Piano Whisperer Lubomyr Melnyk announces new album Fallen Trees on Erased Tapes, unveils new single

Piano Whisperer Lubomyr Melnyk announces new album Fallen Trees on Erased Tapes, unveils new single

Yes, nobody in the world can play piano as fast, and with as uncanny dexterity and melodic sensitivity as Lubomyr Melnyk. The bearded, stoic hippy, the man with the Guinness World Record-sanctioned Fastest Hands in the World™, has returned for his next album, Fallen Trees. The album release coincides with Melnyk’s 70th birthday, and it consists of a 20-minute, 5-part epic that wavers between staccato and sustained, like drops of rain coalescing into a flood. Melnyk also enlists the help of Japanese vocal artist Hatis Noit and Berlin-based cellist Anne Müller as guests on the record.

“I don’t say to people I’m a composer,” he says. “I don’t know what I am.” Imagine wandering through a quiet, warm forest in the early morning…and then you come across a bearded man seated at a piano dusted with fallen leaves, and he is saying this to you while each of his fingers dances like scuttling insects across the keys. Melnyk’s new age-y way of speaking (plus the fact that he looks kind of like a cross between László Krasznahorkai and Evil Santa Claus) no doubt adds to his mythical aura: “my whole body is transformed as I play, it honestly feels like that. My fingers feel like the winds of the world; it feels like you’re physically transcending dimensions.”

Truly, though, the illusion the Melnyk so expertly conveys is not one of great speed, but really no speed at all. His music sounds entirely fluid, like a river, technically going somewhere else but appearing to stay in the same place. Past albums reviewed by TMT have explored the connection between his fractal-like work and similarities to nature. Perhaps because Melnyk’s truest feat of speed was arriving where we all are now — in a cultural climate that celebrates minimalist music in TV, movies, and even hip-hop — decades before the rest of us.

No matter! Now that everyone else has caught up, we have Erased Tapes to thank for pressing Melnyk’s newest, most ambitious works. Fallen Trees will be out December 7 on Erased Tapes, and Melnyk will be touring Europe this winter. In the mean time, check out the track “Son of Parasol” down below and head here to pre-order.


Fallen Trees tracklisting:

01. Requiem for a Fallen Tree
02. Son of Parasol
03. Barcarolle
04. Fallen Trees – Part I: Preamble
05. Fallen Trees – Part II: Existence
06. Fallen Trees – Part III: Apparition
07. Fallen Trees – Part IV: They Are Down
08. Fallen Trees – Part V: Not Forgotten

Lubomyr Live:

10.28.18 - Leipzig, Germany - UT Connewitz
10.21.18 - Berlin, Germany - Scope Festival
11.22.18 - Leeuwarden, Netherlands - Explore The North Festival
11.25.18 - Utrecht, Netherlands - TivoliVredenburg
04.04.19 - Athens, Greece - Parnassos Literary Society

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