Monday, January 25, 2021

Dancing With Darkness By Bruce Petherick


Dancing With Darkness


Bruce Petherick

Written by

Steve Sheppard


There is something about the work of Bruce Petherick that ticks all of my emotional and musical boxes, I love the moody styled opuses that offer up much thought and reflection, and through this latest offering by Petherick entitled Dancing With Darkness, we have that and much more.

I recall the deep and meaningful tones of Winter Stillness from the artist back in 2018, and revelled in its moments of inner calm, and now with this new album, I am set free to explore another wonderland of thought and reflection within music.

The opening piece is idyllic and simply perfection, and of course is the title track Dancing With Darkness, this lush long form composition gives me plenty of time to wonder within the performance, enjoying all the nuances and mood filled moments, this for me was 12 minutes of my time gratefully spent in a performance that was warm, all-encompassing and extremely gentle in construction.

The longest piece off the release is On Being Present; this offers up to me what are indeed noble truths. Being in this moment is the most important aspect of our life, it is the only real thing we will ever experience, and this sense of newness gives me a 13 minute creation that is both meditative and all embracing, the lightness of touch by the artist on this track in particular is utterly beautiful to enjoy, with every single touch of the keys.

Giving thanks and being grateful is a daily mantra for me, in fact I am doing it right now, I am allowing myself to be so whilst I listen to the next offering, On Being Grateful. For me this has to be one of the most ambient performances upon the album, and one that I found hard not to just leave on constant repeat, there is a delicacy about this piece that I found so appealing, one that had such a careful but attentive flowing melody that just hovered within the floating confines of the arrangement.

The deep start to On Being Truthful to Yourself is sublime, it is like a musical statement, one of complete honesty. The depths of this 10 minute plus opus are wonderfully created and manifested with such a moving sense of emotion, one that is easily felt and deeply appreciated. Through this one simply blissful yet utterly honest performance on piano by Petherick, I feel like the observer of my life thus far, it contains the resonance of acceptance and tones of the undeniable truth.

How often is it that when a person asks you how are you today, you simply respond, I’m good thanks, when that’s clearly a lie. On Learning to Say: I'm Not OK we are liberated without really having to give a reason why; the fluency of performance here is something to truly enjoy, when one creates long form tracks sometimes it is easy to find yourself going off on musical tangents, sometimes this works, but not always, here Bruce Petherick gives us a track that is once again completely honest, but a piece that stays within the confines of its original manifestation.

As we arrive at the penultimate offering of the album we come across an utter gem entitled Summer Solstice Sunrise. This one is very personal for me, as my wedding anniversary is on this date, and as such means the world and more to me. The artists careful and extremely artistic endeavour here is crafted so well and manifested with such style, one could easily be there with him watching the cadence of the day unfurl, this is one of the most artistic and colourful offerings from this fine collection of tracks, also pay very close attention to the change of energy towards the conclusion of this composition.

Last year Bruce Petherick released Embracing The Darkness as a single, now we have the album version to enjoy, for me this was a wonderful moment of reflection through music that I thoroughly revelled in, and here on this fresh offering we can do so again, and of course by the very nature of the title, it also makes it the perfect ending composition off the album.

Dancing With Darkness by Bruce Petherick is a truly outstanding album, it offers us, the ever eager listener, a place of sanctuary to go to, it offers us a musical sojourn to explore when it’s time to reflect on life, but it also offers us some of the most meaningful and emotive performances to enjoy as well, and in my opinion these can be found in the best work of the artist so far on this latest release, Dancing With Darkness, this is one album that must not be missed at all costs.

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