10/19/2018

Instrumental Ambient/Electronica Review: Wendy Loomis-High Tech High Touch

Release Date: June 14, 2018
Label: Independent

Wendy Loomis is a San Francisco-based composer who has won the ASCAP award for composition 4 times, released 16 CDs, and has performed with various ensembles nationally and internationally. That is one impressive resume. Would her latest release High Tech High Touch continue to build on that consistency or keep setting the bar higher for this talented lady?

High Tech High Touch served as my introduction to Wendy. It would prove to be a fascinating disparity of instrumental music. Going from the High Tech (CD 1) to High Touch (CD 2) was like listening to two different artists; this is the entire point of naming each CD something entirely different so indeed it comes as advertised.

High Tech is spacey ambient electronic music, done very well. Wendy explores the varying degrees of tone, layers, and volume that a synth can create. The technology at the disposal of artists today is phenomenal, but believe me, it takes intelligence and pure talent to create something that makes sense to an audience. When you hear music like this you desire something with substance and meaning and Wendy is able to get just that to a prospective listener. 

Music such as this is easily applicable to movie soundtracks or commercials, but again, it has to be good! Wendy’s talent is apparent right from the start as the curtain opens with “Omar Sosa” (a Cuban -born composer, bandleader, and jazz pianist).  Based on that first track I found it interesting that it was on the tech CD, not the touch CD. So, with that thought in mind, this is where an artist uses their improvisational techniques and musical talent to create something new and fresh and still be able to acknowledge the artist they are honoring. A tricky thing to pull off at times, but again, Wendy comes through with flying colors, or should I say “with colors flying.”

Keep in mind this is two EP configured discs, 8 tracks each, so what you get is like sitting and listening to one 60+ minute CD.  Because the music is so dissimilar it has to stand on its own as one single entity of work that showcases the artists' affinity for offering a listener polar opposite of musical styles within the realm of keyboards.

High Touch is all acoustic piano instrumentals that are rooted in classical and new age. This is music I am accustomed to hearing quite often so it has to be done very well. Again, Wendy proves that she was not taking any chances by putting out something so different in style and sound. The piano playing is elegant, tasteful and very soothing. The 8 tracks are sheer beauty flowing seamlessly, as it should be with this type of music.

High Tech High Touch hits the mark for a wide range of listeners and it is all done very well by Wendy Loomis. So, to answer my own question, yes, she sets the bar very high for herself and any other artist to attain simply on variety alone, for one musical package. Wendy gets an A+ for talent and overall musical satisfaction from this listener’s chair.


Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
October 19, 2018

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Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
Disc 1: 
01. Omar Sosa
02. Cassiopeia
03. Birthday Beat
04. Synchronicity
05. Rings
06. Apogee
07. Pleiades
08. Sarah's Blessing


Disc 2:
 

01. Cumulus Cloud
02. Julio
03. Romantic Hearts
04. You're Too Sensitive
05. Nagano Reflection
06. Safe Travel
07. One Snowy Night
08. Eternity
 

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