The first thing I noticed on Peter Calandra’s new release Ambient Tuesdays was the texture of the album cover. If you look closely or blow it up larger you can see it has the same surface as the paper on canvas. It of course works very well because it is an oil painting and it looks like the image used was the actual painting. I think it was a clever idea to do it this way.
When I started to listen to the first track it was an instantaneous reaction of, yes, I know I am going to love this album full of ambient delights. It never hurts to be familiar with an artist, which I am with Peter. I go back to 2014 and here we are in 2021 already and the music just keeps coming, and I am very grateful for that.
Ambient Tuesdays will take you on quite a journey, with each track offering the listener all the variety one artist can assemble in a recording session. There is gracefulness in this ambient aural exchange. With each track, there are so many elements intersecting you quickly realize the immense effort that went into recording all eleven tracks.
The very interesting and progressive title track starts the proceedings then the exciting and cinematic “Walking The High Line” changes direction entirely. If you can picture a situation or actual physical presence of someone attempting such a daring feat, the music certainly gets you there quickly with emotion and suspense sprinkling the image in your head with various sounds and keyboards. On the other side of that “Spring Morning” is a shorter piece that brings instant relaxation and peace. It is contemplative and meditative all at the same time and I could see if it went on for a few more minutes it would serve as a doorway to another state of mind, that higher plane of existence that meditation can take you. Peter is no stranger to bringing that kind of composition to a recording as the next piece, “Quiet Romance,” is everything it says it is in the title and it runs for 6:28. It gives any kind of listener ample time to stretch out, relax, and let the stress or worries of the day just disappear. It is a wonderful thing this spiritual-based music we have at our fingertips any time or anywhere.
Now if all of that was not enough Peter invites you to create “Your Story” set to the most elegant and inviting sounds. This allows you to paint your picture on a blank canvas with the music as your spark to some creative essence otherwise not found. Maybe you have something inside that needs to come forward or you need to rewrite your story and make it real. The music is the golden key to bring you there.
I particularly enjoyed the way Peter wrapped up the album with the two “Matriarch Suites” prelude and postlude, coming in at 7:10 and 5:54 respectively. The first suite reminded me of the wizardry of keyboard legends like Rick Wakeman and Jordan Rudess. Peter stretched out and gave his audience an aural bag of goodies with over 13 minutes of his keyboard prowess on display. I thought it was an amazing two tracks and I thoroughly enjoyed how many changes and developments all this music went through. As a matter of fact, on the entire recording there was so much diversity, but more so in these two suites than I ever expected.
Ambient Tuesdays takes the core beliefs of the new age genre and community tenets and uses them as a springboard to create and deliver gorgeous ambient instrumental soundscapes. The production values of this recording are superb and the use of the keyboards and different sounds it can generate is masterful.
The truth is you can have all of this and it does not have to be Tuesday to fully enjoy it!
January 12, 2021
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
01. Ambient Tuesdays (3:00)
02. New Renaissance (5:51)
03. Overlook Morning (4:24)
04. Rainy Mood (5:11)
05. Desert Skies (2:42)
06. Walking The High Line (4:04)
07. Spring Morning (2:47)
08. Quiet Romance (6:28)
09. Your Story (4:10)
10. Matriarch Suite, Prelude (5:54)
11. Matriarch Suite, Postlude (7:10)