Album Review of
Ethereal III

Written by Robert Silverstein
June 24, 2019 - 1:09am EDT
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Guitar innovator Kevin Kastning may be best known for his modern approach to acoustic, ambient guitar instrumental music, yet he’s also gaining acclaim for his mesmerizing piano albums. That piano side of Kevin Kastning is best explored on Ethereal III, the 2019 album by Kevin and fellow guitarist Sándor Szabó. Compared to Piano I, the early 2019 album of solo piano music by Kevin, the May 2019 release of Ethereal III features Kevin’s acoustic piano enhanced by computerized orchestrations by Sándor. The computerized orchestral sounds by Sándor is a great way to frame Kevin’s experimental acoustic piano music. Eschewing the popular orchestral software, on Ethereal III, Sándor incorporates recorded samples from real string instruments, which weren’t modified. Even though these string sounds are sampled, the idea seems to get around the idea of assembling various violins, cellos and double bass played by live musicians in the same room. Classical music purists may rebuff it at first, even though the modern day technology of editing samples into recordings is expedient and the net result, in this case, sounds quite excellent. Kevin and Sándor are true pioneers of the guitar world and on the release of Ethereal III, they also establish themselves as trendsetters in the world of 21st century recording technology.