There can be no doubt that pianist Pam Asberry has been making her way up the league table so to speak of piano composers, and must now rank as one of the leading components of her trade today, in this vast realm of what we call the solo piano genre, and this brand new offering entitled Unraveling is not only another giant step forward, but a hugely cathartic journey through something that affected us all, the global pandemic.
Her first footfalls into the album is the creation of the most powerful piece she has ever done called Storm Clouds Gather; this is such a poignant offering, one that shakes the cadence from the day, and reminds us of those early days of terrifying fear in 2020, her performance here speaks for us all, as we gazed out of our windows in trepidation, with only a sliver of hope as our companion.
The title track says it all, and of course is entitled Unraveling, the day when the world stopped us in our tracks, and the kitten of Karma pulled apart our ball of fluffy expectations. Asberry has a wonderful flow here, one that creates a tempest of tone and confusion, as bewilderment drifted on the waves of insecurity. This piece is almost classical in style at times, but once more Asberry pours her very heart and soul into this magnificent offering, with dramatic pause and intention.
This 11 track album is a musical narrative that will be very close to our own hearts and experiences, and the long journey we all took to just peak and the sun lit uplands drifting on the horizon of hope before us, tracks like Bluebird as nature cared little about the pandemic, other than those pesky humans were out of the way, Dark Places, that all who visited those dungeons of depression and anxiety of those days will remember it well, and Labyrinth, the war we all had to endure against Facebook scientists and conspiracy theorists, the utter confliction of those who were supposed to have our interests at heart, and who instead created a confusion that would seem to me, and perhaps the artist too, of manifesting a Labyrinth of tall tales and exaggerations that would inevitably lead us back to the start of the maze; an almost snakes and ladders performance can be found here from Asberry, on one of her most clever performances of her career.
However hope is expressed beautifully by the artist on the tracks This Time with You and Metamorphosis, two blissful compositions that highlighted the positive aspects of those dark days, and our hope of transformation into not just what we perceived as normal, but hopefully something much better and more considerate, these two arrangements specifically, are with ease two of the most emotive and moving compositions I believe Asberry has ever written.
Unraveling by Pam Asberry has to be the artist’s best work to date, she has taken something that affected us all, and created a musical interpretation of her feelings and ours too on the piano, and the result is a literal masterpiece and something to be deeply proud of. Unraveling by Pam Asberry is a healing journey of great significance, and should be purchased by any serious musical aficionado, on an album that you truly cannot be failed to be moved by, and is indeed ground breaking work from the artist.