All music, in fact, all art, is the result of inspiration. From the mundane to the profound, something always acts as the springboard of inspiration for artistic creation. And that is certainly true of the latest composition from Little Meister‘s, the beguilingly titled A Strange Song – Story of Magical Might.

The unusual name comes from another song, “Mis maa see on” or “What Land Is This?,” by Estonian artist Siiri Sisask. It is a song about the often ambivalent relationship between a people and the land, between ourselves and the country we call home.

And whereas Siiri Sisask’s song is one that ebbs and flows between delicate vocals and rousing chants, between gentle ambience and great enthusiasm, what Marius Le Fou has done is capture a similar spirit in this trademark, understated and improvised piano composition.

That is the astonishing thing about his music; for all its delicacy, space, restraint and minimalism, there is a majesty as rousing and inspiring as the anthemic number that first captured his imagination. Here, the majesty is gentle and graceful rather than rousing and full of energy, but it captures the same spirit, explores the same themes and does so through soft undercurrents rather than rich overtones.

The original song has the benefit of being able to spell out its meaning, the lyrics exploring a love/hate relationship that is common to people across the world when they look at the land of their birth. Only they are positioned to see a homeland’s significant failings but still love it for what it is. Marius Le Flou has a more difficult task. He has to capture such sentiments through the emotions and movement of the notes he plays.

And he does. Brilliantly. The gentle cascades and spacious notes suggest all of the pain and injustice, the shame and darkness that lies at the heart of the land. But in it also, you hear the love and longing for the tradition and history which holds people close to their homeland.

A Strange Song – Story of Magical Might reminds us that you can convey as much with the few right notes as possible with rousing vocal projections and choral music. It reminds us that one carefully chosen note can say as much as banks of vocal outpouring. It reminds us to use the old cliche that less is more.

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