Ann Sweeten

Sapphire Days

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On her fifth album of instrumental acoustic piano music (with subtle background synthesizer effects), Ann Sweeten uses as her concept what she calls "the gems of our lives," special standout days "which we should savor and treasure in our minds and hearts." But her calm, reflective music is as easily interpretable as expressing melancholy as contentment, and it is notable that she also dedicates two tunes, "A Prayer for Shazu" and "Autumn's Child," to a dog whose birth and death dates are noted below a photograph in the CD booklet. Of course, while the composer/performer herself may have any number of specific associations that help inspire and organize her work, this isn't really program music that conveys those matters to the listener. It is slow-tempo, meandering piano music, perhaps with a bit more organization than some new-age music, at which times it suggests a movie soundtrack. Fans can think back on their own sapphire days, mourn their own dogs, or just use the music as background to their daily activities without being particularly stirred or disturbed by it.

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