||I think I’ve said it before: A lot of great music came out of the strange isolation year, 2020. “Now the Silence” is one of those.
Juan Sánchez is composer from Barcelona, Spain. Since 1999 he’s been creating ambient electronic music and music for multimedia and sound libraries. He released his debut album, “Rebirth,” in the New Age space in March of 2019.
“Now the Silence,” his new album, was released in August 2021 and was a semi-finalist in the Spanish Independent Music Awards (MIN). This is 10 tracks and about 39 minutes of gentle, reflective piano music with some light and poignant string instrumentation. It’s a beautiful, relaxing album all through. The one thing that really stands out here is that every track is extremely soothing to the soul. There is a continuity of gentleness throughout.
The album opens with the quite beautiful “Very Young Old Man.” Melodic and flowing, this is a favorite and one for the playlist. Juan has a gentle touch on the keys and here we are immediately invited into a serene state of mind.
Following is “Luz de Luna,” which means “moonlight” in Spanish. The piano is again gentle and tender with a lovely rhythmic cadence and the violin/string accompaniment is wonderful as well, making this very romantic and flowing.
The title track is reflective and contemplative, with piano again so velvety and soul-soothing. This is really pretty.
Beautifully played violin instrumentation accompanies soft piano in “Alma.” There’s just a touch of sadness or wistfulness here if I am hearing and interpreting correctly. However, that doesn’t make the piece any less enjoyable. This deeply touches the heart.
Idle daydreaming, also commonly known as “Woolgathering,” takes us further into a state of relaxation and peacefulness. Juan’s smooth touch on the piano makes it seem as if he’s totally one with the instrument. The piece has a likeable, repetitive melody that seems rather like a conversation, perhaps with oneself, in the strange silence of the period in which this song and album were composed.
“Tolworth” is a suburban area of London, England. Now, here is one to love, for sure. Melodic piano is accompanied by ethereal, angelic voice, making this piece so very beautiful, perhaps not unlike Tolworth itself. This is another one for the relaxation playlist. Just gorgeous.
A comforting, lullaby quality is found in “Idyllic.” The violin/string accompaniment is particularly soothing. And again, what strikes you in this, and the whole album, is the gentleness of it all. It’s balm to the weary mind, body, and spirit.
In some ways a little reminiscent of “Chopsticks,” “Remembrance” is sweet and interesting. “Siempre,” which means “forever” in Spanish, is again just lovely, sweet, tender, and flowing. Piano and violin are so beautiful together here with a very enjoyable melody. Another for the playlist, I suspect.
The album closes out the almost 6-minute, “Blue Nights.” Violin/string accompaniment is exquisite here – alive with a heart and soul of its own, it seems – and the piano is soft, beautiful, and soothing. It’s another one on the album that really speaks directly to the heart.
Juan has a quote in the album liner notes attributed to Rumi: "Listen to the silence. It has so much to say.” I would add to that, this one: “Silence speaks when words can’t.” – Unknown. So does music.
Listen/get “Now the Silence” here: https://juansanchezmusic.info/listen-download-my-music
Beth Ann Hilton
The B Company
Los Angeles, CA