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  • Artist: Andrew Benton
  • Label: CD Baby
  • UPC: 633043092024
  • Item #: CDBY309202
  • Genre: Easy Listening
  • Release Date: 2/6/2007
  • This product is a special order
  • Rank: 1000000000
Price: $20.80

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Softly on CD

This album is my first - a debut - capturing a range of pop music that crosses over several genres including classical, jazz and top 40. In the case of the top 40 selections, the challenge was to create effective arrangements of pieces that came across clearly and captured the mood without the use of lyrics. Because of the repetitive nature of the original compositions, this proved challenging for me to effectively arrange several of the songs. While a vocalist can paint a picture with words effectively, I wanted to paint a picture with the piano without the use of a vocalist or band. In other words, I did not want to simply 'cover' these songs, I wanted to make them sound complete as piano arrangements alone. The two jazz standards also have words and presented a similar challenge. The classical selections were chosen for their 'pop' appeal, and I choose, at least in the case of Gymnopdie, to play loose and create little moments of spontaneity based on the feeling of particular passages. I did not attempt sweeping improvisations but choose instead to keep things very simple with gentle deviation from the page of Satie, such as unmarked pauses or left hand harmonic gestures. The Bach was simply a composed melody written above the original Prelude. It is the only track that includes more than just piano. I must admit that I enjoy this piece very much to include the violin melody. Bach needs no improvement of course, and yet I have heard the solo piano Prelude so many times at weddings that a fresh approach was, well, refreshing to me. I have completed my first project, a collection of arrangements that I hope you will enjoy - songs without words - a collection I have titled 'Softly'. Thank you for listening.