On this set of solo piano recordings, Portuguese composer and pianist Tiago Sousa fabricates a delicate, meditative collection from hidden melodies and self-reflective interludes. Organic Music Tapes Vol. 1 is often quiet, but in these hushed passages finds powerful emotions. Sousa’s light touch helps these emotional threads drift toward the surface as asymmetric patterns flicker and emerge from nothingness.
Sousa shows his range throughout Organic Music Tapes Vol. 1 from the hushed ruminations of opener “Woodcrafter” through the effervescent luminescence of “Liberty Song” and angular triumph on closer “Hoarfrost.” The former is still as each note is given just the right amount of space to leave an impression. Sousa is so good at letting moments linger so they stay with us and this creates a certain layer of intimacy within his work that is especially present on Organic Music Tapes Vol. 1. “Liberty Song” moves with surprising quickness, bringing a tinge of anxiety to an otherwise cloudless vista.
Throughout these nine pieces, the clarity of Sousa’s vision and approach shine through. “The Scent of Time” unearths gentle expositions lost to a layer of time. It is ageless as if it is a piece of music that always existed but needed someone to find it and piece it back together. Quixotic chord arrangements sway back and forth as if caught in a crosswind, unable to move anywhere except up. This spirit returns on “To Be Nine of the Nine,” though the cadence has slowed and the air has grown colder.
Sousa connects each track on Organic Music Tapes Vol. 1, tying them to the connective tissue where solace tries to materialize. Meditations on every aspect of our days can grow out of the empty spaces in these piano compositions, but the best moments are where the piano strings resonate with shimmering certitude and emanate infectious rays of sonic warmth. I can only hope future volumes of Organic Music Tapes are on the horizon.