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Crossover Prog • Germany

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Nerissa Schwarz picture
Nerissa Schwarz biography
Nerissa Schwarz has been writing and recording genre-defying songs and instrumental music for the better part of ten years.

Following a collaboration for her 2009 debut album under the moniker of Coronal Rain, Nerissa was invited to join the internationally acclaimed progressive rock band FREQUENCY DRIFT as guest composer and musician for their 2011 release "Ghosts...". She soon became a band member and started contributing her own songs and unusual electric harp arrangements, which have become a trademark of FREQUENCY DRIFT. So far, Nerissa has recorded five albums with the band and performed live in Germany, the UK, the Netherlands and Italy.

In 2014 she began working on solo pieces and totally immersed herself in writing, experimenting, arranging, recording and producing the music. The result is her first solo album, "Playgrounds Lost".

Biography provided by the artist and used with permission

Nerissa Schwarz official website

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3.68 | 6 ratings
Playgrounds Lost

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Playgrounds Lost by SCHWARZ, NERISSA album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.68 | 6 ratings

Playgrounds Lost
Nerissa Schwarz Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars I first came across this album when it was suggested to the Crossover team on ProgArchives that Nerissa would be a worthy inclusion. It didn't take long for us to agree, and she was duly accepted, and I discovered that this was an album that stayed with me, one that had so many hidden layers and depths that it required repeated plays to try and understand the music that was contained within. Nerissa first came to attention to many as harpist with the progressive band Frequency Drift, and although she has also worked elsewhere this is her first truly solo album where she provides electric harp and Mellotron in what is a truly atmospheric and reflective melancholic album. There are times when the music is really very dark indeed, and I wouldn't recommend playing this late at night after too many gins, as it might not put you in a mood you would relish. But, playing it late at night with a glass of Man O' War Exiled Pinot Gris is a different matter altogether, and I would recommend that as an interesting exercise.

I also found that this really is an album that benefits from being played on headphones, as the listener mustn't be distracted by any other sounds, but instead needs to be taken deep into her world. That the cover is a photo of a person in woods is not an accident I'm sure, as for me this album evokes feelings of walking deep in forests allowing my mind to wander (and not too sure if it will ever really come back). Sometimes the dappled light comes though the leaves, providing some relief, while at others it is deep and the canopy is a ceiling that cuts out the birdsong and contains just that hint of threat. If ever an album repays being paid close attention to, then this is it.

 Playgrounds Lost by SCHWARZ, NERISSA album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.68 | 6 ratings

Playgrounds Lost
Nerissa Schwarz Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars German composer and musician Nerissa SCHWARZ is probably best known as a member of German progressive rock band Frequency Drift, a band she joined in 2011. She has also released music of her own previously, then using the moniker Coronal Rain. "Playgrounds Lost" is her first proper solo album, and was self released in 2016.

Nerissa Schwarz debut solo album isn't one that most would describe as progressive rock as such, especially as the rock aspect is rather far removed from the premises. Those who just can't get enough of the Mellotron should take note of this album however, as that instrument is rather central on all songs. Other than that, those fond of ambient music honing in on melancholy and dark, haunting and mystical moods should most likely find this album to be of interest.

 Playgrounds Lost by SCHWARZ, NERISSA album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.68 | 6 ratings

Playgrounds Lost
Nerissa Schwarz Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Former Frequency Drift harpist Nerissa Schwarz goes solo on this extremely personal and original debut, "Playgrounds Lost", performing shimmering and atmospheric pieces on electric harp and mellotron. This exceptional talent hails from Bayreuth, Germany , a musical mecca if there ever was one and the album explores 'the beauty, fragility and traumas of childhood', encompassing delicate pastels of bucolic purity, ambient sheets of sound as well as darker, gloomier expanses. Nothing droning endlessly, a feeling of forever evolving and constantly billowing like burning embers in a forested clearing, the expressive harp conjures a sense of delicacy and adventure, much like sonic painting, recalling that famous Sensation's Fix title "Music is Painting in the Air"! 36 minutes of colossal bliss, Filigree moments of sonic lace as the harp twinkles in harmony with the suave mellotron sounds, this is a collection of shivering moods, glimmering sparkles, flickering light and glistening reflections, that noticeably transcends the banal and boring. Certainly not ambient in the dull sense of the term, but rather glimpses of vibrant serenity and perhaps sporadic despondency, certainly Gothic at times, with enough variance and metamorphosis to keep the ear intent and attentive.

Highlights include the magnificent "Fireflying" (I had never seen fireflies until a decade ago on Long Island, it was quite the luminous ballet!), the supernaturally crystalline "Last Spring" and its melancholic cadence, the spooky angst of "Something Behind the Trees" that could be a soundtrack moment for a horror movie and the 'cherry on the sundae' title track that finishes off the aural voyage. Ideally, early morning or very late night music, when the senses are dulled and the defense mechanisms are at bay.

4 Forgotten sandboxes

Thanks to kev rowland for the artist addition. and to E&O Team for the last updates

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