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Andrew Jervis

"Martin Graff is a pianist and composer who is exceptionally talented at creating music that defies the usual expectations..."

Martin Graff is a pianist and composer who is exceptionally talented at creating music that defies the usual expectations. His most recent studio effort, “Sativa”, is a perfect example. This composition is featured within his new LP, Trips for Piano.

The sound feels all-embracing and immersive, not only providing a soothing, trippy vibe, but also allowing the listener to experience a more immersive deep dive into the sound. Martin Graff shows a lot of versatility, and his sound could undoubtedly be categorized as a clever and personable blend of genres like score music or neoclassical soundscapes. It is not always easy for artists to allow different styles to coexist under one roof, but “Sativa” makes it look very seamless, as the release feels like a perfect balance of these different influences, enabling the audience to gain an insightful perspective on what drives Martin Graff as an artist and music creator. In the end, it’s all about connecting and inspiring! In this case, you can get plenty of inspiration without even a single word being uttered. The melodies are sparse and minimalistic, yet richly nuanced. The dynamics in Martin’s playing are absolutely outstanding, allowing him to go whisper-quite in some parts, while taking his piano to its loudest, fullest dynamics, especially when he hits the thundering low notes that makes his compositions stand out. Playing with different octaves is a great way to achieve a more “dramatic” effect, and Martin is really a master of this throughout the new LP. However, the big variety of sound doesn’t detract from the essence of this release, which as the title might imply, aims to be a musical journey, perhaps with a bit of an introspective touch. This album is like staring back at your own soul and perhaps getting to know it a little better than before due to the enlightening and somewhat liberating nature of this fantastic musical voyage.

Find out more about Martin Graff, and do not pass up on listening to “Sativa”. This album is definitely something for you to consider if you happen to be a fan of artists as diverse as Ludovico Einaudi, Achille Claude Debussy, and Philip Glass, only to name a few. Check out “Sativa” on your favorite streaming services.

—AJ, March 24, 2022

Andrew Jarvis is chief curator at Bandcamp, overseeing label and artist outreach and hosting the Bandcamp Weekly show. For over 15 years as VP of A&R and Operations, he set the musical tone at Ubiquity Records, and signed and handled negotiations and relations with artists worldwide.

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