John Burke | Chirality

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New Age: Solo Instrumental Jazz: Piano Jazz Moods: Instrumental
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by John Burke

John Burke's third and most powerful solo piano album uses "mirror inversion" to play melodies and their mirrored counterparts, resulting in a uniquely harmonious relationship.
Genre: New Age: Solo Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Echoes
4:38 $0.99
2. Cloud Marching
4:59 $0.99
3. Snowstill
5:32 $0.99
4. Slipstream
3:40 $0.99
5. Orbits
6:04 $0.99
6. And Beyond
7:25 $0.99
7. Nova
5:22 $0.99
8. The Coming Together
3:48 $0.99
9. A Greater Leap
6:58 $0.99
10. Chirality
7:03 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Chirality [kahy-ral-i-tee] (n.): When a reflection is nonidentical.

Encompassing a unique flavor of new age jazz and classicism, Chirality takes John Burke’s solo piano compositions to an extraordinary level of beauty and complexity. “Chirality,” a property of asymmetry, pertains to mirrored images that are nonidentical, such as a person’s hands. Johann Sebastian Bach often used mirror inversions in his fugues, playing melodies and their "mirrored" counterparts. John Burke ingeniously infuses this exciting technique into solo piano.



to write a review

Cathy Oakes

Review By Enlightened Piano Radio
The third album that I have reviewed from John Burke, Chirality, is perhaps my least favorite of his works. Of course, this is a personal opinion. That being said, the concept behind this creation is brilliant. However, I feel that some of the pieces, individually get sacrificed on the altar of musical form and thematic concept. There are flashes of brilliance in this music. But each time I hear one of those, I can almost feel it being held back in order to “fit” it into the overall theme of the CD.

The word “chirality” comes from the Greek word for hand – an interesting concept to be used by a pianist. It literally refers to an object or system that is distinguishable from its mirror image, that is, it cannot be superimposed onto it (such as the human hand). Throughout this CD, that concept is evident. There are “mirror images” of themes. However, they are distinguishable sometimes in subtle ways, other times in more noticeable variations. It is even possible to hear bits of the theme from one piece being used in a slightly different way in subsequent pieces. As, I said – a brilliant concept!

The CD begins with “Echoes,” a very fitting title for this piece. The hands are literally echoing each other, sometimes in inverted form. “Clouds Marching” has a melody that literally dances on the keyboard in parallel octaves in jig-like fashion. The piece is somewhat “folksy” and is pleasing to the ears. This piece finishes with inversions being played simultaneously – very interesting.

“Snowstill” is peaceful and restful – a welcome respite after the first two very active tracks. “Slipstream” has a fun, carefree melody. However, the form seems somewhat forced in this piece. “Orbits” is one of my favorites on this album. It begins quietly with an ethereal, beautiful melody. It is somewhat repetitive in the middle of the piece with the melody getting lost in the repetition. However, the theme and spirit of the piece return in a beautiful way at the end of the piece. It leaves you wanting more.

“And Beyond” is a very strong piece with amazing technical acrobatics. Once again, the repetition in the accompaniment gets a bit tiring. But the sheer force of the piece overcomes that problem with little difficulty. “Nova” is very promising in the beginning – sort of evolving as it goes. It gets incredibly involved in the middle of the piece with the melody crossing above and below the accompaniment. The constant motion leaves the listener nearly breathless.

“The Coming Together” begins with a catchy, relaxed statement of the melody. That relaxed style continues throughout the piece. It’s a more subtle version of “Clouds Dancing.” “A Greater Leap” is an outstanding display of technical ability featuring a section where Mr. Burke literally strums the piano strings. Very interesting and innovative!

The CD ends with, perhaps my favorite piece. “Chirality” is delightful! Themes from other pieces return in abbreviated form in this piece. It’s somewhat of a restatement of the entire CD – a perfect ending!

There is no doubt that Mr. Burke is a technical master of the piano and a creative genius. For those looking for a technically breathtaking experience, this CD will be a wonderful experience. I am looking forward to more music from John Burke. Just for my personal preference, I hope in his next album, he will free himself from all constraints and simply allow his musical genius to run free! I give this album 4 out of 5 stars and highly commend Mr. Burke for his brilliant concept and technical mastery.