Elaine Freeman realizes her latest discographic work entitled 'La Speranza', a collection of intimate, personal, consolatory songs, composed on the spot, 'by ear', and performed by heart, without the need for written music. Her style moves between different genres, from music that recalls classical stylistic features, up to the minimalist one, passing through more pop atmospheres. A mixture of genres that widely stimulates Freeman's creativity, which proves to be at ease in composing and performing music of different genres, nourished and enriched by her sweet and expressive touch.
Review by Luciano Feliciani, Kathodik Webzine
"The composer and songwriter Elaine Freeman offers us an album of piano music with La Speranza, which, amazingly, was penned by ear, without sheet music. Using memory and touch, the songstress lands somewhere between classical and pop music, as Freeman packs turmoil, grief, nostalgia and so much more into these minimal but impactful compositions.
Freeman starts the listen with the brief “Intro To La Speranza (Song For Angelo)”, where her agile and warm keys set the foundation for the remainder of the listen, and “Mantova” follows with soothing, melodic and inviting key work, as does the playful and precise “Going Home”.
The middle portion brings us the sweeping beauty of the title track, where plenty of emotion is present, while “I Love You So Much, I Love You Always (Vincenzo’s Theme)” flows with fascinating chord progressions that are full of timeless intimacy.
Near the end, “Leave Me At The Border”, the stand out track, then dances around heart warming melodies, and “Closing” exits on a short, swift finish of elegant and frisky song craft.
If you’ve got an ear for piano focused songwriting, you won’t be disappointed here, as Freeman doesn’t fit firmly into one category, but embraces countless influences into a very compelling and creative journey."
Review by Take Effect
"The material the Dublin-born Freeman creates is slightly different than Pacek's, however: the personalized dimension remains very much in place, but Freeman hews less strictly to a neoclassical style. Instead, her pieces resist easy categorization and emerge simply as spontaneous melodic expressions, a result in keeping with the manner by which they're created. She writes her pieces by ear and plays them as such without sheet music, which lends the material an unfiltered quality. When Freeman plays, music naturally comes out.
Building a piece around a central theme or rhythm, she allows it to organically develop, Freeman choosing to let her music dictate its shape. Feeling and mood are paramount in settings that, like Pacek's, draw directly on unique life experiences. Alternately yearning, sorrowful, melancholy, and wistful, the ten pieces are physical delineations of Freeman's inner world. Though four tracks were recorded in Dublin in 2013 and 2014 and the others in early 2020, consistency of tone and style makes the release sound as if it could have been recorded in a single session.
The lovely “Intro to La Speranza (Song for Angelo)” establishes a heartwarming tone, after which the minuet-like lilt of “Mantova” proves as appealing. It was in that small city north of Italy that she'd relocated to nine years ago where she had her first child and days later learned of her dad's sudden passing. Bewilderment and sorrow gradually gave way to recovery and eventually a productive period of composing, with “Mantova” paving the way for other pieces. As composed as “In Here” is on the surface, its title references the fact that inside she was still grieving her father's death.
In keeping with the autobiographical nature of the opening pieces, the ones thereafter follow in chronological order. Both “Going Home” and the title track were created after she moved back to Ireland, the rousing buoyancy of the former indicating the return was embraced and “La Speranza” (The Hope) conveying optimism more cautiously and its level-headedness contrasting with the other's joy. Whereas “Going Home” illustrates how effortlessly Freeman's music connects with the listener, “I Love You So Much, I Love You Always (Vincenzo's Theme)” conveys with sincerity her depth of feeling for her eldest son. The journey-like theme of the recording reaches its culmination when “Leave Me at the Border” exudes a mood of contented resolution. If Pacek's album is the more elegantly neoclassical-oriented of the two, both releases are easy to warm to when their contents are so authentic and their expressions so genuine.
Review by Textura
Read the full article: www.textura.org/archives/p/pacek_freeman.htm