author: Steve Sheppard - One World Music Radio
"I first became aware of the work of Christopher Boscole only a few years ago with his work Floating on a Melody and was impressed then, I am even more so now with his latest album Skipping on Daises.
There is a sumptuous lightness about the opening composition, which I am proud to say is the title track, Skipping on Daisies. I adore it when artists start with the headlining composition, it really sets the scene, the motif is packed with the tones that create a sun kissed hillside and we can watch a blanket of beautiful yellow flowers dance and sway to the music of the late spring wind.
Boscole of course is a real veteran of the solo piano genre and has continued to expand and grow throughout the 30 years since his first release; here he has really brought a little light into a musical world that is sometimes so stuck in a dimension of banality. On Suite Wonder you have an example of that lightness, but a real sense of love can also be both felt and heard in the performance of this stunning piece. Boscole in my opinion on this track has composed a true classic and one that is so very deeply moving.
As we move to the piece Three Fairies, I can only suggest we have a piece of music that could be used in a movie soundtrack, the opening is very redolent of such a composition, the grace and power here is sublime, but the depth of the composition really takes us into a whole new realm entirely. A magical track, but arranged with such a careful hand and heart.
This is truly a delightful album, one that has great poise and energy about it, much like this creation called Toy Bells. Short form it maybe, but this fun styled performance and childlike splendor, really emphasis that big things do indeed come in small packages.
Now it’s time to sample a Variation on a Chopin Nocturne, now here is an arrangement of pure class and one that emphasizes Boscole’s true mastery of his art, we can feel the cloak of the night fall gently down around our shoulders with this quite breath taking piece. Dear reader and listener, here is a composition that you will need to get yourself comfortable, close your eyes and draw in a truly blissful performance.
As I listen and write, I feel very moved not just by the compositions and the arrangements, but of the performance, which I rate as being one of the best I have heard this year in the solo piano genre. If we continue our journey with the artist, we will hear further evidence of this, especially on the song, Voyage of the Keys. Soft and gentle, but supremely and confidently performed, Boscole literally floats on a melody with this one, the tempo is so smooth and calming, but also contains a proud and happy motif to cheer us on our way.
At the half way juncture we come across A Prayer for Hope, this is the perfect interlude to our sojourn with Christopher Boscole and his album Skipping on Daises, this track is like a musical mantra for peace and floats back and forth with an imploring resonance.
Now for a really expansive arrangement called Universe, I was very eager to hear this one. We start with an almost slow approach, one that is our galactic guide, the sense of drama is brilliant and Boscole produces another magical musical rabbit from his hat of many tricks. Universe, in a way, also reminds me of a deeper, heavier version of Temple in the Forest by David Naegele. That being said, Boscole has indeed manifested something very powerful here that really demands multiple listens to do the track total justice.
With a hint of the east we float into a song called Princess of Peace, the higher range of notes used here, created a real sense of an almost angelic nature, the slight pauses were so very clever. Boscole then adds a gentle melody that when added to the overall composition, makes this one of the most attractive pieces off the release.
Now earlier on we listened to Suite Wonder, this time we take in Wonder Suite, perhaps the alter ego of the other piece? I completely adored the first track and this one too has such a charming energy about it. Boscole is a true master at composing and this one is no exception.
I found something quite emotive about this next offering called Raindrops in A Minor. One could easily sit by a window and watch the rain falling softly down, tracing trails of water down the glass, almost like tears falling from the eyes of a sad child. This for me was a beautiful piece that perhaps if we ever get a rainy day here; I will listen in the manner I have just described.
As we head towards the end of the last trail and towards the end of the album, we come across a really beautiful piece called Procession of Angels. Boscole must be proud of this composition, it is created from the hand of a true master of the keys, there is a slight hint of the classical here, that when mixed with both the subject matter and the overall style of the album, makes this one of my favorite pieces from the release, a very stylish performance indeed.
Christopher Boscole is a man who clearly loves nature and an avid sailor I hear, as such his penultimate piece is called quite charmingly Celestial Sailing. This happens to be the longest arrangement on the album at well over 7 minutes long, this is an opus of oceanic splendor, and reminds me of our days off the south coast and around the Isle of Wight. There is a sparkling element here, which is far from frivolous; in fact one can almost feel the waves moving you around as the tides changes tact. Boscole’s love for this past time is evident and through his quite majestic performance one can really feel a part of that constant changing nature of the sea and the warm winds that will take our sailing boat to even far greater dimensions than ever imagined.
Our final port of call is now upon us, as we take a listen to the last track called Be Happy. Now, if you’re a musician and wondered just how do I end an album, take a listen to this piece and you will have you’re answer, it has a slow build, a beautiful full flowing melody that has a delightfully slow and peaceful tempo. Be Happy is the ultimate end of album track.
Skipping with Daises by Christopher Boscole is in my opinion his best work ever, it’s perfectly arranged, superbly produced, but overall Boscole has created something so meaningful and real, he has created music from his heart and because of that evident passion and professionalism, we have a truly masterful album that depicts with great skill, many musical vistas for us all to enjoy time and time again. Skipping with Daises is the best solo piano album I have heard this year so far, you really need this one in your collection."