Immeasurable Distance by Parjam Parsi

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There can be no denying the mystique that surrounds the Armenian pianist and composer, Parjam Parsi. An obscure talent, intentionally drawn and musically reclusive, his melancholy-tinged, heart-rending compositions sound dear, tender, and fragile, further amplifying his compelling vibes.

Today we take a look at his second online-released LP for 2022. After the haunting (I’m Decadence and Disarray), an album was written to commemorate the very personal and complicated relationship between Parjam Parsi and his mother, here he drops a stunning second release, Immeasurable Distance. While just released, Parjam Parsi’s music has been recorded and released in limited physical form way back in 2009, Parjam only decided to release his work to the public recently. With not much disclosed in terms of what inspired this release, or inspires it, we are left, as listeners, to connect the dots and to interpret the pieces as we want. 

A few lines extend throughout all the compositions, acting as a rope that binds them all together, providing them with a hint of context and ample cohesion. The pieces are entirely wordless.. instrument-less in fact, it’s just Parjam’s pristine, dynamic piano. There is a ton of internal arrangement on the album, with the piano rising and falling in volume, dynamics, and intensity, with Parjam in total control the whole time. A talented performer, Parsi delivers all those delicate, semi-complex compositions with such effortlessness, the whole album flows delightfully and sounds rich and warm, while simultaneously raw and organic. 

The pieces, while gorgeous, tend to sound a little timid when arranged in an album format such as this one, an issue I sensed with far less intensity on his previous record. Parjam’s composition is delicate and compelling, but traditional and textbook. For the most part, the left-hand plays an intricate, gorgeous, and repetitive harmony part, and the right one plays a sweet, high melody that’s packed with whatever emotions Parjam felt while composing the piece. The results are still wonderful! The pieces sound fresh and enjoyable, amazingly played, and thoughtfully composed, it’s when you put them back-to-back that troubles begin to peek through the cracks induced by the repetition that’s induced by repeating the same concept over and over again. 

Parjam Parsi’s music sounds wonderful and inspiring when you take a moment to sit back and listen. Listen for all the subtle changes in dynamics, listen for the loaded inflections in the tempo, and ultimately, listen for the gorgeous chords and haunting melodies. It’s unfortunate that putting those precious compositions in an album form caused them to lose some of their lusters, at least to my ears, or maybe if Parsi would provide a little narrative or context to support the flow of the pieces. Either way, with music this sensual, I can not recommend Parjam Parsi’s latest album, Immeasurable Distance.

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