30 August 2014
We journey again dear constant reader into the world Jose Manuel Quintana Camara and his new release Timeless. This intriguing album starts with a power piece called The Challenge and builds in dramatic style. You can sense the intensity here and the artist really moves the song along as we dive head long into track two called Fighting Against The Unknown. Whilst the pace on this composition is slower, the intent and deepness of its construction still reverberate within its musical boundaries, the skill of the artist to create a sense of intensity at a deeper level here is not only clever it’s quite brilliant. Towards the latter half of the track we have a timely crescendo and a very smooth orchestral section that in truth brings is a piece of great quality.
Sleep Paralysis is a totally different composition. I have to say at this point that I feel a message is trying to come through here; this is again a very emotive and powerful track. At over six and a half minutes long the musician seems to have created a canvas to air his deep thoughts, but on a musical level there are some quite beautiful chord changes contained within and if you look behind the melancholy of the style you can see and hear some very stylish playing. I must recommend this composition for all budding musicians who wish to create a song of deep meaning that has a powerful narrative within to listen to Sleep Paralysis: it’s an opus of utter genius.
AMIAS is next up and we are treated to a slow paced and delightfully melodic composition that has within it some subtle string work as well. The steady progression is done in an almost Steve Reich style, this minimalistic approach works brilliantly and as the track progresses the composition builds with a great dramatic purpose, the softly like the night pulls back to an almost silent end, quite brilliant.
With the piece Wonders of the Earth I began to feel that message getting stronger with each track, there is great beauty to be found here, there is also great imagery to be seen within this piece. I can close my eyes; listen to the horn dancing with the piano and see great landscapes swooping across our beautiful planet. This is one very beautiful arrangement and similar in style to the works of Michael Hoppe.
The intent of this album is now abundantly clear with the track Stop Hunger. We live in the 21st Century and still many countries have yet any access to clean running water, yet many of us are lucky enough to have all the latest technology and other such frippery. Stop hunger has all the right chords, all the right notes and the right poise to send that message out to the world, created with a masterful intent the musician here has created a deeply moving track that deserves to have a moving video image along with the message that runs along in the narrative of the song.
As we move to the midway point of the album we come across a track dear constant reader and listener called Welcome Back. One has to marvel at the magical style that the artist uses here, the creation is softly brought into the musical world and with a gentle caress he touches the keys and with a subtle change of power which adds an extra dynamic to the song, Welcome Back is a real mixture of the classic mixed with a little New Age style solo piano.
As the title implies Frenetic World is faced paced but with some very cleverly placed erratic styled playing contained within, but all the time there is a smoothly underpinned steady heartbeat of a tempo that like life itself gets pulled out of synch at any given point of time, boy how I know this so well, only a few years ago this could have been my theme tune. The musician here has created the perfect musical explanation of the utterly useless frenetic way in which most people live their lives in the modern world, chasing after the next impossible goal in an effort to satisfy the fear within. Brilliantly played, reminds me a lot of the style of Isadar on his album Dream of the Dead.
Jose Manuel has a wonderfully skilful way of pulling back the energies and after a frenetic track giving us a most chilled composition called Toward the Unknown, almost ambient in its initial approach. The piece does pick up slightly in tempo in the second half of the shortest composition off the album, but always contains its self within its original structure.
Now to a place, a location I know very well in the piece called Cambridgeshire. This is what I would call a track of great memories; a nice melody wends its way through the composition in the same way the rivers in the shire do on a warm summer’s afternoon. There is purpose here; some classically styled playing creates the perfect imagery for anyone who dares to use their imagination. I found this track very memorable; music has a way of doing that, the artist has created a musical trigger within this piece that will offer you the chance to journey as well.
Now there is no way in the world that sitting here in the last few days of August in temperatures of a 100°+F or 40°+C that I would be listening to a track entitled The Magic Of Christmas, but that dear constant reader is the next piece we delve into. However this is no over ostentatious composition in classical Christmas style but a gentle rhythmic track that does in fact lift the spirits as it plays.
That timely trip back or forward towards Christmas is soon passed with the next piece called Stop hunger (Solo Piano) once more the statement is clear as on the earlier track, this time Jose Manuel Quintana Camara does it all by himself with a delightfully empowering and deliberate track once again emphasising the earlier statement if intent.
The construction of this album has been quite brilliant, if you remember we started with The Challenge and now we end with Successful Challenge. Once more the musician creates a perfect musical backdrop to state that the intent and message of this album is not only possible, but would be quite easy to perform if we could all get on the same page. Using orchestration to build the composition was of course vital and works superbly, the short and sweet nature of this track says it all, let’s get it done and lets be successful.
Jose Manuel Quintana Camara has created in Timeless a thought provoking album with a message woven within, he has birthed a release that musically touches ambient, minimalism, classical and new age and if you’re a fan of those genres you really need to get this album quickly its quite splendid.
Steven Sheppard from OneWorldMusic.com 08/30/14