A unique relaxing and highly reflective composition lasting over one hour, combining soft piano, warm atmospheric textures with the delicate sound of soft rain and gentle thunderstorms. My album “Gentle Rainstorm” is the perfect ingredient for late night listening and reflection.
Available to purchase as audio CD or soon to download as a digital audio file. Please contact me for further details. I will also add some preview samples shortly.
“Gentle Rainstorm”, a review by Bill Binkleman Wind & Wire
Stretching out over more than sixty-minutes, Simon Williams’ Gentle Rainstorm CD is one of the most calming yet reflective recordings I’ve heard in a while. Combining a Tim Story-like melancholy piano line with patient synths and synth choruses, the single song (“Gentle Rainstorm”) unfolds so slowly that it would be difficult not to find oneself unwinding as the music plays out at its relaxed pace. What impressed me almost right away was the emotional neutrality (or even somberness, at times) of the music. This is not syrupy, sugary or overly “pretty.” Instead, it is, at times, almost Zen-like in its feel (and subsequent effect). The accompanying sound effects are used with utmost discretion and are comprised of falling rain and occasional thunder. Simon exercises remarkable restraint with his piano playing, never veering into quasi-Lanz territory, so that the music maintains an ambient sensibility throughout. But, there is also a warmth present in the music, ev en when it (the music) is reflective and moody, that makes this CD a natural for late night listening or as accompaniment to contemplation. The music itself evolves quite a bit as the album progresses. Synth strings are emphasized, then subside. The piano varies from being quite minimal (even disappearing for stretches) and then carrying the melody in the forefront. A synth oboe/recorder occasionally weaves a gentle and sad melody line over the soft keyboards. All these distinct textures and “movements” makes Gentle Rainstorm a constantly interesting (and even more enjoyable) recording in which to immerse oneself. Ambient music fans who sometimes wish for something a little friendlier than standard noir (dark) recordings will, I think, enjoy the relatively unstructured feel of this album, as well as its lack of phony sentimentality (at times, such as when the piano is under-emphasized, this is closer to space music or ambient artists like Jon Mark or Mike Simmons). Albums like Gentle Rainstorm are a mainstay of my weekly listening agenda. In particular, Simon’s ability to create relaxing yet never “sweet” soundscapes makes this a CD that will seldom (if ever) be “shelved” and will likely be left out on the CD player for those times when stress and mental “wear-and-tear” require a thorough cleansing of my psyche. For just such a purpose, Gentle Rainstorm is a revelation. Peaceful yet laced throughout with a sense of beautiful melancholy, this is indeed music for quiet times. Highly recommended!
Review by Bill Binkelman
Gentle Rainstorm reviewed by Elizabeth Gips, Changes Organisation
This is uninterrupted 64 minutes of piano music to the changing sounds of a rainstorm. Very rarely a clap of thunder breaks into the revery-style tenderness of the rain, enough to bring us back to our bodies for a moment! Of the many combinations of “nature” with sound CD’s, this is one of the most successful. Each note drops into our consciousness with clear light, leading us, as all good music must, from one phrase to the next, from one state of calm to the next. This music is wonderful both to objectively look at one’s reality as well as to transcend it for a while!
Review by Elizabeth Gips