Lena Natalia | Almost Home

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Classical: Postmodern Classical: Minimalism Moods: Type: Soundtrack
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Almost Home

by Lena Natalia

Award-winning composer and pianist Lena Natalia releases her fourth full-length album of all-original compositions. ALMOST HOME is a post-classical soundscape of ambient textures encapsulating her signature minimalist piano melodies.
Genre: Classical: Postmodern
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Almost Home
3:39 $0.99
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2. Leaving the Nest
2:36 $0.99
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3. The Gardner
3:50 $0.99
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4. Kyoto
5:12 $0.99
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5. Chess Players
4:00 $0.99
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6. Acceptance Letter
4:22 $0.99
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7. Open Door
4:26 $0.99
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8. The Solitary Tailor
3:44 $0.99
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9. St. Malo
3:46 $0.99
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10. Coffeehouse Glances
2:40 $0.99
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11. The Knight
5:36 $0.99
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12. The Stoic
3:39 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Lena Natalia writes post-classical, modern cinematic, and electronic music. Her music is played regularly on radio stations and streaming services worldwide.

ALMOST HOME is Lena Natalia's fourth full-length album of all-original compositions. Ambient textures overlay this collection of post-classical soundscapes driven by her signature melodic and minimalist style.

Lena Natalia's third full-length album of original solo piano compositions, SECOND YOUTH, was named Best Album of 2016 by Our Place Radio, and received a Silver Medal of Achievement from the Global Music Awards.

The critically-acclaimed and award-winning RENDEZVOUS IN PARIS and SUNDAYS IN PARIS, Lena Natalia's earlier albums,
were released in May 2016 and November 2015, respectively.

RENDEZVOUS IN PARIS was named as one of the Top 25 Albums of 2016 by Journeyscapes Radio, and was selected as one of the Most Memorable Journeys in Modern Classical in Stationary Travels' '2016 in Review.' SUNDAYS IN PARIS was named one of the Top Ten Albums of 2016 by the Global Music Awards.

A native of Chicago, Lena Natalia recently returned to the U.S. after living in Paris, France, for several years.

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Reviews


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Steve Sheppard

Review from One World Music Radio
A new album by Lena Natalia has much to live up to, especially after the major successes with albums like Rendezvous and Sundays in Paris and of course the much acclaimed Second Youth. One perhaps might have expected Natalia to produce another high quality solo piano album, but you would be vastly mistaken, as she treads unknown terority and delivers to our doors a release that is bound for fame in the contemporary instrumental and piano with instrumentation genres.
The opening piece off the release is the title track called Almost Home, this is smooth and gentle in its build, the keyboards seem to shape a track of expectancy and urgency, and there is a real likeness to the work of Peter Calandra here, in what is a very enjoyable opener.
The shortest track off the album at just over 2 and half minutes long is the pristine and delicate Leaving the Nest. Through the elegant performance on piano we can truly feel the tentative first steps into a new and fascinating life.
The Gardner is a really passionate piece, a full flowing slice of magical musical narrative, the performance here by Natalia is sublime. The artist creates a beautiful and colourful composition with amazing textures and dimensions; the tempo here manifests a persistent sense of movement through its tones.
This constant mantra of a journey through Natalia’s music makes her work so very intriguing, you truly feel you are on that voyage with her and we’re off to Japan now with the brilliant Kyoto. This wondrous piece was one of my favourites from the album; again Natalia paints such a lovely picture here, and her creativity brings to our tables something that is lush and bathed in mystery.
On my travels I often see old men playing checkers, talking about the past or summers that have long gone and the girls they once knew. Here on Chess Players it’s not too difficult to see that scenario as well, perhaps in an old coffee shop, the artist plays, while two aged individuals make their moves on the chess board of life. This has a really picturesque motif about its construction, the added touch of melancholy only adds to the mix.
Like life’s rich pattern, we weave our way through the album Almost Home by Lena Natalia and come across a soothing keyboard structured piece called Acceptance Letter; this creates a real sense of calm and confidence. The artist has really brought something into our world that is tranquillity based and layered with such a peace filled motif that it’s a pure pleasure to just listen to.
It’s back to the more familiar role on piano now for Lena Natalia as she brings you the first composition that heralds in our movement into the latter half of the album, it is called Open Door. I have heard many pianists in my life, many are creative and passionate, many create beautiful melody’s and arrangements, but Natalia has that extra special ability that always draws from life, this eternal playhouse that we all partake within, and Open Door is a fine example of this genius. This I could play on repeat for hours, the descriptive nature of its construction is just inviting us in through that door, perhaps for us to take a chance and be a part of something greater.
The Solitary Tailor is one of those almost dream like arrangements that makes the hairs on the neck stand up. Natalia’s performance here is both mournful, but also mystical. There seems to be a slightly spectral essence about this one that really brings the whole narrative into focus. While your listen to the music, let your eyes gaze upon the world of The Solitary Tailor, who stands alone, like a hermit comfortable in his own realm, a world he has weaved for too many years now. This is an extremely emotive composition, one that is so easy to get lost in.
Now St Malo, the next piece is back to Natalia’s roots, the French connection is established, and as she looks over the channel we can listen to this emotive offering and watch the wave’s crash against the rocks, while the many small boats flutter by, like errant clouds on their way into harbour. Natalia is at her very descriptive and creative best with this one.
We love to spend time in our Coffee houses here in Cyprus, the perfection of watching a day drift by, people watching and being totally in the moment is always available, now it has a soundtrack too, with this offering called Coffee House Glances. You will also find on this short form composition a quite passionate performance here too, with a really graphic European flavour.
Our penultimate offering is the keyboard driven The Knight. Almost bordering on the ambient at times, the piece itself contains a very sweet and sensitive nature about its overall construction. This is our longest offering on the album at well over 5 and half minutes. The thoughtful styled presentation here is very beautiful and at times almost moves us into the European chill out genre, one that is still so popular these days.
We have reached our last port of call and come across a final piece called The Stoic; this is almost a mirror image of the last track, the same repetitive pattern can be found here, but unlike the last compositions warmth, this one has a slightly harder and more tolerant strength about its arrangement, but never the less, this would fit perfectly into the ambient genre of music with ease.
Almost Home is a step into a new arena for Lena Natalia; she paints with musical colours and creates works of art that are quite unique within this album. She has increased her range and shifted her direction and has done so with style and class, and as such, has fashioned and crafted something extremely addictive and listenable. Lena Natalia’s growth path as an artist has just taken a massive leap with this release, and thus has expanded hers and our horizons, which is something that we, the eager listeners can only benefit from. This is a must for anyone who likes piano in all its forms, performed by a musician who has found her musical soul.
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Candice Michelle

