13 Songs, 52 Minutes


Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

KathyPiano7 ,

From MainlyPiano

Jeff Pearce is an artist best-known for his ambient electric guitar recordings, starting in 1993. He later learned the Chapman stick and incorporated that unusual instrument into his music. Several years ago, Jeff started taking piano lessons from the legendary Philip Aaberg, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that Pearce’s tenth album, "In the Season of Fading Light," is mostly solo piano with occasional ambient accompaniment (also performed by Pearce). What is a little surprising is the enormous depth of emotion coming from a pianist who hasn’t been playing the piano all of his life. These very spare, perfectly-formed compositions and improvisations are masterpieces of musical expression and beauty. But wait, there’s more! Not only is Jeff Pearce a masterful musician and composer, but he is also an extremely caring and generous human being. The music on "In the Season of Fading Light" comes from Pearce’s “Provision” series where he composed a new song each month from July 2011 to June 2012 and donated 30 cents from the sale of each song to a specific charity. Continuing in that vein, $1 from the sale of each album will go directly to Feeding America. The leisurely pace of the music is soothing and relaxing, but there is plenty of complexity in the music to keep any audiophile coming back for more. This album will definitely be on my list of Favorites for 2012!

The album opens with the title track, a haunting piece for piano and electronics where the ethereal quality of the background washes softens the darker and more percussive piano chords - a gorgeous effect! “Autumn and Regret II” is a more melodic piano solo with a gently moving rhythm. “A Secret for the Moon” mixes electronics with the piano (reverb, background washes), creating a mood that is mysterious yet personal and pensive. The notes are very spare, yet convey so much. “After the Frost” is a very quiet, atmospheric piece for piano and ambient accompaniment that is open, sparse, and very chilly! “Newfallen” is a favorite. This song “arrived” with the first snowfall last year and conveys peace and a gentle beauty. I love the dark drama of the haunting “chorus.” “Into Spring” conveys feelings of hope and optimism as winter fades. Not really lighthearted or joyful, it seems to be looking forward to the season of rebirth and growth. “Words From the Rain” is another favorite. The rain sounds in the background were recorded with a portable recorder while Pearce played the piano inside; soothing, refreshing, and oh so peaceful.

"In the Season of Fading Light" is an exceptional listening experience from start to finish. Very highly recommended!

MDiamond ,

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus

I have been a big fan of Jeff’s music over the years and am certainly among the many who regard him as one of the premier ambient guitarists in the new age music genre. So the transition to this primarily piano-based CD, came as a surprise, and marks another chapter for this innovative instrumentalist. Traces of his guitar electronics are found on some of the songs, such as the title track, which opens the album. Ethereal sustained guitar softly shadows the chord changes on this atmospheric and melancholy composition. A similar air pervades “A Secret Of The Moon,” where the guitar takes on the semblance of a string section, gently supporting the wistful piano melody. Other songs, such as “Where All Rivers Begin,” “Harvest Prayer,” “Newfallen,” and a number of others are all piano solos, and evoke memories of some of the classic Windham Hill pianists. As much as I have always appreciated Jeff’s exquisite ambient guitar playing, I acknowledge him for stepping out to explore other avenues of instrumental expression.

Perhaps my favorite song on the album was “Words From The Rain,” a dreamy drifting piano soundscape with clouds of guitar ambience and the sound of rain providing imagery for the minds eye. While I have been pointing out some of the guitar accompaniment, the piano is clearly Jeff’s primary voice on this recording. The guitar work in this context is tasteful, yet understated. I was impressed with how well the music evoked the feeling of the title: In the Season of Fading Light. Other than a few songs toward the end, such as The Road and the Wind,” and “Into Spring,” which as the titles would indicate, express more lightness and motion, the album’s aura could be described as reflective, haunting, and ruminative, impressionistically portraying in sound the spirit of approaching winter. There is a sense of peacefulness that comes through in this atmospheric music and I have no doubt that listeners will find just the right moments where it would make their own perfect soundtrack, as it did for me while watching the sunset on a mid-November evening. Like all the music from his Provision Series, a portion of the proceeds from sales, go to supporting charitable organizations.

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