“Art takes nature as its model,” Aristotle said. Frank Steiner Jr.’s new album “Natura” seems to confirm and somehow refine the idea behind this over 2 000-year-old-quote. It is a collection of 14 sublime and timeless pieces, perfect for relaxation, dreaming, or creative work. “Natura” might be Frank Steiner Jr.’s best release to date.
Frank Steiner Jr. (born 1966) is a composer, arranger, and music producer living in Southern Germany. He has studied classical piano, trumpet, and music theory. Steiner debuted as a New Age Music artist in 1997 with “I-Ging-Symphony“, released on the Erdenklang label (rereleasd by Real Music the following year). “Touching Silk” was released 2004. Then “Into Forever” (2012) and “Momentum” (2015) followed, all on Real Music. “Natura” is released on Steiner’s own label. The album is available on Bandcamp.
The album opener is called “Devento”. It is one of those melodies that seems to connect with the listener from the very first note. “Devento” is breathtakingly beautiful, a small masterpiece really. It has a slow build-up and as we go along, we are introduced to some very interesting instruments; a string instrument (a sithar perhaps), some lovely synth strings, and an enchanting piano. Seven minutes seems to fly. “Devento” is, in short, a phenomenal album opener!
Next out is “The Island”. The slow build-up, vocalization, and Kenny G-ish sax are beautiful beyond words. Is a well-made nod to the music of the late 1980s. Notice how the imaginary island seems to emerge from the fog and, upon conclusion, all its visual splendor is there to see. It is “Natura” – and nature! – at its finest.
“City Lights” takes us back to the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The combination of trumpet, guitar, and synth backdrop is inspired – and when then somewhat enigmatic singing starts, we are yet again in music heaven – and it is only track three. One word: Bravo!
At this stage, “A Gentle Touch” gives time to breathe and reflect. It is a romantic ballad for special moments. “Longing” is one of the finest pieces on “Natura”. The synth sounds like a church organ while the textures are futuristic. When the trumpet comes on, it is impossible not to be moved by the quality of the composition.
The following part of the album is highly reflective, ideal for relaxation and dreaming. The slow “Purple Eve” adds a certain level of magic to any occasion, while “Observation” has a playful, 1980s vibe. Fans of Jeff Oster should definitely check it out. “Path to Serenity” and the almost eight minutes long “Mountaintop” are playlist gold, pure and simple – while “Lumière d’atuonome” and “Esperanza” bring colors and an international touch to the album. The three ending pieces, “Lighthearted”, “Leaving” and “Good in the End”, sum up the album beautifully. Needless to say, the album ends on a high note.
In conclusion: When talking about music, we often overlook something vital; we forget to ask the simple question: “Is it heartfelt?” This quality has little to do with artistry, technique, or even the composition – and it is almost impossible to imitate. It is either there – or it is not. Listening to “Natura” by Frank Steiner Jr. however, it is impossible to miss this aspect. Pieces like “Devento”, “The Island” and “Longing” are sincere and passionate in every sense of the word. “Natura” is genuinely heartfelt. Indeed, it is its defining feature. Highly recommended!
For more information and music samples, visit franksteiner.de