Reviews

James Heather
Stories From Far Away On Piano

(Ahead Of Our Time)

8/10

The sound of a lone piano is unlike that of any other solo instrument. It can fill space, sustain and flourish where others can’t, and the space in between feels all the more silent when it comes. For it to feel really empathetic, it has to be played well, of course, like on James Heather’s debut album, where, dealing in minimal arpeggios that solemnly flutter and slowly build, the contemporary pianist has made nine incredibly emotive pieces, where his early love for Debussy is evident.

Instrumental music like this begs for you to attach your own feelings and interpretations, but it’s pain that is at the heart of these compositions about true new stories found by Heather – of 16 years of false imprisonment (‘Teardrop Tattoo’), Boer War concentration camps (‘Empire Sounds’) and the Paris attacks (‘Last Minute Change of Heart’). Having survived a near fatal car crash in 2008, Heather knows a thing or two about struggle and sadness, but optimism and the beauty of life, too. It all goes into this tender and touching album.   

Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines

As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.

Having thought about the best way to support the costs of what we do (the printing and server fees, the podcast and video production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for is a recurring payment of £3 per month for UK subscribers. If you really start to hate it you can cancel at any time. The same goes for European subscriptions (£6 per month) and the rest of the world (£8 per month).

It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door, and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.