By Blake Parker
Piano & Coffee is always eager to cover the works of visionary collaborative duo Garreth Broke and Anna Salzmann, especially when the project covers the seasonal changes happening outside our very windows.
Broke’s spring-themed EP, March, simply leaves nothing to be desired. The melodies seem full and fresh, yet familiar as if the tunes are old friends nearly forgotten. Much of modern classical music doesn’t dare to go where Broke goes tonally in his EP. While the methods are familiar ones, the content of the playing is where Broke’s piano shines. Subconsciously, as well, the music forms mental images of space and landscapes that hint at raw, wide open countryside and the bite of a cold wind despite sunny skies.
The accompanying artwork by Anna Salzmann also rings a strange bell, like the artwork hung for years on the wall in a childhood friend’s living room. The medium of watercolor and rough paper give the pieces an approachable and reciprocally vulnerable feeling, allowing even the timidest to feel welcomed into the curious world of swooping brushstrokes. Colors in these accompanying pieces are suggestive but not overt; introducing the first greens of spring while still staving off the icy blues of winter lingering.
Overall this collaborative project gives the impression of the big melt that comes just as spring creeps in – while not gone, the snow and ice give way to a new season, and the process of change is both sloppy and sluggish, and tranquil, if not meditatively, beautiful. A wonderful emotional arc can be traced throughout the whole of the project; from subdued, as one can be at the end of winter, to invigorated, as one likely is as spring begins.
Donwload and stream the March EP on Bandcamp.