Sunflowers and Roses (2018)
Mark Christopher Brandt, piano
About Sunflowers and Roses (Released July 31, 2018)
Sunflowers and Roses arrives with the beauty, introspection and joy that is present in all of Mark’s music. Adding her incredible talents to this release is the Bulgarian born flutist, Yana Nikol. Not only a master in classical music, but equally gifted as an improvisor and composer, Ms. Nikol brings a depth and a beauty to this recording which warrants her listed not as a featured performer, but as a co-creator with Mark.
Sunflowers and Roses is a unique recording as each piece was created in the studio with no prior preparation. It is basically a soundtrack for Mark’s third DVD on improvisation titled Structure and Freedom, scheduled for release in the fall of 2018. Several of the duo pieces and all of the solo piano pieces were actually composed on the fly. This is not evident on the CD, but the video footage shows the creation of these pieces without pretense. In several spots the endings were adjusted in the mastering process in order to remove the talking which occurred between takes. Outside of this there was no editing of the performances and there are not multiple takes. Each piece is a one-time creation which occurred on the spot.
Fans of Mark’s music are most certainly familiar with Yana’s musical gifts from her debut with him on The Nightingale (2017), which features her shocking command on flute in speed, rhythm and tone. Sunflowers and Roses highlights Yana as an improvisor of intuition and depth as she seamlessly pours forth melodies which weave and swim in and around Mark’s inexhaustible flow of harmonic and rhythmic colors.
If you are one of the few, the proud and the dwindling who still own a stereo and value the peace and the joy that comes from active listening to higher art, then Sunflowers and Roses will make a welcome addition to your collection and the seeds planted in your soul will bloom beautiful fragrant flowers for years to come.
4. Garden Enclosed Part 1
5. Garden Enclosed Part 2
6. More Delight for the Emperor
7. Sunflowers and Roses
8. Yana NiCool
9. Child's Play
10. Part 1: First Love
11. Part 2: Second Love
12. Part 3: Third Time's the Charm
14. The Part Where Death Submits
15. The Forest Through the Trees