Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Memories From a Sea View By Kostas Boukouvalas

Memories From a Sea View
Kostas Boukouvalas
Written by
Steve Sheppard

This is somewhat of a truism for me, as out of my upstairs balconies I have several sea views, so I can really appreciate this album from Kostas Boukouvalas called Memories From a Sea View completely, and all that it brings to my senses. This is a musical journey of many styles, influences and instrumentation.

We start our journey with the opener entitled Star Dance; this is a piece with depth and a whole lot of passion, one that weaves a sense of true movement into its arrangement with ease.

We now drift into the arms of the next offering entitled Imprisoned in a Dream; there is a beautiful sense of ambience with the construction of this composition that is utterly delightful, both the piano and guitar bring us an energy of a mystical quality. This is one addictive song; one I found hard to truly leave behind me as it was so well performed.

Sand Paintings had a blissful energy of innocence in its tones that I found most graceful indeed, but below that there was a somewhat mysterious layer of minor magic that kept the attention firmly on the composition, and its tremendous presentation.

In Cyprus, normally we tend to spend a lot of time on the beach, and that is where we are going virtually within this track called, Listening to Bach on the Beach. Whilst we do so, we can listen to Bach in this meditative offering that contains some perfectly balanced sounds of the ocean lapping up to the warm sands of the aforementioned beach. The Violin here is both haunting and soothing in its musical narrative.

The fluency of the piano on Memory Waves is something to be admired, one can literally drift along with this up-tempo offering with ease. The melody and mood of this arrangement is indeed sun kissed and warming to listen to.

A Little Cancer Attacks may sound like a curious title, but as were on the beach I am hoping this refers to the Crab of the Zodiac, the fast paced and jagged keyboard performance would lead me to think so, and indeed, if you listen to its compositional structure, this is rather a clever song, pretty much mimicking the movement of this oceanic creature.

The delightful strings of Sea & Sky Mating had an almost mesmeric effect upon me as I listened. There was something classical, perhaps in the style of Vaughn Williams, but the mood and melody was so picturesque and colourful, and for me at times depicted a view where perhaps the land meets the sea itself!

The gentle refrains of the piano float around us with a gentle calming sense of serenity now, as we listen to Far Away but Still Here. The ambience created here is idyllic, the addition of the guitar created a little extra dimension of musical craft to the proceedings, one that indeed added an extra sense of musical colour to the piece.

Beach Party Echoes is next, it is time to change the energy on this extremely warm afternoon, the deep plunging bass line here is powerful and profound, whilst the keyboards of Boukouvalas wend a fascinating shimmering narrative of fun days that seemed endless and would never change, but now are just echoes across a windswept landscape.

As the boats in Paphos harbour head for their moorings, you can usually hear on the tourist boats, the waves of sound carrying the world famous Zorba and his dance echoing around the port. However here on this offering entitled Zorba’s Gaze, we get a moment to listen to a memory packed guitar performance that reminds me of those precious meditative moments sitting far away from the crowds, watching the glistening on the blue horizon, and the shimmering of the waves as they crash upon the rocks. This is one of the most tranquil, yet picturesque performances on the album, and utterly delightful.

With each passing of a day, our lives evolve into special segments to be remembered, these are moments and memories and this penultimate creation is a testament to those mental perambulations, it is entitled Requiem for a Moment. The artist with this offering has created a masterful composition of musical genius, one packed with so many memories, with so many emotions and feelings, this is one of those tracks that you might well find yourself playing on repeat for hours, and not even noticing.

The last portal to this dimension is called The Irreversibility of Time and in a way is almost a testament to the last piece. It’s deep moving and slow tempo allows the listener to bathe in the memories of time itself, this is an outstanding performance to finish with, and easily one of the most emotive off the album, both keyboards and piano are in complete harmony here, and ending what has been a fascinating, and at times an incredibly thoughtful and passionate album.

Memories From a Sea View by Kostas Boukouvalas is an fine example of how to create a truly fascinating album, one that utilises the options of multi-instrumentation, but at all times managing to hold each and every composition into a format so listenable and perfectly balanced. This is music to be completely enjoyed whether you have a sea view like me, or not.

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