CD Review: Samuel Claiborne | Music | Hudson Valley | Hudson Valley; Chronogram
Pin It
Favorite

CD Review: Samuel Claiborne 

click to enlarge cd-claiborne.gif

 

 

Sonotrope Sound and Image, 2007

High Falls’s Samuel Claiborne has certainly had no shortage of pain and spiritual trials from which to draw for the sparse, fathomless, and profoundly moving solo piano improvisations in The Annunciation: In 1992, his spinal cord was crushed in a bicycle accident, leaving him a quadriplegic. In a story that can only be described as miraculous, Claiborne eventually regained 95 percent of the use of his body. Although Claiborne had been a guitarist in a series of late ’70s New York punk outfits, during his recovery he discovered and fell in love with the piano, an instrument he’d barely played before.

Yet monumental as they are, Claiborne’s personal tribulations are really more of The Annunciation’s underlying imprimatura. A self-described “Taoist/Pagan/Agnostic,” on visiting Europe Claiborne nevertheless found himself strongly affected by paintings depicting the Virgin Mary being told by Gabriel that she is to bear the Son of God; Claiborne was struck by the enormity the concept would’ve held for any woman, let alone a simple fieldworker like Mary. The upshot? These 11 meditations on different phases and aspects of the tale, from the Blessed Virgin’s life before the pronouncement (the spare “Alone”) to Jesus’s birth (the portentous “Before There Was Stained Glass”); from Christ’s betrayal (the darkly rumbling “A Kiss [Judas]”) to Mary’s final years (“Alone [Reprise]”). But, whether they have a belief system or not, anyone in need of a little universe-centering quietude will connect with Claiborne’s impressionistic, beautifully pensive playing.

Speaking of...

Pin It
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Hudson Valley Events

submit event
Monica Bill Barnes & Company @ PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century

Monica Bill Barnes & Company

Fri., Aug. 18, 8-10 p.m. and Sat., Aug. 19, 8-10 p.m. — With wit and heart, Monica Bill Barnes & Company create and produce...

Valley Artisans Market Seconds Sale

Sat., Aug. 19 and Sun., Aug. 20 — Pottery Seconds, Overstock and Experimental Work Sale: customers will find outstanding bargains...

View all of today's events

Latest in Music

Related to Music

  • The Moonlights Sunday Brunch
  • The Moonlights Sunday Brunch

    The Moonlights, a debut musical collaboration for families, is making the rounds at a series of live performances, including two of the upcoming Sunday Brunch at the Falcon in Marlboro.
    • Mar 20, 2017
  • Opera in Phoenicia Park
  • Opera in Phoenicia Park

    With its open-air format, where attendees picnic in the parks and watch the stars emerge during performances, and its $5 youth tickets, the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice is the perfect place to share with children a love of music and theater, in a variety of styles.
    • Jul 25, 2016
  • More »

More by Peter Aaron

Hudson Valley Tweets