What is a love letter? Is it pen to paper? Is it email to email? Is it one note? In the moving song, “Liama”, a heartfelt expression lasts five minutes. The duo behind the instrumental track is Steve Markoff and Patricia Lazzara. Pianist and multiple Grammy nominee Allison Brewster Franzetti joins them. “Liama”, from the upcoming album Romances in Blue (Lazzarkoff Productions) is a beautiful piece of music that all audiophiles will enjoy.
Both Markoff and Lazzara call New Jersey home. The pair met when Lazzara taught lessons to Markoff. According to the band’s media kit, Lazzara, a three-time winner of the Artists International Competition, plays the concert flute and Markoff plays alto flute. Romances in Blue is a follow-up to the duo’s 2019 robust 18-track album, Timeless – Hits of Love and Hope From Pop, Rock & Soft Rock. Franzetti is based in New York City. Among Franzetti’s esteemed accomplishments are Latin Grammy nominations in 2014 and 2018 for Best Classical Album and a 2008 Grammy nominee for Best Instrumental Soloist Without Orchestra. She is married to Argentinian composer and arranger Carlos Franzetti. He’s a multiple Latin Grammy nominee, and won for 2001’s Tango Fatal. He also composed the music for the film The Mambo Kings (1992).
The stirring piano comes in a bit later, but the first measures in “Liama” are all flute. The elegance is in the blissful melodic orchestration. Markoff and Patricia paint pastels with their flutes, while Franzetti fills in the blank spaces with sharper primary tones. My interpretation that this is a love song comes from the song’s title – it’s a girl’s name that means “determined guardian.” I surmise that this song is written for a daughter, a cherished child, that is the guardian of music. Perhaps this young woman has a guarded heart and doesn’t realize beauty before her eyes. She’s not sure of her own self-worth and “Liama” is a love letter to let her know that she can indeed be worthy of that love.
Not woodsy or Peruvian rain forest, the flute sound in “Liama” is more sprite, more pixie-like. One might be inclined to think of the mood as a happy bunny (near Easter time!) but it’s really not a bouncy song. The fusion with the piano ignites a different tone, yes, but the overall movement of the song dances like a slow-dance. It’s not a waltz, nor is it a tip-toe. Again, I think at the heart of this song is a father-daughter or mother-daughter relationship, it could even be hand-in-hand walking up that mountain. The flute and piano just guide each other – like the love between a parent and a child. I imagine, too, the piano is harboring some sort of light, a guidepost just as pivotal.
I love that this song really allows the listener to dive deep into the narrative of their choosing. I never felt anxious or the need to rush through this song. It’s gentle, but not fey. It’s riveting but not overbearing. It’s a gem of a song and certainly brightened my day.
by Bethany Page
The music of STEVE MARKOFF and PATRICIA LAZZARA has been heard all over the world in partnership with the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Radio Promotions Division. Learn more https://musikandfilm.com