grant miniatures

Michael A. Grant
Jack Mitchell Smith (piano)rec. 2023
Private Release [52]

Michael A. Grant is a Manchester-based woodwind musician and has just released his first disc of piano compositions. They are played by Jack Mitchell Smith. The pieces are described as Miniatures and the composer states that he takes his inspiration from composers such as Bach, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Satie. The effect is similar to the collections of character pieces by composers such as Edward MacDowell and they make very pleasant listening. Jack Mitchell Smith plays them very well and seems equal to all the technical challenges. Despite owning that he has been subject to a number of different influences, these seem to have been well integrated.

The individual items relate clearly to the titles given to them and none outstay their welcome. The only negative element is the sound of the piano which seems restricted, having almost no resonance. In addition, the tuning is far from perfect, particularly in the upper register. This is a pity, since it detracts from the enjoyment of the music. Mr. Grant clearly has talent and one must hope that he will be encouraged to write more music with perhaps a more ambitious scope. There is a current fashion for writing somewhat bland music for the piano, with much use of repetition and a nod towards minimalism. In the sixth track Obfuscation, the style comes perilously close to this and while there may be a market for ‘musical muesli’ at present, something with more character and individuality is likely to have a better chance of ultimate survival. An interesting disc from a promising composer.

Martyn Strachan

Availability: Bandcamp

Compost Frog
Vision of Triumph
The Longest Night
The Prayer
Breaking Outwards
Empty Walls
Parting Waves