It's Not Too Late

Zbigniew Preisner and Lisa Gerrard

" It's Not Too Late offers a very imaginative feel of relevant themes. "

Written by Joep de Bruijn - Review of the regular release

It's Not Too Late is an album by Zbigniew Preisner and Lisa Gerrard. Six years ago, the pair recorded music in a small synagogue in Bobowa, Poland. Preisner explained what he intended with freely performed music, with a certain theme to uphold, with Gerrard responding naturally and likewise improvising. The 45 minute recording of Gerrard's voice was shelved and finished in 2022. In this process, instead of Gerrard following Preisner's lead, Preisner began following what was kept from the recording, her vocal performance, and responding to her voice with his idiosyncratic use of recording, soloist, and electronics, created in his studio in Poland. Lisa Gerrard, known for creating her own voice and language, guided by a variety of consistent universal and deeply emerging thoughts and feelings, at some point met Preisner, and the two connected. Preisner, an already established voice for scoring pictures, also began to undertake much more non-scoring projects, exploring new thoughts and new sounds. They have become friends, regularly collaborating on concerts, conceptual albums, modern classical projects, as well as scores, for which the consistent factor was, among things, a shared thought about what music can communicate. In collaboration, the pair had worked on very memorable works, such as Diaries of Hope (with Archie Buchanan), numerous concerts, Man of God, Skyggenes dal (Valleys of Shadows) and Melodies of my Youth (with Dominik Wania).

It's Not Too Late was finished and released at a time that perfectly reflects their thoughts on what is happening in the world; how Putin started the war against Ukraine, the consequences felt dramatically in other places, as well as (musical) communication about the values of life and a view on what's ahead, which is is clouded and disconcerting, but also hopeful in scope. It requires little imagination to feel some of these thoughts by listening to the album.

At some point in the career of Lisa Gerrard, the quality of her work was exposed to a variable degree of musical quality and inspiration. Yet, whenever working with Preisner, this is never the case. However, Preisner strikes a slightly more emotional chord with me in listening to this album; there's the imminent method of recording, the impressionistic synthesizers, the elegant cello performances by Magdalena Plutą, adequate piano by Dominik Wania, the melancholic saxophone performance by Jerzy Główczewski (consistently strong throughout the ages), the hybrid of vintage Preisner and relatively new tools, including Gerrard' performance. Of all these elements, the electronics suffer slightly from being sometimes of less appeal.

'Searching for a lost world'' is partially reminiscent of the track Loss from Man of God. In tracks like 'If dreams were life', 'If you could get back to the roots', and especially, 'Into the light', all solely composed by Preisner, it's where it connects the most on an emotional level. In some of Preisner' works, the music is a continuous interplay between a theme of a beginning and an end, which is perfectly captured by 'Into the Light'. The cello, piano, ambient and aesthetic electronics, mournful saxophone, they all repeat the same musical lines, as a soloist's voice and in alignment, to converge this feeling, which in this case is a strong signal of hope.

It's Not Too Late offers a very imaginative feel of relevant themes, while carrying signatures of both Preisner and Gerrard, though not entirely without some concerns, but is overall very inspiring.

1. Hear me out 3:43
2. I'm praying for silence 5:32
3. If dreams were life 5:04
4. Believe in yourself 4:39
5. It's not all lost 3:17
6. If you could get back to the roots 4:28
7. It's not too late 4:35
8. Searching for a lost world 4:38
9. Into the light 4:20

(click to rate this score)  
(total of 4 votes - average 4.88/5)

Released by

Preisner Productions (regular release 2022)