Hush Collection - Volume 14: Live In Concert
rec. 2014

Melbourne physician Dr Catherine Crock established the Hush Foundation in 2000 after she recognized the need for gentle and relaxing music for children and their families during their hospital stays. The first CD, Volume 1, Trio Grande- Classical Music for Complete Calm, was released in 2001. Since that first release the Hush series has grown to 14 CDs. Originally intended for a children’s hospital setting, the popular Hush CDs are currently used world-wide in hospitals, aged care, palliative care, community care, schools and other settings where reducing stress is beneficial. Many of Australia’s finest composers and performers have contributed their talents to this endeavor and have composed music specifically to improve the environment in healthcare for patients, families and staff. The latest disc in the series, Volume 14 - Live In Concert, contains music from seven of the previous Hush releases.

All of the numbers on this disc are instrumentals. One of the fine piano numbers is Paul Grabowsky’s composition “A Quiet Thought”, originally released in 2007 on Volume 7- Ten Healing Songs. It was recorded at Eugene Goossens Hall, ABC Ultimo Centre in Sydney. Paul performs on piano, with support from Sam Anning on double bass and Simon Barker on percussion. The song is a slow, gentle rumination with a melody that walks a line between melancholia and hopefulness. Volume 10-Songs With Strings, released in 2010, contributes three beautiful tunes featuring the guitar magic of the talented brother team, Leonard and Slava Grigoryan, performed at the Melbourne Recital Centre. The tune “Prayer Flags In Bright Wind”, composed by Shaun Rigney, is an inspiring, up-lifting number featuring two guitars backed by the Hush Chamber Strings, conducted by Benjamin Northey. Classical and jazz composer and pianist Mark Issacs wrote ten short numbers for Volume 12- The Wind in The Willows, released in 2012. Four of his songs are included on this disc, including the delicate “Across The Meadow”, with Mark performing on piano accompanied by half of the famous Goldner String Quartet, violinist Dimity Hall and Julian Smiles performing on cello. The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Benjamin Northey, recorded Volume 13-The Magic Island at the Federation Concert Hall in Hobart, release in 2013 (review). Elena Kats-Chernin composed the lively “Dance of the Paper Umbrellas”, a light, cheerful tune led by harp, piano and strings, and soon joined by the other instruments in a marvelously textured mix of moving parts.

This disc was released in 2014. It is a wonderful collection of selections from past Hush releases. After hearing these numbers, many listeners will want to re-visit the previous CD’s for a greater appreciation of the talented musicians and composers in this series. A 12-page booklet with photos and comments from the performers and composers is included with the disc.

Bruce McCollum

Paul Grabowsky “Ten Healing Songs” Volume 7
01 River Running
02 A Quiet Thought

Andrea Keller “A Castle For All” Volume 8
03 A Castle For All
04 Flying Horse

Tony Gould “Is It Spring Yet?” Volume 9
05 Is It Spring Yet?
06 Gentle Conversations

Leonard and Slava Grigoryan “Songs With Strings” Volume 10
07 Distance
08 Prayer Flags in Bright Wind
09 Button & Pocket

Joe Chindamo “Luminous - Inspired By Mozart” Volume 11
10 Eine Kleine Nachtmusik 2nd movement
11 Eine Kleine Nachtmusik 3rd movement
12 Piano Concerto in B flat major K 595 3rd movement

Mark Isaacs “The Wind In The Willows” Volume 12
13 Across The Meadow
14 A Pleasant Ramble
15 The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
16 The River Bank (reprise)

Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra “The Magic Island” Volume 13
17 The Magic Island
18 Dance Of The Paper Umbrellas
19 In The Sunshine
20 Twilight On Dove Lake