Some young adults begin their early working careers by taking whatever job is at hand and find the road to success. Some hope to achieve the road to success when handed the family business. Either decision requires talent and determination of course, but the universal message often heard about either choice is to always have your individual hopes and dreams.
Gunnar Madsen from Berkley California has achieved an impressive level of success most would hope for at this stage of his bright career. You can visit his website to learn all about his career choices through the years and I feel his grand success as a Grammy Nominated pianist and award winning composer, singer, writer, sound designer, filmmaker and actor are career decisions that might have even impressed his family.
Two Hands is the New Age, Cinematic Piano, Instrumental 2010 release from Gunnar Madsen and eighteenth CD he has produced. This album is a more especial and innermost portrayal of his musical works in relation to his earlier compositions with the a capella group he founded called The Bobs.
His first solo album Spinning World is a closer likeness with Two Hands, in a uniquely diverse discography that includes award winning family CDs along with an Epic Orchestral recording and even a lively pop art Rock album titled The Power of a Hat.
The recipient of countless music and theatre awards, his Grammy Nomination was for a song arrangement by The Beatles and has received ASCAP Awards for 15 consecutive years, plus his music is featured in some episodes of the widely popular HBO series Sex and the City and films Breaking the Rules, A Special Providence, The Break Up & Just a Kiss. Gunnar Madsen also does voice-overs, providing the film voice for Don Cheatle when he portrayed Sammy David Jr. in the Emmy Award winning HBO film The Rat Pack and this is just a partial listing of many credits during his career so far.
Two Hands was recorded at the industry regarded Skywalker Sound Studio and includes 16 songs total. Three songs have contrasting instrumentals where notable guest violinist Irene Sazer, a member of the improvisational Jazz and Classical group Turtle Island String Quartet lends her elegant expressions.
The first violin portrayal by Irene Sazer on Kerenyl is more subtle while gently tracing the melodic depth on strings as Gunnar leads on piano. Ordinary Day & Red Bird make a beautiful piano and string duet from the pair, extending the symmetrical harmony on each song while interblending into a narrative full of melodic drama.
Solo Piano ballads of Cinematic proportions are the sequential songs where Gunnar begins to reveal the innermost reflections of his work in a manner of classic distinction. Outlined with a conceptual feeling of depth, some of the more melodramatic and intriguing phrasing performed on songs like Nino and Me, Down Moon & South Trail are offered with a personalized touch.
Frank Grows Flowers is a song responding with an upbeat tempo and imaginative runs while dancing along the piano keys in every measure. The light reflective moments yet none the less expressive songs The Blackbird Whistling, Brandon & Oak Sky are more introspective in their structuring.
Break into Blossom begins with a lighter metrical sway and soon unfolds into bolder imagery by exploring a more robust presentation of greater intensity before returning into restful state of contentment and has a resemblance in style with In These Lonely Regions & Down Moon, given the more pronounced dynamics of diminuendo and crescendo variances.
Much like the memoir notes on the inside album cover detailing each composition, Gunnar Madsen traces every song on Two Hands with a gifted accounting of his diverse imagination while delivering a beautiful finger to key statement and like the valuable reward of success that is never just handed to anyone, it came from the talent and determination of an individual who started with and continues to have, hopes and dreams.
Picture copyright Big Stock Photo – jocelynbaker.