Reflections & Recollections Vol. 1 & 2
Mark John McEncroe composer
Yoko Hagino piano
Composer Mark John McEncroe’s latest album MUSICAL IMAGES FOR PIANO presents a theater of the mind, performed with a delicacy that is both melancholic and nostalgic. Rather than attempting to shatter musical boundaries, McEncroe focuses on the introspective, letting the listener’s stories and memories give the music its own unique life.
Divided into two volumes titled “Reflections” and “Recollections,” MUSICAL IMAGES FOR PIANO is performed solo by pianist Yoko Hagino. McEncroe draws his inspiration from the setting of his Japanese garden, but beyond that, the composer does little to share his own stories. Instead, he encourages the listener to create an atmosphere where they can turn inward to give the compositions depth by associating them with their own memories.
Like paintings, McEncroe’s compositions begin simply with a title. “Daybreak,” the opening song in the second volume, the tender slur of melody brings to life a moment of renewal, almost as if you can hear the sun rising for a new beginning. On “Natalie’s Theme,” the melody wafts along sorrowful tones. The composition characterizes someone that feels familiar, knowing everything about her through song.
The pace of both “Reflections” and “Recollections” volumes provide plenty of space to take a step back from the current moment and dream about places and moments that once seemed forgotten.