Review from Journeyscapes Radio
Lena Natalia is a Chicago-based pianist and composer with four albums to her credit, including her latest and arguably most stunning work to date, titled Almost Home. One among relatively few women working in the classical minimalist genre, Lena takes her already perfected sound to another uncharted level. Applying processed effects to her piano while incorporating other minimal layers and textures throughout, the result is a style of music that might be described as a kind of classical noir. Comprised of twelve stunning compositions spanning forty-eight minutes, the album seemingly plays out like a soundtrack to an indie film, collectively echoing the hallmarks of both notable ambient and classical minimalist composers such as Ludovico Einaudi, Ólafur Arnalds, Johan Johansson, Philip Glass and Steve Reich.

Utterly perfect from the very first note, “Almost Home” swiftly opens with a swathe of reverberating, fluttering piano chords accompanied by muted string effects, making for an extraordinary composition that is equal parts ambient and classical minimalism. Permeated by a profound, almost wistful sense of nostalgia that characterizes much of the album, images of old records, dusty books, fading photographs and film projectors frequently come to mind whilst listening. Lena’s signature interlocking piano patterns once again characterize many of the compositions, as exemplified on such titles as “Leaving the Nest”, a ballet-like piece that exudes a classical romanticism yet manages to retain a mysterious sense of ambiguity. Garbled voices create a hauntingly ethereal quality on “The Gardener”, seemingly mimicking sunlight being filtered through a veil, as Lena occasionally adds a spinning accent in the higher registers amid the composition’s forward-flowing melody. A rhythmic pulse underlies a couple of compositions, including two of my favorites – “Acceptance Letter”, as well as the closing number, “The Stoic”. On this final piece, culminating emotions and memories seemingly stir beneath an overarching repeating loop and minimal accents, which effectively convey a continuous stream of softly muted colors.

Profoundly emotive yet curiously detached, these prepossessing compositions effectively maintain a hauntingly elusive, emotional distance between themselves and the listener. Never revealing all its secrets, the music leaves a lot of room in the listener’s imagination for interpretation, which only further adds to its appeal. Although presently underrated, Lena Natalia is worthy of utmost recognition among other great composers of our modern era, having quickly found her place as one my personal favorite pianists!
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