Soothing, uplifting, rich melodies. Perfect for unwinding after a long day. Healing to the mind, body, and spirit. Conducive to spiritually. That generally sums up the album “OM SHANTI OM” by Ruddy Franco also known as “El Piano de Los Andes”. Winner of the 2011 Bolivian Junior Chamber International TOYP Award recognizing Outstanding Young Persons, Franco was distinguished by the Bolivian government for his brilliant artistic development, and by the Peruvian National Institute of Culture for his continuous support to the artistic manifestations, preserving the national cultural patrimony. He began touring since 2005, performing Andean and classical music in Latin American countries. He also played as soloist with the Trujillo Symphony Orchestra, Arequipa Symphony Orchestra and Loyola Symphonietta, and has given masterclasses in different Conservatories and Universities. During 2010 he released his debut album of Andean fusion music entitled “Pacha Kamaq”, and has followed that up with the 8 track “OM SHANTI OM”.
This is an emotive and impactful album full of the expressive piano we have come to expect from a master of the keys. Franco’s resonating piano tones are beautifully weaved into rich and soothing arrangements with pure and airy Andean flavors.
Ruddy Franco has a remarkable talent and I feel privileged to spend time with his music. It unlocks the whimsical parts of me and lets my imagination wander down his musical path. From the minute the album opens with the dynamic orchestrations of the epic “Overtura”, you become locked into this adventure.
“Om Shanti Om” utilizes a thick choral intro to lure you in towards the soulfully plucked guitar lines and rising harmonies. Your heart will stir, and your emotions will rush along with every cadence present in the music. The sheer energy of the music is inspiring, uplifting.
With “Merudanda”, Ruddy Franco has beautifully crafted an enchantingly exquisite musical tapestry of piano ensemble music. Once again weaving a colorful spectrum of tones and textures throughout this elegant composition. It is sure to engage, uplift and delight the listener’s spirit.
“Ieouams” is the kind of music which has the power to take you from the place you are to a magical oasis of rhythm and sound. The song even takes the liberty of producing a stirring rock guitar solo. Its tremendous sense of musical adventure draws the listener into its world.
Here Franco has created a track different from its set of predecessors. “Hermes” is music to sit back with at night, turn the lights a little lower than usual, close your eyes, relax, and journey in your mind. It is an adventure for the spirit, releasing the listener, and it does so for almost 9 minutes.
“Marimer” is an uplifting and supportive audial companion for life’s many challenges, transitions and metamorphosis. It is well-conceived, beautifully written, tightly arranged, and nicely orchestrated – blending Ruddy Franco’s rolling piano keys together with voices, world instruments, and rhythms.
On “Magnificat” Franco instigates a dream like piece that allows great communication, once more he has composed something magical. I found this track almost spellbinding in parts, due to the chanting style vocals and impressive percussion.
In fact it was so otherworldly I completely lost myself in this track and had to stop writing and take a break from the screen – in a word, stunning. “Sikuri” is a blend of passion and grace, of adventure and relaxation. A strong melody is presented within a tapestry-like arrangement carefully interweaving Franco’s piano with acoustic guitar, strings and flutes. Not to mention the fiery electric guitar solo, midway through the song.
The timeless beauty of this album radiates a profound spiritual synergy through moving melodies and gorgeous arrangements which are great for relaxation, inner reflection. The warmth and sincerity of Ruddy Franco’s soul emanates through his piano.