The Remembering is an album of quiet, inspired moments. …zephyr-like melodies and motifs appear, disappear, and return again.                     

The Remembering
Artist: Dave Bainbridge
Open Sky Records
12 tracks / 48:53

Contemplative, richly-textured, and evocative, this album of solo piano pieces performed by Iona’s Dave Bainbridge speaks the language of the soul. Born mostly of improvisation, the path of the twelve tracks on The Remembering seem to have sprung from Bainbridge’s heart to his fingers, and then ultimately to the listener.

The Remembering is an album of quiet, inspired moments. Bainbridge is a masterful pianist but never allows his considerable technique to become the focus. Instead, he creates zephyr-like melodies and motifs that appear, disappear, and return again. The melodies are subtle and sometimes only register after several listenings, as if to be absorbed on a subconscious level. It’s the kind of music that you can sit and contemplate in a quiet time or have playing while you’re doing work – but only work that will allow your soul to be uncluttered enough to allow the evocative themes to come through.

There’s none of the fiery, soaring epic prog of Iona here – instead there’s about 49 minutes of calming of the soul. The first half of the project is “Collendorn Suite,” which is broken down into six tracks. The last two of the remaining six tracks are “A View of the Islands,” based on a melody by Debbie Bainbridge, and “A Prayer for Beachy Head,” based on a song by Iona’s Joanne Hogg.  “The Remembering,” “Song For Bill,” "Incarnation," and “Like a World, Behind the Song,” are all Dave’s improvised compositions.

There’s something very personal, very one-on-one about a man and a piano. It’s almost as if we’re allowed to peek into Bainbridge’s head (or heart) as he improvises as a solo artist. As an added bonus, we get a color booklet with Dave’s comments about the different songs.

I’ll allow those that are more well-versed in the pianist’s art to talk about the craft of Bainbridge’s technique – I don’t have the knowledge or vocabulary to do that kind of analysis – but I think that Bainbridge is playing as much for the heart as the musically well-educated ear.  The Remembering is a quiet album that is essentially a musical baring of a soul. Thankfully, it’s the soul of Dave Bainbridge.

Bert Saraco