29 Sep 2022
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Samuel Philip Cooper - Single Review: A Perfect Vision

28 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

Wellington-based pianist Samuel Philip Cooper released his debut album in 2020 to raise awareness around mental health and raise funds for the Voices of Hope Mental Health Charity through a Givealittle fundraiser and physical CD sales. In January of this year, he was sat at home one night reflecting on what had happened so far and what the future may hold, and in that quiet time he sat and gently improvised some music which has now become the basis for this, his new single. He worked with producer Jonas Persson to record this and other pieces on a Grotian grand piano at Massey University Recording Studio in Wellington which will be released gradually over the next 12-18 months which are all again centered on raising awareness and support on mental health.

The result is something that is delicate and refined, no rush over a tumble of notes but instead each sequence and chords are carefully chosen with use of the sustain pedal which allows Samuel to create a very different world. This is far more restrained that what I have heard from him previously, with a melody which keeps changing and engaging the listener, and a touch which at times is so gentle that the notes can only just be heard. Consequently, the only way to get the best from this piece is by playing it on headphones and paying close attention – it is not music to be played in the background or when there are distractions as it would just get lost. It is only in the final seconds that he allows himself to play more dramatically, as he moves to the finale.

Some piano music can seem like a stream or a babbling brook, but this is more like gentle rainfall hitting leaves in a forest, but the sun is still shining and who knows what magic will appear in the rainbow? It is lulling, soothing, relaxing and a complete antithesis of what can often be found in the charts or on popular radio. I would have liked it to have been longer, as at 2:20 it does seem rather short, and there is more here which could have been developed, but there is a depth within the simplicity which is sublime.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Samuel Philip Cooper

Samuel Cooper is a contemporary solo pianist/composer based in Wellington. Composing since 2017, Sam’s compositions are deep, healing, and aim to tell stories that reflect some tough periods he has experienced in his first 25 years of life to help raise awareness for mental health and make a difference. Through his compositions and accompanying messages, he encourages others to speak up about their mental health instead of suffering silently like too many do.

Samuel draws inspiration from a vast array of contemporary pianists like Brian Crain and Michele McLaughlin, as well as many others from around the world. He hopes that his playing uplifts and enlightens listeners, and most importantly brightens people’s days and puts smiles on faces.

The piano is an instrument ingrained in Samuel’s bloodline – being the great-nephew of the late Peter Cooper, a well-known 20th century New Zealand concert pianist and a war pianist in World War II.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Samuel Philip Cooper

Releases

Breaking The Silence
Year: 2020
Type: Album

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