Music in Digital Platforms
Timeless is the follow-up to J. M. Quintana Camara’s 2012 release, Feelinks, nominated to the best solo piano album of the year 2012, in the category of “Classical/Modern Classical.” Timeless is an instrumental album with thirteen tracks with piano as the main instrument, most of them soundtracks of short films and documentaries. Energetic, deep, colourful, relaxing, peaceful, soothing, inspirational, romantic and sentimental music. These original music compositions are composed, written, interpreted, recorded and produced by J. M. Quintana Cámara.
Kathy Parsons, MainlyPiano.com
Timeless is the follow-up to J. M. Quintana Camara’s 2012 release, Feelinks, which was nominated for Best Solo Piano Album of the Year by SoloPiano.com in the category of “Classical/Modern Classical.” Quintana Camara is a very versatile composer who also writes music for soundtracks, documentaries, and television commercials. Born in Spain in 1984 and conservatory-trained from the age of nine, Quintana Camara started composing music at the age of twelve. With advanced degrees in music (piano) and computer science, Quintana Camara also teaches piano and music theory. His music is melodic, passionate, elegant, and sometimes quite energetic, reflecting life experiences in a very personal way. Classical influences with contemporary sensibilities gives the music a genre-crossing appeal that makes it difficult to classify (I really like that!). Timeless is mostly solo piano, but there are other instruments included in some of the compositions. Two of the thirteen pieces are presented in two different versions. Hopefully this excellent and very colorful music will bring Quintana Camara the more international following that he deserves.
Timeless begins with “The Challenge.” Starting with a slow, mysterious piano introduction, strongly rhythmic percussion and orchestration enter and send the piece soaring. Passionate and very dramatic, we can immediately hear why Quintana Camara is working in film soundtracks. “Fighting Against the Unknown” is fully orchestrated behind the piano. With a melancholy tone, the piece is sometimes light and determined, and other times burdened and a bit lost – beautiful and very expressive. “Sleep Paralysis” feels very much like a night of tossing and turning – agitated and frustrated, on the verge of falling asleep, but not quite there. It is fascinating how Quintana Camara expresses the quiet stillness as well as the turbulence of a restless night. A great piece! “Wonders of Earth” is an enchanting piece that seems to soar above the earth, awed by the beauty and drama below. “Stop Hunger!” comes from the soundtrack to the documentary The Third Rider, about hunger and malnutrition on our planet. Very dark and powerful, I love this one! The vibrant rhythms give the piece a sense of urgency while the slower sections reinforce the peril of the world and its inhabitants. A wonderful solo piano version of “Stop Hunger!” comes later in the album. “Welcome Back” is a warm and tender piano solo that overflows with love – another favorite. “Frenetic World” again picks up the pace with a spinning and twirling piano spurred on by agitated strings. “The Magic of Christmas” is a sweet piano solo composed in a very classical style, viewing Christmas through the eyes of a child. “Successful Challenge” is a second version of the opening “The Challenge” that brings this album to an upbeat and triumphant close.
J. M. Quintana Camara is on his way to becoming a major player in the contemporary classical music scene. Timeless is available from Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Highly recommended!
Steven Sheppard, One World Music
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.
Cathy Oakes, Enlightened Piano Radio
This CD begins with The Challenge and ends with Successful Challenge. If this was a personal challenge for J. M. Quintana Camara, it was successful, indeed! The music on Timeless is beautifully orchestrated and very cinematic in feel. Quite understandable, considering his background with writing music for television, soundtracks and various documentaries.
I took my time with this review because it was out of the ordinary for me. And I’m so thankful that I did. I got to “know” the music and gained a feel for the beautiful style, the exquisite expression and the out-of-the-park talent on the keyboard.
The first track, The Challenge, begins with slow quiet chords on the piano. But once the instruments and percussion enter, it’s off to the races with this one. Driving beat and strong themes that get passed back and forth from the orchestration to the piano carry this piece to a final and almost abrupt end, daring you to take The Challenge. Fighting Against the Unknown is a beautiful, melodic, introspective piece. The melody soars through the French horn (one of my favorite instruments) and is carried throughout the piece by different instruments. I LOVE his choice of instrumentation in this piece! Once again, Quintana Camara ends the piece leaving the listener wanting more – BRILLIANT! I think this is my favorite piece on the CD. It has moved me to tears. Sleep Paralysis sounds exactly like its title. It portrays that point where one tries so hard to “turn off” the frantic thoughts and just find rest. It paints a picture of that half-waking, half-dreaming moment – right on the brink of sleep. The listener nearly finds that elusive rest when the frantic thoughts return.
AMIAS is one of the composer’s personal favorites. It is the soundtrack for a short film with the same name. Very quiet and almost brooding, this piece expresses the melody on both the piano and the French horn beautifully. Wonders of Earth has an ethereal feel. It expresses an awe of the beauty that surrounds us on this earth that we call home.
Stop Hunger was written as a soundtrack to “The Third Rider.” It is a documentary on malnutrition and hunger in our world. It is dark with driving rhythms. It portrays a pathos that provokes thought and emotion in the listener. This piece is the artist’s way of expressing his complaint against the situation of hunger on our planet. Welcome Back is a love song – pure and simple. It is tender and melodic with passionate themes. It is another favorite of mine. Frenetic World, once again paints a very vivid picture of the business of our everyday lives. In the music, you can literally hear one going about their daily business when, suddenly, crisis strikes and must be dealt with – only to return immediately to a frantic business. Toward the Unknown begins with a mysterious, tentative, almost hesitant theme on the piano. It gains pace and strength, while remaining just slightly tentative, expressing that slight fear of the unknown that we all share.
The Magic of Christmas expresses a wonder and excitement of a child’s view of Christmas. I love this bright little waltz with a “happy dance” section in the middle. It conjures images of children gathered around the tree opening gifts one after the other and expressing their joy in receiving “just what they wanted!”
Quintana Camara wraps up this CD with a beautiful solo piano version of Stop Hunger followed by Successful Challenge, a brighter version of the opening piece, The Challenge. An excellent ending to a superb CD!
Any one of the pieces on this CD could be used as a soundtrack. Each piece portrays an emotion, a thought, a personal challenge in such a poignant way. Quintana Camara has painted a beautiful musical collage of the challenges of life in Timeless. VERY well, done, sir! I give this CD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it highly!