The contemporary instrumental music of Texas-based David J. Pena is always a delight to listen to and engage with. David’s music has a very melodic, flowing, and distinctly cinematic quality, drawing us deeply into the sheer beauty of it. Piano based, with tons of lush, wide instrumentation, textures, palettes, and nuances, his new album, “Zero Gravity,” is just breathtakingly beautiful, as are David’s previous works, which have been multiple award-nominated, as well as award-winning.
In addition to his compositional abilities, David is a talented multi-instrumentalist – a skilled drummer and pianist who also plays guitar and bass. He composes primarily at the piano, however, it is his ability to translate the “soundtracks” and cinematic visions he sees in his mind’s eye into musical composition that is one of his true artistic skills. It’s like “multi-dimensional” music. This, from his bio, says it better than I ever could: “What distinguishes Peña is that his music is not merely a conglomeration of its constituent parts; rather, he carefully pulls distinct strands from each and masterfully weaves them into a tapestry that displays the craftsman’s artistry without diminishing the integrity of the materials from which it was made.”
“Zero Gravity” is a special project and one can feel that from the very first notes of this ten-track album. The compositions are simply wonderful and the piano performances heart-warming and brimming with excitement and build. The string arrangements were done by Judah Earl, who is an internationally recognized arranger, composer, and producer who has scored Netflix originals and contributed to many advertising campaigns.
Here, in every single beautiful track, we feel a lightness that elevates the mood and immediately relaxes the psyche. It’s as if we are truly in a state of “zero gravity,” floating freely in that kind of wondrous weightlessness without a care in the world.
The album opens with the title track, which features a steady and melodic piano line sensitively and passionately played. The orchestration is outstanding with a capital “O.” The lovely, “Hour Glass” follows with its ethereal nuances and big, bold atmospheric textures, and we are invited to experience a sense of time existing, yet not existing at the very same time. This is beautiful.
“Dreams We Shared” with its engaging piano melody and again superb orchestration, brings us further into the magic that is this album. I feel like this piece speaks to the eternal nature of our souls and the many lifetimes we may have with one another as well as reminding us to cherish our time together on this planet.
We can’t address every track here, and there is absolutely no way in this world or the next to pick a favorite. You should get the whole thing. This is an exciting, passionate, beautifully done album that is, I believe, deeply spiritual without even trying. And we are invited to let go of all our heavy Earthly burdens and feel the weightlessness and awesome freedom that IS “Zero Gravity.”
I will say that this uplifting album closes out with the gorgeous, “Awaiting Your Return.” Again, melodic piano, perfectly played, with all that amazing orchestration brings us very nicely back to ourselves. Or is it to each other?
Get it here or wherever music is sold/streamed/downloaded: https://davidjpena.com/
David J. Peña – Composer, Artist
Judah Earl – String Arrangements
Randy Adams – Mixing Engineer
Brian Calhoon – Mastering Engineer
Mirna Peña – Album Cover design