline of a drama novel or film waiting to be written, and it's evident in the track titles of The Emotive Leaf. After the first album title "The Emotive Leaf", the plot unfolds in "Mindfulness of Your Pain", followed by the daunting "Ambition". "A Little Fear", "Tears That Heal", "Accepting The Medicine" carry an inner journey of deep introspection. "A Dear Friend" pauses to hold you by the hand before Nathan Speir sends you even deeper into "Telescopic". Then the epiphany of the album surfaces in "Where No Words Can Reach". It all comes together with an almost happy ending "Dreaming As It Should Be." "The last chime is a faction off beat with the end guitar strum," says Nathan Speir "I wanted to leave it that way because it reminded me of a stumbling child who remains happy...despite the imperfect world he lives in."
The first disc of the album is without a single solo piano piece, and Nathan Speir painted synths, classical guitar, native american flute, and several fine digitally sampled instruments around the piano. It is a noticeably evolutionary step in Nathan Speir's sonic palette. In other respects, this first half of the album is a comparative milestone of overall production from his first release in 2006, "Between Earth & Sky".
However, Nathan Speir didn't stop there. He felt obligated to include a second disc that was entirely solo piano, for his fans of solo piano, and for the sheer enjoyment and simplicity that these compositions had to offer in this medium. Disc 2 offers a wonderfully toned grand piano sound. Comparative to a George Winston solo piano album, you could say that Nathan's solo piano tone is a little 'darker' in timber and overtones, but it is effectively pure solo piano nonetheless. "The Bicycle" is the only unique track title that the second disc features apart from disc one. More importantly, the re-interpretation of the tracks from disc-one's ambient chamber into solo piano is a very complementary experience to this album in its entirety.
The anonymous slogan on Nathan Speir's website is "For heights and depths no words can reach, music is the soul's own speech.", and The Emotive Leaf is an apparent fruition of Nathan's artistic motto. You will find The Emotive Leaf online at CdBaby, iTunes, Amazon and other retail stores on January 5th 2015, and if you just can't wait for that instant gratification track, you can pre-order the double disc album from iTunes December 8th this year.