Brian Hagen's album Portraits mirrors life in his music through personal experience and harmonic chordal progressions. From lucid dreams to impressions, the solo piano work you will hear should be relatable to everyone somehow. The tree of lights on the cover gives you an idea of the motivation behind this project.
I find solo piano music to be very moving in many ways. This music aims to provoke thoughts and feelings from a listener by looking at each track title, processing it, then how it can relate to their own life experiences. At the same time, the music gently pushes you in the direction you need to go. It is all about taking the initial step of looking at the track's title then letting your feelings and thoughts develop as you listen. You thereby create your own private "Portrait."
Light can come into a person's life in many ways, physically by the warmth of the sun, through a spiritual awakening, the smile of a person passing you by on the street, the warmth of a loving hug by a sibling or partner. The list can go on, but the main point here is the light of life or the tree on the album cover demonstrate the wonder of life adorned with the energy that creates light.
The music on Portraits was all composed, arranged, and performed by Brian Hagen. This is his first album of all original solo piano work. Again, I enjoy hearing contemporary classically influenced instrumental music with the principle of the new age thought process as a solid foundation. It has been ongoing development of the genre. The intersection of music and a belief system, while not anything new, is both refreshing and energizing within presentations like this recording offers. This approach continues to grow and expand its reach into many areas of our life, including teaching, healing, music therapy, meditation, and simple relaxation.
The many thoughts of love come woven into the fabric of these tracks, such as "A Time For Love," "Forever Love" and "The Love We Had, The Love We Lost," and "You Are My Everything." Then as the album progresses, the different occurrences around the subject matter of love come to you via "Reunion" and "Starlight Dance."
The superb and tasteful piano playing throughout the album touches your heart and soul. You will often be ready to absorb the meaning of it all as presented. And this falls in line with the thoughts I shared previously. It all can be your group of Portraits. The simplicity and beauty of these meaningful tracks make for an experience you will want to relive many times. If you are a romantic of any sort, the music you will discover on this recording is perfect for going down that path. And then, with the final track, you will find "The Peace Within."
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
February 19, 2021
01. Iridescence 3:30
02. A Time For Love 4:26
03. Finding The Stillness 4:03
04. Garden Duet 4:16
05. You Are My Everything 3:09
06. Forever Love 3:56
07. Through It All 3:36
08. Regrets 4:30
09. The Love We Had, The Love We Lost 5:36
10. After The Rain 3:29
11. The Unforgiven 3:53
12. Homage 3:22
13. Reunion 3:35
14. Starlight Dance 3:33
15. The Peace Within 4:17