Measures of Light
Wayne Bethanis has to be one of the most creative and passionate pianists on the planet today, his desire to manifest great and outstanding works in the industry is growing with each passing day and is well known, and with the arrival of Measures of Light, his latest album, we may well have seen that star rise to its highest point thus far.
To start with such power and intensity is not only a stunning thing to do, but the breath taking opus of The Legend of Tartaria is something one is more likely to see on the grandest stage of all, the movie fil score. Bethanis has elevated his performance here to one of an incredible emotive soundtrack of a starting composition.
Tuatha Dé Danann has all the Celtic charm it deserves, Bethanis manifests a soundscape for the original gods of Ireland, and does it with such an effervescent style, that it is hard to listen to without feeling every nerve on your body stand to attention. This glourious opus is bathed in a proud refrain from days of glory and happiness, and is a sparkling arrangement to lift us into the realms of a very well-known next song.
That next piece is indeed the world beating Song for a New World, a huge hit single for the artist, this is one of those fast paced, up-tempo offerings you simply cannot do anything but fall in love with. The performance is like a thousand stars all playing in harmony; this in short, is what really good instrumental music should sound like, a wonderfully paced piano and a sublime Oldfield like guitar, utter magic.
Wayne Bethanis now creates a tender moment for us all to enjoy, through the refrains of this next offering entitled I'm Always Here. Here we have a heartfelt track that simply cries honesty and unconditional love through the keys of the piano, a powerful and emotional illustration of classy instrumental music indeed, one that also contains utterly perfect crescendos too.
As we move into the second half of the album we come across a beautiful piece entitled Butterfly Cluster. This would become one of my personal favourites off the album. The performance on the keys is a perfect depiction of thousands of migrating butterflies, and I should know, a year back I stood within a coloured realm of a billion butterflies crossing continents, and this music would have been perfect for that amazing moment.
The curiously entitled Unexpected Prophet has a lush colourful and smooth feel to its construction; the symphonic moments only enhance this further, this is a delicate offering, but one played with a deep sense of respect and understanding of a far bigger picture of reality perhaps. I adored the performance on this piece; it is one of those that you never wish to end, and has that comforting ‘arm around the shoulder’ feel to its energy as well.
The shortest track off the album is These Years, the overall nature of this track is fascinating, in as much as these years have been very tough for all of us, but the music plays from a different angle, suggesting perhaps that these moments may be of far great importance that we at first realise. Musically this is a fun piece that in some way makes me think it could be used in a TV series, like Cheers.
Now, how can one not simply fall in love with the start of this next arrangement entitled I Will Return to You. A bell chimes and the natural sounds of water can be heard to usher us into what I believe to be one of the stand out pieces off the release. This is musical drama, bathed with a whole range of romantic overtones that makes it so utterly desirable; The perfect multi-instrumental album track, with a lush symphonic backdrop and the inevitable cinematic crescendo, a piece that I believe that even David Lanz would have been proud off, such bliss indeed.
This final offering you really need to listen to purely, when I say that I mean with no distractions. The Gods of the Egyptians is a tale told by the artist, with all the expected dramatic nuances of the region contained within. The wonderful global ethic with the Tabla and percussive instrumentation, created with the artist’s piano, is a track that is as addictive as the pyramids themselves, without doubt, if performed live this would be a moment of standing ovation with ease.
Measures of Light by Wayne Bethanis is without a shadow of a doubt the best work from the artist ever, the grand gestures, the wonderfully colourful musical narratives, are all akin to creating music that will allow you to travel with tone and tide through each and every track of this amazing new album.
Sometimes when we create something so vast, so compelling and so good, it becomes undeniable, as is Measures of Light by Wayne Bethanis. If you don’t buy anything else this year, make this that purchase, it will be one of the best musical decisions you will ever make.