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  • Writer's pictureArashk Azizi

"PI" by John Derek Bishop

John Derek Bishop's latest album, "PI," serves as a delicate exploration into the realm of minimalism and introspection. Comprising 16 piano pieces, Bishop crafts an ethereal soundscape that beckons listeners into a world of subdued beauty and contemplation.

From the onset, it's evident that Bishop's approach to the piano is one of subtlety and restraint. The timbre of the piano throughout the album possesses a softness that gently caresses the ears, evoking a sense of intimacy and vulnerability. Enhanced by a faint white noise in the background, each note resonates with a somber dreamlike quality, enveloping the listener in a cocoon of tranquility and melancholy.

Bishop’s performance is perfectly aligned with the mood of the album, a soft but clear touch on the keys. A performance that outlines the melody and harmony perfectly but rather than imposing itself upon the listener, Bishop's playing effortlessly guides them through a meditative journey, inviting introspection and reflection.

While the album may lack overtly memorable melodies, it compensates with a rich tapestry of harmonies and textures. It is not to say that there are no melodies in the album, on the contrary, each piece has its definitive melody line, but it is obvious that the aim of the composer was not to take the audience’s focus on the melody of the music, but rather on the mood of the music as a whole and guide them through an inward journey inside the mind.

In crafting "PI," Bishop draws inspiration from impressionist composers and neoclassical music, infusing his compositions with timeless elegance and sophistication. Despite his penchant for reverb and delay effects in previous works, Bishop opts for a more stripped-down approach on this album, resulting in a raw and unadorned sound that feels intimate and authentic.

As Bishop himself describes, "PI" is a product of flow and meditation, a labor of love imbued with honesty and imperfection. Through his meticulous attention to detail and dedication to capturing genuine emotion, Bishop invites listeners to leave space in the music for their own thoughts and feelings, encouraging a deeply personal connection to the music.

"PI" stands as a testament to John Derek Bishop's artistic vision and prowess as a pianist and composer. With its ethereal beauty and introspective charm, the album invites listeners on a transcendent journey of the mind and soul, leaving a lasting impression long after the final notes fade away.

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