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Nerissa Schwarz

Crossover Prog

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Nerissa Schwarz Playgrounds Lost album cover
3.65 | 8 ratings | 3 reviews | 12% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2016

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Play (3:01)
2. Dance Around Black Hole (4:54)
3. Running Out (1:42)
4. Fireflying (3:44)
5. Last Spring (4:26)
6. Yellow Skies (3:21)
7. Something Behind Trees (5:58)
8. No More Games (4:47)
9. Playgrounds Lost (6:32)

Total time 38:25

Line-up / Musicians

- Nerissa Schwarz / electric harp, Mellotron, arranger & producer

Releases information

CD Self-release (2016, Germany)

Thanks to kev rowland for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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NERISSA SCHWARZ Playgrounds Lost ratings distribution

(8 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

NERISSA SCHWARZ Playgrounds Lost reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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

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.

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.

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