Pianist and composer Yelena Eckemoff performs her music composed in 2005 with cellist Gayle Masarie, flutist Deborah
Egekvist and drummer Michael Bolejack. Recorded live in February – June of 2006, this 68 minute album offers
lively, charming music inspired by the nature as well as by the issues of a person’s spiritual live. Combining
clear acoustic sound, highly masterful performance and tastefully inventive music with the spirit of improvisation, “The
Call” stands out as a major event in the fields of contemporary and jazz fusion music. The album comes with the
twelve-page booklet featuring the author’s comments, individual and band photographs, and biographical facts
From Yelena's Journal:
"I composed the music for this album in a time frame of about a year. It began in October 2004 with the unexpected loss of our beloved dog, a gorgeous female rottweiler named Daisy, who by the way was also featured on my 2003 album, "Kaleidoscope of Life."
During the following year, saddened by Daisy's death, I was thinking more than ever about the mysteries of existence. My life was far from uneventful boredom, and some events resulted in worries and strong feelings which gave inspiration for such pieces as "Suspicion," "Questions," "Rhapsody of Thought," "Temptation," and, of course, "The Call." At the same time, my new country life was surrounded by nature. My walks in the woods where I observed the colors, sounds and aromas of the wilderness, touched the very depth of my soul and contributed to much thinking and contemplating. The title piece of this album, "The Call," reflects my inspiration to change some things in my life. In particular, after years of working as a solo recording artist, I did actually feel called to seek again the help of other musicians in performing my music. I was fortunate to find these great musicians who became sincerely involved with my project. Playing, recording and just hanging out with Gayle, Mike, and Debbie was great during and beyond the time of making "The Call." I appreciate their dedication and support of my music and look forward to our future endeavors together in both recording and live performances."
Songs' Notes :
1. THE CALL - After years of working as a solo recording artist, I suddenly felt called to seek again the help of other musicians in performing my music. I strongly believe it was the call from above which was meant to inspire me to change that and other aspects of my life.
2. DAISY - In October 2004 my family suffered the unexpected loss of our beloved dog, a gorgeous female rotweiler named Daisy. Pet lovers will understand my feelings about the death of the canine family member. The next day I cried and called her by name, refusing to believe that she was not coming to my call. I sat down at the piano, as I always do in times of overwhelming emotions, and tried to pour out my broken heart in sounds. There was my Daisy lying in the sun under the pines, watching the moving shadows on the warm pine needles and listening to the birds and the trees murmur; and the melody sang: Daisy, you come to me... As I improvised this music, I felt that Daisy’s spirit was all around me and inside the music. I wrote down what I improvised, and it seemed to me that my music captured the gentle and loving soul of our faithful dog. It revealed how she had been happy in her life with us ever since she was a tiny puppy, and how she went to Heaven following the call of the Creator.
3. STROLLING TOWARDS SUNSET - I love walking briskly towards the soft evening light, while adoring the beautiful serenity of the setting sun, reflecting on the passing day and anticipating a good night rest.
4. SUSHI DINNER - Comes from my admiration of Japanese culture, including authentic Japanese music and their fascinating traditional ceremonies.
5. RIPPLES ON WATER - The slow beginning and end of this piece reflect actual ripples on the water, while the faster middle section is more descriptive of the same effect, but as spiritual disturbances on our inner self.
6. QUESTIONS - The rhythm might suggest a tango, but the tempo is way too fast for dancing. When life poses questions that seem to have no answer, one becomes anxious, impatient, even angry, craving a solution.
7. SUNNY DAY IN THE WOODS - Inspired by my long walks in the country woods. Cheered and softened by the sun, I can forget about time and almost become part of the forest life, which seems to be calm and quiet at first, yet as I listen and observe, I sense the tense business of the wild nature.
8. SUSPICION - At certain times you feel more vulnerable, have self-doubts. I like how Kathy Parsons described this piece in her review of “The Call” CD for ‘Piano Solo Publications’: “It begins gently and innocently, but a questioning feeling soon develops and then agitation. The piece builds momentum as the torment increases, pulls back a bit and questions more rationally and hopefully until doubt starts to take over and the intensity returns.”
9. RHAPSODY OF THOUGHT - Somehow deep thinking and rhapsody link in my mind. I guess both represent the same mood. At least for me, it is so.
10. FORGOTTEN PERFUME - Scents can surely transport you into the past and quickly bring memories back. I still keep a little bottle with remains of the perfume I used in my days as a student at the conservatory. Inspiration for the song came when one day in 2005 I happened to sniff this precious liquid and was smitten by a flood of memories.
11. TEMPTATION - ‘Lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil,’ – thus says the Bible. But how often temptation in our lives stirs our minds, provoking strong feelings and tearing our souls apart? Truly, temptation is a sweetest poison of all!
12. GARDEN IN MAY - One of my hobbies is gardening. It is wonderful to watch things grow and awaken for life in the spring. For me it always brings a promise, all fresh and new, like a baby.
13. OCEAN OF PINES - When strong winds blow through the forest of pines surrounding our country house, the lush sound reminds me of ocean. The sight of pine trees with their fragrant, fuzzy branches gently swaying in the breeze is the most pleasing to me of all the trees. That happily anticipated pine tree my grandparents always has for Christmas, loaded with sparking decorations, colored lights, candies and nuts, was always a most special treat for me as I traveled to my mother’s hometown, Tambov (in Russia), to spend there my school breaks… I also envision my eternal rest to be among the pines.
14. MY COZY BED - The melody came to me as I stretched on my comfy bed one evening, and I felt compelled to get up from that warm comfort to write it down, before the desired sleep would overtake me.
15. WINDY DAY IN THE COUNTRYSIDE - Oh, how exciting it is to be in the middle of a vast space, with a horizon in all directions, and feel strong, yet tender gusts of warm wind, fragrant with spicy aromas of the worked fields, wild game and blooming vegetation!..
16. FULL MOON - Feeling the power of the full moon, some people happen to get romantic and tend to go slightly over their borders with their dreams and emotions.
17. DRUM PRELUDE - Created by Michael as an introduction to ‘ Imaginary Lake.’
18. IMAGINARY LAKE - This song emerged from my vision of a beautiful pond in our woods. I was imagining the various wild life it would attract, the relaxing sounds of the fresh water. Beyond the reality, I envisioned a spellbound lake, as from the fairy tale with no beginning and no end - the one that you keep dreaming of as long as you live.
|1.||The Call (4:33)||Listen|
|3.||Strolling Towards Sunset (2:32)||Listen|
|4.||Sushi Dinner (2:50)||Listen|
|5.||Ripples on Water (3:17)||Listen|
|7.||Sunny Day in the Woods (4:44)||Listen|
|9.||Rhapsody of Thought (4:35)||Listen|
|10.||Forgotten Perfume (3:31)||Listen|
|12.||Garden in May (3:11)||Listen|
|13.||Ocean of Pines (5:01)||Listen|
|14.||My Cozy Bed (4:11)||Listen|
|15.||Windy Day in the Countryside (3:03)||Listen|
|16.||Full Moon (4:07)||Listen|
|16.||Drum Prelude (1:38)|
|16.||Imaginary Lake (7:45)||Listen|