This time round, Piano Spa 4 is truly a ‘Various Artists’ album, because Fred Lin also contributed half of the album.
Fred Lin is a friend who is now based in Shanghai developing his music career by working in a large record company.
Thanks to him, PS4 is a reality, because I wasn’t able to produce 30 tracks to meet Warner Music’s deadline.
He did a nice job blending with the “Piano Spa” style. But he also presents his own style in this collection.
Does that also mean that I will not write any more “Piano Spa” albums?
I won’t say anything for sure.
When I finished Piano Spa 3, I was told that it shall be the final collection. But here you have it, the fourth album.
But as I looked back and listened to my compositions, from PS1 to PS4, I find great change to my style.
If you dig up some archives I wrote about Piano Spa, PS1 is a collection of “nice-feeling” spa music, not much melodic form, true to the new age style.
Then PS2 comes, collecting some of my favourite compositions. PS2 contains all the tracks previously released in ‘Timeless‘. It is a more emotionally-charged collection meant as a solo-album, so there are more depth in the melodic structure.
PS3 further develops the song structure, with increased number of solo piano compositions. It presents feelings of hope and desire.
For PS4, I composed the first 16 tracks. Originally meant for a solo-album project, it was held for over a year before we decided to release it as a collection. Except for ‘Colours’ (CD1 track 2), all the 15 tracks are solo-piano. ‘Chimes’ is my shortest track ever released by me – only 1 min 30 seconds. I didn’t extend it because it conveys what I had to convey in that 90 seconds.
Some tracks in PS4 have stories behind their existence. ‘Colours’ was originally composed with lyrics for a short film project but the film producers decided not to use the song. ‘After the Waves’ was inspired by the aftermath of the Indian Ocean Tsunami disaster on 26 Dec 2004 (now you will listen this track in a different light).
Today I was having lunch at a restaurant and I heard them playing this album over the sound system. I was surprised that they got hold of this latest album in such recency.
Like I always say, get one before it’s out of print, then you will never be able to get it. Ever. Don’t believe me? Try looking for PS1 or PS2 in music stores. I know many piano lovers out there puts Piano Spa as a ‘wishlist’, ‘to-buy’ item, notably students who have no earning power. I do hope it’s still available when they do decide to get it.
The Piano Spa series is not another new age atmospheric music that blends with the background. In fact, after experiencing spa treatment for the first time in Bangkok, I am embarrassed at how Piano Spa is not ‘spa-ish’. In perspective, Piano Spa is a series that showcases Chester Tan’s signature piano styles.