CD: The Road Ahead
Artist: Michael Logozar
Although Michael Logozar is living in one of the music capitals of the US, Austin, Texas, he is far from being a homegrown Texan. Born in Edmonton, Alberta Canada, he later moved to Calgary, Alberta, Canada, before putting down more recent roots in this southern hotspot. As a young child in Canada he took to the piano like a natural and began playing familiar songs by ear at the age of four. Sensing his natural abilities, he was soon enrolled in formal lessons and went on to performing Beethoven and Bach at regional festivals. However, the emerging Windham Hill sound, and artists like David Lanz and Michael Jones, “who expressed a clarity of melodic beauty and simplicity,” began to turn him in a new direction.
While Michael was exploring and developing his own musical talents, he was also spending a lot of time helping other musicians. After moving to Calgary, he put together a recording studio and production company to assist the growth of other artists. Often putting his own music on hold, Michael wrote and produced for a number of artists in many styles of music. Eventually, after a number of years, he decided to make his own music a top priority, and released his first contemporary instrumental piano CD, Coming Into View, in 2008. The album was soon charting in the Top 10 at NewAgeReporter.com and received regular airplay on over 50 international radio stations. His subsequent album entitled Time, was nominated for Instrumental Album of the Year 2012 Covenant Awards (GMA Canada), as well as receiving a number of other nominations and accolades.
In talking about what genre his music falls into, Michael shares: “I prefer the term Contemporary Instrumental, although it will generally be categorized as New Age music. It’s mostly improvised, calm piano music with impressionistic tones to it.” He goes on to talk about who his music appeals to: I have a pretty wide ranging audience of people who just like music that helps calm and soothe the soul. I hear from teenagers and elderly alike. Sometimes I’ll hear from people who otherwise like heavy metal and forms of music that sound nothing like my music, but at the end of the day we all have times in our lives where we just want quiet and to relax. I think the general diversity of types of listeners is what would be considered unique about my fans.” Having his music create an emotional response in his listeners is tremendously important to Michael, and is what defines success for him musically. In his words: “To me, success is hearing ways that my music has touched and stirred people deep within their soul, and getting that kind of feedback from a diverse group of people. I want to keep putting out quality music and expect that some of the more traditional means of measuring success will follow when the time is right.”
If putting out “quality music” that touches the soul of the listener is Michael’s goal, then he has certainly succeeded with his latest release, The Road Ahead. The title of the first track, “This Joy,” accurately expresses the emotional resonance that the music evokes. It is bright and sunny like a beautiful Spring day in the country – brimming with positive energy and new life. Right from the beginning, I appreciated Michael’s compositional abilities and the thematic development of the song as it evolved. The mood shifts a bit on the next track, “Fly Away,” with a more autumnal feel, like the world moving towards winter with leaves falling and days getting shorter. It is distinctively different than the preceding piece, yet quite lovely in a more reflective way. It also provides a nice contrast that highlights a bit of Michael’s range. The more I listened to the album, the more I became aware of these kinds of contrasts in his playing and writing. I enjoyed the many facets of Michael’s compositional spectrum, which didn’t detract one bit from the continuity of the music from track to track. Actually, in a real sense, it enhanced it.
Listening to the title track and looking at the album’s cover art, the music seemed to express the image perfectly with its quiet pastoral air, and sense of walking down a country road and wondering what is around the next bend. In another contrast, the next song, “Dance With Me,” has an elegant waltz-like ambience that could serve nicely as a soundtrack to a ballroom scene in a film. That image was definitely conjured in my mind as the music unfolded. I particularly enjoyed a track called “My Hope Will Come.” Who knows what hope sounds like, but this song evoked that sentiment in me as I listened. The song “Out To Sea,” was another one that reinforced just how visually suggestive his music is.
Michael is a gifted pianist and composer with a talent for creating melodies that are deeply expressive and emotionally evocative. While he has his own sound on the piano, I’m sure that listeners who enjoy the music of artists like David Nevue, Jim Brickman, or Liz Story would find a lot to like in the music of Michael Logozar as well. In addition to his three albums, Michael’s pre-released music can be heard underscoring a number of films and television shows, and it has garnered him nominations at the Los Angeles Music Awards and Unisong International Songwriting contests. In the words of the Unisong team, “We would not be surprised to hear of Michael in some major capacity in the near future.” I’m sure there is a lot of truth in that statement, and I’ll be looking forward to seeing what happens for Michael on the road ahead.