Aaron Marshall takes on the cycle of life in his 2008 release, Magnificent Accident, a moving work composed in well-drawn musical sketches. Marshall moves gracefully through a diverse mix of styles, from melodic instrumentals to flowing abstractions, all without losing his strong emotional thread. And then there’s his practiced narrative eye to consider. Marshall is telling a story here, and it shows. Pieces connect smoothly like slow fades between scenes, and every detail matters. His playing is a pleasure to listen to, no matter the instrument–the delicate piano runs that glisten across “Escape Into the Storm” are as engaging as the guitar work that forms the basis of the gorgeous “Fragments of Twilight.” Marshall is also adept at piecing together a deep, more ambient sound, as evidenced in the dark and church-somber movement of “Last Breath” and (even more so) the soft, meditative space created in the 17-minute-long closing track, “A Blinding White.” Both pieces, through built on long, warm pads and gentle movement, still carry the weight of emotion.
The highlight track is “Solace,” where Marshall laces in an emotional quote about life from the late actor Don Davis. Many listens later, the effect still touches me. Listen carefully.
Available from Aaron Marshall’s web site.