Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: New Age, Rock
Critically-acclaimed instrumental piano solos composed and inspired by cancer survival - a musical offering of home and comfort. Endorsed by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute, this album is use... more »
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Critically-acclaimed instrumental piano solos composed and inspired by cancer survival - a musical offering of home and comfort. Endorsed by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute, this album is used as healing therapy and an emotional support tool at over 1,000 cancer treatment facilities and wellness clinics in the United States and Canada. You certainly don't have to be a cancer survivor to fall in love this album.
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From Solo Piano Publications
Kathy Parsons | Florence, OR United States | 03/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Matthew Zachary's debut album, "Scribblings", is an inspiring story of courage, spirit, determination, and the power of hope. An aspiring concert pianist in his senior year of college, Matthew found himself losing motor control of his left hand. Headaches and fainting spells soon followed, and Matthew could no longer attribute these symptoms to stress. At 21, he was diagnosed as having a very rare form of brain cancer. Surgically removing the golf-ball-sized tumor was his only chance for survival, but the doctors could not give him any guarantees that he would survive the eight-hour surgery, let alone walk or play the piano again. After surgery and a week in the hospital, Matthew returned home to find that he could use his left hand again, but only at the level of a first-grader. He endured a year's worth of radiation treatments, suffering horrible side-effects. Sleeping most of the time, Matthew would make himself spend 10-20 minutes a day at the piano. Still unable to write legibly, he would jot down ideas and phrases on music manuscript paper, and called these notations his "scribblings". Three years later, in 1999, Matthew fleshed out his ideas and created the music for this album. Not really seeking commercial success, this album has been placed in many hospitals and cancer treatment centers to help patients and their families in a time of terrible stress. The music is often used in pediatric cancer cases to help children relax and dissociate before undergoing treatment. Matthew's musical celebration of life and the power of hope course through each song on "Scribblings". One might expect the music to be sad or dark, but it is vibrant and full of passion. With all of the references to how soothing the music is, I expected it to be very quiet - perhaps along the lines of Kevin Kern's recorded music - but it overflows with the power and expression of a fully-trained pianist who has lived his life with music as his focus and the center of his being. I have been listening to "Scribblings" for the past two weeks, and hear something new each time. Four of the pieces are improvisations, and the other six are composed pieces - all are solo piano. It is very difficult to choose favorite pieces - all of them are so good and so heartfelt. "Awakenings" is very introspective - almost a smooth jazz piece. It is full of hope with some discordant twinges here and there that I interpret as being minor setbacks followed by a surge forward. "Rain" is my favorite of the improvisations. No springtime shower here - this is a full-blown storm. Both rhythmic and impressionistic, this is a piece I'd love to play! "Recovery" is mostly upbeat and optimistic with a few bittersweet moments. Encouraging and positive, the piece almost sings "come on - you can do it!" For more information about Matthew Zachary's story and his ongoing work in music in health care, please visit his website ..."
Promising Debut Album
S. Cairns | Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, United Kingdom | 05/29/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very promising debut CD from Matthew Zachary. He is clearly a talented pianist, and his music has plenty of energy and zip to it, which I like. He couldn't be more different in style to, say, Michael Jones. Matthew's music has its own distinct style. His tracks are not always greatly melodic, but one still has to sit back and admire the man's technique and obvious talent.The two tracks that I enjoyed most were the opening track, "Simplicity" and one of four improvisations on this CD called "Rain".I wouldn't say "Simplicity" lives up to its name if you take the title literally; to a non-pianist, it seems quite complicated to me! I love the energetic opening. Perhaps the title is referring to other things. As Matthew states in his notes, this CD consists of..."ten original, instrumental solo piano compositions written and inspired by a life-altering journey surviving cancer.""Rain" appeals at many levels. I really enjoy the opening bars, and the way the storm intensifies. It is quite an improvisation, not least because of its length, clocking in at over nine minutes! These two tracks are, to me, the most melodic and instantly accessible on the CD. Many of the tracks are quite lengthy, and the total playing time is over an hour.I look forward to hearing Matthew's latest CD. I like the way this man is heading with his music.Recommended."