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Classical Music Review

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Somewhere Nearby


Performed by: Mac Dunlop (piano)
Label: Mac Dunlop
RRP: £5
Click here to buy -
Release Date: 12 April 2020

Mac Dunlop releases another collection of compositions on Somewhere Nearby. This album includes 8 tracks (51 min, 11 sec) of modern classical music that mixes solo piano pieces with electronic works...

Much like Mac Dunlop's other release this month (Viral Nature), Somewhere Nearby incorporates elements of cool jazz compositions as well as experimental electronic ambience and improvisations. It opens, beautifully, with the solo piano piece 'Bianka's Song' which has a wonderful ebb and flow at its core.

This is followed by the ethereal feel of the electronic based 'E Flat Sine Wave'. This is in stark contrast to the opening track. It's a little like a BBC Radiophonic Workshop piece, only more modern and much more tuneful.

'Wharf Interlude' is a composition for piano and flute (electronic flute) which feels like an improvised piece which keeps losing and finding its way. It's very jazz like in construction, but sounds more like a classical music piece.

'Migration in Three Parts' is another electronic offering, which is part ambient dance music and part electronic score. 'Lockdown World' is another solo piano composition which shifts and changes in an evolving state. 'Sine Wave Curiouos' mixes piano and a humming, beating electronic sound, which sounds like the inside of an alien vessel in Doctor Who.

'Somewhere Nearby' is a meandering piano piece that feels like a stream of consciousness as the music pours out of the player. And, finally, we close with 'Steambeck', an electronic theme based track that feels like a movie or TV soundtrack composition.

It's the diversity here which makes this arguably Dunlop's most intriguing album to date.

As in previous releases, Dunlop gives a brief explanation on what inspired him for each composition:

Track listing

01 - Bianka's Song: a friend suddenly had to drop everything and leave, worrying that she would be separated from her partner if she did not leave straight away.
02 - E Flat Sine Wave: an ambient track that combines simple piano structures with manipulated samples.
03 - Wharf Interlude: a composition for piano and flute. It's lovely when things feel like they already fit together.
04 - Migration in Three Parts: A journey in three -sections Here Nor There - from one place to another. A piano and electronic composition.
05 Lockdown World: a simple scale syncopates into rhythms that ripple back and forth through the melody.
06 - Sine Wave Curiouos: a compelling combination of improvisations on piano and electronic sine generator.
07 - Somewhere Nearby: the title track, something of the day I thought of this haunts me. In a good way, memories are invisible sketchbooks.
08 - Steambeck: something in the sound reminded me of old film editing equipment. None of this is analogue though. A last piece of ambience, somewhere nearby.


Darren Rea