Anyone who cites Estonian minimalist composer Arvo Pärts as part of the inspiration for anything they do is someone I want to know more about. Perhaps more conventional in style than him but no less exciting, soothing and, in its own particular way, inspirational, A Midnight’s Tale is a collection of four modest-length piano instrumentals, whose titles, by themselves, are intriguing, odd and generally very long.

But instrumental sounds are their own reward (and the titles aren’t going to help you much anyway). In turn, the pieces gently wander and slow-dance through the listener’s consciousness, lilting and often lullaby-like, soothing and occasionally sensual, understated and gentle.

The space as one note fades off into the night (please play this at night for full effect) before another is ushered in to take its place allows atmospheres to pool and percolate between the pressing of the keys. This, in turn, creates all manner of additional sounds and anticipations, whether intentionally or otherwise, is not the point. They are there, and the music is better for it. The use of such space really gives life and lift to the playing.

And, as is always the way with such music, without the lyrical burden to (mis)guide the listener, without lyrics to tell them precisely what the composer was thinking, these pieces become keys to your own imagination. The scenes they conjure, the thoughts they inspire, and the memories they evoke are yours and yours alone. And there is something extraordinary to knowing that such music, although available to all who hear its call, has personal and intimate meaning for each individual listener.

Music with lyrics is, perhaps, creating consensus about what a piece of music is about. Without it, the music is free to be interpreted differently and personally by all who fall under its spell. How wonderful is that?

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