I love nature and I love its diversity.
Walks in the different seasons through the woods, across meadows and up mountains with breathtaking views always help to clear the mind and make room for new musical ideas, which take shape even while staying in nature.
Later on, back in the studio, when it is time to transfer ideas from the head into reality, to make them audible, to make them tangible, they continue to develop, change, or sometimes take unexpected paths, but their origin remains the same - nature.
I have allowed myself the luxury of making this music exactly the way I want it to be, regardless of the genre it belongs to or the target group it might be aimed at. I would like to close my eyes while listening to this music and get involved with the pictures, or the film, or simply the mood that the music projects into my imagination.
Of course, everyone will have different images and ideas, but I hope that others besides myself will enjoy using this music to inspire their imagination.
Now on all musical platforms as: Spotify | Apple Music | Amazon Music | and many more
By BT Fasmer - April 6, 2021
“Art takes nature as its model,” Aristotle said. Frank Steiner Jr.’s new album “Natura” seems to confirm and somehow refine the idea behind this over 2 000-year-old-quote. It is a collection of 14 sublime and timeless pieces, perfect for relaxation, dreaming, or creative work. “Natura” might be Frank Steiner Jr.’s best release to date.
Frank Steiner Jr. (born 1966) is a composer, arranger, and music producer living in Southern Germany. He has studied classical piano, trumpet, and music theory. Steiner debuted as a New Age Music artist in 1997 with “I-Ging-Symphony“, released on the Erdenklang label (rereleasd by Real Music the following year). “Touching Silk” was released 2004. Then “Into Forever” (2012) and “Momentum” (2015) followed, all on Real Music. “Natura” is released on Steiner’s own label. The album is available on Bandcamp.
The album opener is called “Devento”. It is one of those melodies that seems to connect with the listener from the very first note. “Devento” is breathtakingly beautiful, a small masterpiece really. It has a slow build-up and as we go along, we are introduced to some very interesting instruments; a string instrument (a sithar perhaps), some lovely synth strings, and an enchanting piano. Seven minutes seems to fly. “Devento” is, in short, a phenomenal album opener!
Next out is “The Island”. The slow build-up, vocalization, and Kenny G-ish sax are beautiful beyond words. Is a well-made nod to the music of the late 1980s. Notice how the imaginary island seems to emerge from the fog and, upon conclusion, all its visual splendor is there to see. It is “Natura” – and nature! – at its finest.
“City Lights” takes us back to the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The combination of trumpet, guitar, and synth backdrop is inspired – and when then somewhat enigmatic singing starts, we are yet again in music heaven – and it is only track three. One word: Bravo!
At this stage, “A Gentle Touch” gives time to breathe and reflect. It is a romantic ballad for special moments. “Longing” is one of the finest pieces on “Natura”. The synth sounds like a church organ while the textures are futuristic. When the trumpet comes on, it is impossible not to be moved by the quality of the composition.
The following part of the album is highly reflective, ideal for relaxation and dreaming. The slow “Purple Eve” adds a certain level of magic to any occasion, while “Observation” has a playful, 1980s vibe. Fans of Jeff Oster should definitely check it out. “Path to Serenity” and the almost eight minutes long “Mountaintop” are playlist gold, pure and simple – while “Lumière d’atuonome” and “Esperanza” bring colors and an international touch to the album. The three ending pieces, “Lighthearted”, “Leaving” and “Good in the End”, sum up the album beautifully. Needless to say, the album ends on a high note.
In conclusion: When talking about music, we often overlook something vital; we forget to ask the simple question: “Is it heartfelt?” This quality has little to do with artistry, technique, or even the composition – and it is almost impossible to imitate. It is either there – or it is not. Listening to “Natura” by Frank Steiner Jr. however, it is impossible to miss this aspect. Pieces like “Devento”, “The Island” and “Longing” are sincere and passionate in every sense of the word. “Natura” is genuinely heartfelt. Indeed, it is its defining feature. Highly recommended!
Kathy Parsons - MainlyPiano.com
Natura is a wonderful new album from Frank Steiner, Jr. and is his first recording under his own name since his four releases (plus many compilations) on the Real Music label. Also a producer for other artists, Steiner released Natura on his own s-tone-music. He has collaborated with Dutch artist Lex van Someren for more than twenty years and released dozens of CDs and DVDs with him. Born and raised in Germany (and still living there), Steiner studied classical piano, trumpet and music theory and has had a career as a piano maker. Calling his musical style "somewhere between world, new age, jazz and film music," Natura has a relaxed grace and beauty that reflects Steiner's love of nature. There is variety in the instrumentation on Natura, but a soothing warmth and optimism is consistent throughout. Steiner plays piano, trumpet and a variety of keyboards, and, like his albums with Real Music, the sound quality is full, rich and flawless. I think this quote from Steiner's website explains his process well:
"I love nature and I love its diversity. Walks in the different seasons through the woods, across meadows and up mountains with breathtaking views always help to clear the mind and make room for new musical ideas, which take shape even while staying in nature. Later on, back in the studio, when it is time to transfer ideas from the head into reality, to make them audible, to make them tangible, they continue to develop, change, or sometimes take unexpected paths, but their origin remains the same - nature."
As I mentioned, the fourteen original tracks are varied, and I honestly really like them all. The album begins with "Devento," one of my favorites. Gently rhythmic with layers of strings, keyboards, percussion, bass and piano, it sets an easy-going mood for the album and lets you know you're in for a real musical treat! "The Island" adds ethereal choral voices, trumpet and sax to create images of a warm, peaceful place where you can lose yourself and let go of any troubles. "City Lights" is a beautiful, soulful piece for trumpet and other layered sounds that include guitars, strings and vocals. It reminds me a bit of driving through a city late at night when the street lights are still on, but everything seems deserted and quiet. "A Gentle Touch" begins as a simple piano solo, adding other instruments while remaining open and heartfelt - sweetness set to music. "Purple Eve" is another favorite. Mostly a duet for piano and trumpet (how does he play both instruments at the same time?), strings and delicate bells round out the instrumentation and give the music the beautiful aura of a peaceful sunset. "Path to Serenity" is bliss set to music - so serene and contented! At almost eight minutes, you can lose yourself in "Mountaintop," never wanting to be found again! Fully orchestrated with some beautiful trumpet passages, it's a highlight! "Esperanza" includes the sounds of birds and other creatures as well as piano, trumpet, strings and orchestration. Deeply emotional, it expresses poignant feelings of loss and sadness - gorgeous! "Good in the End" closes the album with a bittersweet piano piece with light string washes. Very free and open, it's the perfect ending to a great album.
Natura can be downloaded from Amazon and iTunes, and can be streamed on most digital platforms including Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music. Both thumbs up!
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