Michael Gettel | The View from Here Review
by Bea Willis
Michael Gettel is a new-age music composer and pianist who has created, taught and performed music for decades. Gettel has released 13 albums in the New Age genre beginning in 1986 with his San Juan Suite. He was one of the Narada record label’s top artists in the 1990s. Gettel and his wife, Elizabeth Naccarato Gettel, a recording artist, composer, and pianist, released a 14-track collaborative work, One Piano, in 2001. Also, they are the founders of San Luis Music, an emerging non-profit organization dedicated to developing young musical talent and coaching aspiring songwriters, singers, and musicians. His latest album, The View from Here, was released Feb. 11, 2022, on First Snow Music. The album breaks a twenty-year hiatus away from the recording studio and is a luminous collection of twelve piano solos. The compositions find inspiration in nature and a few selections even include beautifully-recorded nature sounds.
“Oh So Many Stars” has a beautiful melody over a rolling arpeggio figure. The piece has movement and different intensities but still manages to be soothing and inviting. Gettel’s use of dynamics and pushing and pulling of the pulse adds to the expressiveness of the piece. The recording quality captures all the subtle nuances of Gettel’s performance and his warm, balanced touch as a performer.
“Aerial” is another composition that has a relaxing, energetic structure. The layers and rhythmic activity all create a meditative state that is calming. The melody is always clear, and Gettel performs from a space of peace. The night’s sky inspires the composition, and Gettel captures the sparkling majesty that one can find there if only the time is taken to notice.
The View from Here is a powerful collection of compositions performed by a true master of the New Age piano. His touch and passion come through on each selection. There is also a reverence to creating a space of relaxing sounds and pushing the listener to turn inward and upward to commune with nature.
The View from Here
Release Date: November 15, 2021
Label: First Snow Music
About the author
With an unwavering passion for music that began at the tender age of five, I embarked on a journey of self-expression through the piano, later expanding my repertoire to the guitar and the art of singing. As a seasoned performer in cozy coffee shops and harmonious choir ensembles, I've immersed myself in the diverse tapestry of musical genres, seeking to uncover the intricate qualities that strike a chord within our souls.
Beyond my personal experiences, my journalistic pursuits have led me to explore the stories and inspirations behind the melodies we hold dear. As a music journalist, I aim to delve into the heart of each composition, shedding light on the creative minds that have shaped the soundscape of our lives.
In my downtime, you can find me serenading my loyal canine companion with heartfelt tunes on the guitar or indulging in retail therapy to enhance my ever-growing wardrobe. Songwriting holds a special place in my heart, and I yearn for the day when I can share my creative talents with the world. Until then, my passion for uncovering the emotional power within music continues to drive my insightful reviews and analyses, as I journey through the rich landscape of melodies that move us.