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January 4, 2016

by Alexander Punj

Rachel Grimes is a pianist and composer from Louisville, Kentucky. She has played with very extinguished classical musicians, such as Portland Cello Project and Amsterdam Sinfonietta Trio. However, those who know who Rachel Grimes is remember her best for her intriguing minimalistic piano compositions.

Bloodroot is a track taken from her 2009 album Book of Leaves, a compilation of solo piano. This album is not for those who want an easy listen. Listeners have to pay attention to each sound to fully understand the complex meanings and images she portrays in each track. Bloodroot is my favorite track from the album. At 3:00, this track is not long, but it conjures up such beautiful images and feelings. The introductory chords create an aura of something that might be horrific and tragic, and the incoming arpeggios help the listener understand that someone is utterly shocked by that initial tragedy. The slow, ending chords suggest that death was involved and that there was a close person who witnessed the death. As the chords become slower and slower, that person is so overcome with pain that metaphorical walls are closing in on him or her. The final note declares that the walls were finished crushing that person. Bloodroot suggests a very sad story in such a few minutes.

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If it isn’t weird, why should I bother?

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