Watching For Rain
2009 / Shadetree Productions
For Rain” is pianist/composer Anne Trenning’s third release to date.
Using rain as a metaphor for hope and anticipation, Trenning has
created an album of fifteen pieces that reflect an air of positive
change, joy, and renewal. This is just the kind of music we need to get
through these troubled times and to keep our collective spirits up.
Don’t get me wrong - this is not sugar-coated fluff music by any means.
It is a thoughtful and at times prayerful expression of “keeping the
faith” and hanging on for better times. Trenning has eclectic musical
tastes and a variety of influences are heard in the music, including
classical, traditional, Celtic, and gospel. Most of the pieces are
original compositions, but several mix in phrases from familiar songs
and hymns and then evolve into something else, rendering them new yet
familiar. Some of the pieces are piano solo, but most are accompanied
by acoustic instruments: strings, woodwinds, bass, guitar, and
percussion; a few also contain keyboards. I called Trenning’s previous
release, “All One World,” “a breath of fresh air,” and extend that
sentiment to “Watching For Rain” as well.
All of the music on
this CD is exceptional, but I’ll tell you about some favorites. It
begins with the Welsh folk song “The Ash Grove.” Piano and strings set
the soothing yet stirring tone of the album. “Silent Night II” is
gorgeous with piano, strings, and woodwinds. Trenning has ingeniously
mixed in short phrases from the beloved Christmas hymn, ending with
“sleep in heavenly peace.” “Eden Hall” would be wonderful in a
soundtrack about rural America. The dancing, carefree mood is
infectious and brings visions of the backwoods and a simpler, more
innocent way of life. “A Prayer For the World” is a quiet and
contemplative trio for piano, violin, and cello - a favorite. “The
Welcome Song” feels like a warm, musical hug - enveloping and safe.
“You and Me” is a poignant piece that tenderly overflows with love and
joy. “Carolina Moon” is pure fun with a gentle Southern spirit. “I Want
To Be Ready” is a traditional spiritual that contains phrases from
several familiar hymns, and Trenning presents it as a soulful gospel
piano solo. “Real Love” is another piano solo, this time a gentle,
evocative love song. “Dancing With You” returns to a gospel style, this
time for full ensemble - piano, organ, drums, and guitar - I love this
stuff! The CD closes with a 38-second “Benediction” based on Bob
Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released.”
“Watching For Rain” is a
beautiful CD from start to finish and I very highly recommend it. It is
available from www.annetrenning.com, Amazon, and CD Baby.