Friday, October 6, 2023

Zero Gravity By David J. Peña


Zero Gravity


David J. Peña

Written by

Steve Sheppard


There can be no doubt that David J. Peña must be one of the most exciting and inspiring pianists of his day, he has that Midas touch with instrumental music that bodes so very well for his future. One only has to cast a look over the shoulder at his last release The Journey, a huge chart topping album that is still charting to this day, quite amazing indeed, but now it’s time for us to voyage once again as we head onwards and upwards, and into Zero Gravity.

Blast off can be achieved by the proud title track; a soft textured start can be found within this offering as we arrive at a point of observation that is almost too vast to think of, looking down from the perspective of an astronaut upon our beloved planet. Zero Gravity is one of those title tracks that burst into a symphonic bliss at the half way marker, leaving you with chills and a tear of appreciation in the eye of the beholder and listener, this is instrumental music at its very best.

The second piece off this release has a wonderfully reflective feel to it, once more that power and intensity are here, the build and progression of this composition is some of the best you will find, there is also a feeling of purpose and intent to be found within the mastery of this piece that is so compelling.
Hour Glass is a constant reminder for us to squeeze as much as we can into our lives, it’s our only one chance to make a difference. The highlights of this incredible arrangement for me were the crescendo and the orchestration, which danced so perfectly with the artist’s piano.

On Dreams We Shared we have a delightful floaty compositional style that seems to bathe in the memory palace of a time well spent; this is Peña on home ground, a full flourishing musical narrative on piano, partnered by perfected orchestration and the juxtaposition of musical thought and reality were simply divine. One could through the composition, truly imagine emotional thoughts, hearts missing a beat, and utter love pouring from the piano on this one.

This track seemed familiar to me for some reason and reminded me of the Holland Phillips song Save The Dance, and called Will You Dance, this would make a good ballad, the lead into the main body of the composition is delicate and delightfully textured, whilst the timing of the orchestration and gentle classical style of it, is something truly to enjoy. There is also a sense of romanticism within this offering that has such a regal posture, that is amazingly compelling in its mood, perhaps even a soundtrack could be found here on this specific track.

This is a piece that I can personally relate too; this year for me on a personal level has been a real breakthrough time for many reasons, so a track like Renewed is so very relevant. I have cast aside old unneeded chains, fears and baggage, and now revel in the dawning of another new day to be so very grateful for. The artist’s performance on this piece is so incredibly powerful, his arrangement speaks for all of us who are now free from oppression of some sort or the other, and can now dance in the freedom and happiness of a glorious sunrise.

Childhood Memories is the very piece that takes us over the half way line of the album, this is the releases feel good moment, and it has all the elements of a big old heart-warming hug. Through the artists gentle and thoughtful performance we are gifted a reflective glance into his past, the trial and tribulations that have made him the man he is today, this is a wonderfully fluent gratitude composition, beautifully performed by the pianist.

The sadness and despair in this next piece is evident, it’s is like a young, lost and lonely child has lost their way, however this dramatic performance by the artist really shows the true colour of the composer, the orchestration, the intensity of the piano and exploding crescendos takes us in a full circle, from despair, to conclusion, from loneliness to loving comfort and care, and Forgiven ends with a crafted and sensitive coda to conclude with.

With certainty we are floating within the deeper waters of the release now and as we do so we come across a charming musical narrative entitled Jeannette. Here is a dedication if you ever wanted to hear one, and written with his daughter in mind many years ago. I for one am gland that David included this light hearted reverie in the album, its energies have so much freedom of expression and happiness about them.

Well here we are at the penultimate piece off the release, and a track called Daydream beams its sparkling radiance over us, and what a composition indeed. Once more the pace, intent and progression all flows into one glorious sea of transcendent beauty, again the artist has manifested a soundtrack offering on this track, this is a true reverie of a better life ahead, from rags to riches, but then we see a slow slide back to the reality, but the awareness is, that even though your days dreams may just be that, life’s not that bad after all, and thus the of lesson of gratitude is learned once more.

The final piece is waiting for us now; this last gift from the composer is called Awaiting Your Return. David has become a true story teller of romantic songs, and on this one his cinematic styled romanticism is incredibly powerful. We could with ease imagine many scenes where lovers are parted, and through great struggle and strife they eventually find the way back into each other’s arms, there can be no doubt that Peña has created for us on this last track, a real power play of a composition with which to end with, and utterly succeeded in doing so.

Zero Gravity by David J. Peña is, and I apologise for any tired old clichés, but when I say it, it is true; Zero Gravity is the best work by the artist thus far, Peña is now excelling in his musical narration and is fast becoming one of the most compelling story tellers of his genre. Zero Gravity by David J. Peña is an outstanding new release that will rivet you to the spot and demand to be listened to, it’s an epic work that must surely be guaranteed top spot on the charts with utter ease.

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