Topic: Sean Mahnken
“Patterns” is Sean Mahnken’s debut CD of original piano solos. Richly varied in moods and emotions, this CD was fifteen years in the making. An electrical engineer who minored in music at Utah State University, Mahnken began composing at the age of eighteen as an outlet for his emotions. He started piano lessons at the age of eight, but quit after three years. In college, he became frustrated by not being able to play the popular music of the time, so he started making up his own music, finding chords and harmonic patterns that worked for him. Mahnken’s playing style is very natural and expressive, but his piano doesn’t quite keep up with him on some tracks, sounding a bit metallic, as digital pianos do. A few of the tracks have some additional keyboard accompaniment, but most are solo piano. “Patterns” is a very solid first recording.