GARY HUSBAND AND MARKUS REUTER, Music of our Times (MoonJune, 2020)
- Gary Husband, Fazioli F212 Grand Piano
- Markus Reuter, Live Electronics, Touch Guitars, AU8
- Colour of Sorrow
- Across the Azure Blue
- Music of our Times
- A Veiled Path
- White Horses (for Allan)
- Illuminated Heart
From disaster comes beauty. Such seems to be the message from keyboardist Gary Husband and touch guitar specialist Markus Reuter, as they make the most of a difficult situation to bring forth a remarkably deep, highly emotional, and completely improvised album appropriately (and necessarily) called Music of our Times.
Had things gone according to plan, this album would not exist. Husband was in Japan to join Stick Men (Reuter, Chapman Stick legend Tony Levin, and drummer Pat Mastelotto) as guest keyboardist during a tour of Japan and China. Unfortunately, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic brought the tour to a halt after just a single performance. The band (and every other musician, for that matter) would have to go home and wait the bug out. Co-producer Leonard Pavkovic found a way to make a bit of lemonade out of this gigantic lemon by booking a little time in a Tokyo studio for two musicians. Husband and Reuter took advantage of the time by creating this unrehearsed work of art.
Husband’s lushly reverberated piano speaks volumes despite his relatively minimalist approach. Reuter creates lush soundscapes to carry these pieces to their unplanned yet on-target destinations. Both artists are able to express the anguish of loss (on multiple levels) with a sprinkling of hope over the course of six of the most perfectly titled pieces of music.
Starting with “The Colour of Sorrow,” Husband sets the tone with deep, resonant chording and melodic single note leads that may not be instantly hummable, but definitely strike an emotional blow. From there the music continues essentially in suite form, taking the listener on a journey through exactly what Husband and Reuter have been faced with, and how they intend to deal with it. Husband found himself thinking deeply about friend and legendary guitarist Allan Holdsworth in the album’s climax, “White Horses (for Allan).” It is a true moment of musical catharsis.
By album’s end, we recognize Husband and Reuter have found a way through the initial phases of what’s happening in the world around them. They have even found a little hope by the end of the journey. It won’t take long for listeners of Music of our Times to share a similar feeling.
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