Hush Live in Concert is the 14th in a series of albums released to calm and comfort families facing stressful medical procedures. It’s a compilation of Hush Foundation recordings selected by former ABC Classic FM presenter Emma Ayres.
Opening with two of Paul Grabowsky’s Ten Healing Songs, it is apparent that this is anything but the conventionally soothing ‘Debussy for Daydreaming’ or ‘Relaxation Made Easy’ album.
Andrea Keller’s A Castle for All is oddly uplifting as it cycles repetitively through the same series of chords. Brass, wind and percussion instruments appear to improvise around Keller’s piano, and while it has plenty of musical tension, the overall feel is not a dark one. Tony Gould’s Gentle Conversations is as it sounds – a smattering of percussion, a gentle pulse, and a layering of instruments simulate just that.
Though magnificently played by the Grigoryan brothers, Songs with Strings is perhaps a touch too intense and emotionally confronting for this album. Mark Isaacs’ romantic and visually evocative The Wind in the Willows is more fitting; one can imagine a little bushland animal emerging from the tooting of Geoff Collins’ flute. The childlike journey continues through Paul Stanhope’s tinkling The Magic Island, performed by the Tasmanian SO, and one may bathe in the string lines of Brenton Broadstock’s In the Sunshine. This release is part of a terrific cause but is worth a listen at any stage of life.