Contemporary piano enthusiasts, rejoice! This month, I’ve created a 30-minute playlist of tracks from some of my favorites including Jim Brickman, Michael Silverman, Yiruma, Brian Crain and Ludovico Einaudi. Majority of the pieces are set in major keys, so it’s perfect for those feel-good and soothing moments.
August 2016 Piano Picks kicks off with a throwback to a Disney classic – Beauty and the Beast tastefully reworked by Jim Brickman. And to keep up the momentum of the uplifting melody and rhythm, it made sense to throw in another nostalgic piece – Canon in D. I am completely in love with Michael Silverman’s take on my favorite song in the world. While the style is not one you’d walk down the aisle to, it’s grea for easy listening.
Yiruma’s Sky isn’t as well-known as River Flows in You or Kiss the Rain, but I think a lot of his lesser-known pieces are equally graceful and beautiful as his popular pieces. Sky features a bit of harmonization with syncopation, offering a light-hearted feel.
I found Moonlight from a random spa/meditation playlist, and unfortunately am not able to track down the artist. It’s short and sweet, but not a track I would personally use for meditation. If you ask me, it’s more of a study track.
Poem+ by Yiruma is similar to the majority of his pieces, which all sound like they should be featured in Korean dramas. Between Sky and this track, I enjoy this track much more. It’s a bit more emotional, which is the tone I prefer (and is most likely influenced from my high school emo days).
Ludovico Einaudi’s Song by Gavin is a song of broken chords, as most of his compositions are, but he always makes the repetition sound beautiful and never boring. And in case you were wondering, this song was written in memory of Einaudi’s friend and songwriter Gavin Clark. Imagine having a composition like this written in your honor.
Softness and Light can be described clearly by the title. The song is not only soft and light, but encourages the listener to think introspectively. I love songs like this for studying, working and easy listening.
In the Morning Light by Yanni is an oldie, but a goodie. My favorite part of the track is at 1:16, when the melody picks up and the strings are at its peak. The main melody (think chorus) makes me want to cry every time I hear it, but this is normally the case for me when the melody has a downward scale that is followed by an upward scale. Hear for yourself.
Adagio is not what I consider adagio (slow tempo). I wouldn’t recommend it for studying as it is more soothing than anything, yet not slow enough to be useful for meditation. Regardless, I wanted to end my August picks with a track that would lead to a slow and tragically beautiful ending.
Hope you enjoy my picks for this month. Let me know what your favorite tracks are in the comments below!