While many musicians in the neoclassical and ambient space embrace the solace listeners may find in their work, Luke Gajdus has chosen to pursue this avenue in a particularly proactive way. The pianist and composer who divides his time between London and Queenstown has obtained a master’s degree in Music Therapy and his performances are designed to emphasize a state of relaxation including events like all-night sleepover concerts and pop up shows set in natural spaces. Capturing this in album form, his latest released entitled In Breath was written and recorded between the hustle & bustle of London and the peaceful and the mountain ranges & forests of New Zealand using three different pianos treated with cotton, paper and felt between the hammers and strings to help generate soothing tones and a relaxed atmosphere.
The movements of water in rivers, streams and oceans, of clouds, of swaying trees, of changes in season, of the transition between night and day all spoke as an analogy of shifts and movements in the human mind, which served as an inspiration for many of these pieces. It is in nature that I feel most connected and balanced and I endeavored to reflect this in the music.
To bring these sentiments to the listener in a way that resonates and connects beyond just good intentions requires an innate sense of melody & narrative and, fortunately, Gajdus demonstrates those attributes in abundance. These are lovely, thoughtful pieces that radiate down-to-earth kindness and sincerity. Avid followers of solo piano music won’t hear anything revolutionary here, but there is enough revolution and upheaval in the world. In Breath is a supremely welcoming record that offers peace, beauty, and human connection and that is something all of us can do with plenty more of.
In Breath is now available on CD as well as digital download and streaming. The album was mixed & mastered by Martin Heyne at his Lichte Studio in Berlin and features artwork by Dadu Shin.