3/08/2015

New Age Instrumental/Classical Review: Philip Wesley-Transcend

Release Date: September 5, 2014
Label: Autumn Music Productions

Philip Wesley trained to become an athlete. When he was twenty he realized a new passion and thus began his journey on a path less traveled. One of the New Age industry’s top performers (Billboard Magazine, CD Baby, iTunes), he can be heard on Pandora and other internet radio providers. Seven albums into his career, Wesley hasn’t stopped to look back. Transcend is an emotive and impactful album full of the expressive solo piano we have come to expect from this master of the keys.

“Less Traveled” is stalwart look into the mind of the artist. Introspective and at times crisp and brooding, this piece delineates a conscious decision to do what the heart commands, no matter the outcome. With strident and piercing melodies, this title should come with an exclamation point on board. This is the athlete speaking. You have to persevere to get anywhere in life, especially when the road isn’t paved with roses. Sometimes you get dirt roads with potholes. The trick is not just the end result; it is the lessons learned along the journey. 

“Unbridled Spirit” awakens with a tentative piano sequence, the keys dancing beneath Wesley’s fingertips completing the essence of spirit he alluded to in “Less Traveled.” To walk a road that is hard, you must have spirit and not be afraid to scrape your knees. The most important lessons are typically hard won. With elegant composition and melodic style, this piece paints brush strokes across the sky and screams out a victory dance.
“Moonlight and Jasmine” is a fragrant piece that brings to mind romance under the stars. Tender and alluring, the solo piano creates a theatrical soundscape that lets my imagination take flight. A gazebo under the stars…a young woman dances with her love. Round and round they go, never ceasing even when the music stops. All to the scent of jasmine and the lunar glow of a breathless moon. 

“Haunted Past” in some ways reminds me of the movie The Secret Garden. A stone wall surrounds the hidden place of joy and tragedy, never to be seen again. Brick by brick and note by note the walls grow higher. Then, an unexpected guest finds the key. Sanctuary for all becomes not just a haunted past but the bare bones of a bittersweet future. Some ghosts want to be found if only to whisper goodbye. Take a moment to listen to this remarkable piece and perhaps you will hear yours…

Philip Wesley has a remarkable talent and I feel privileged to spend time with his music. It unlocks the whimsical parts of me and lets my imagination wander down his musical path. Both a teacher and an inspiration for all who want to learn more about piano, this artist is truly an inspiration and I look forward to listening to all of his works and am marking him as a must have for all future releases.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Less Traveled, Unbridled Spirit, Moonlight and Jasmine, Haunted Past 

Tracks:
01. Less Traveled  
02. Unbridled Spirit
03. Transcend  
04. Captivated
05. Distant Memory
06. Moonlight & Jasmine
07. The Chase  
08. Union  
09. Courage to Change
10. Haunted Past
11. Wanderlust
12. Gypsy
13. Echoes Through Eternity

Dana Wright Senior Staff Writer
March 7, 2015
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

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