Archive for the ‘Solo Piano’ Category
Newest Interview with Pianist David Lanz prior to 2013.
Platinum selling pianist David Lanz is a legendary instrumental recording and concert artist who achieved worldwide prominence early on in the New Age music genre, and over the course of his lengthy career which spans decades. Today David Lanz is recognized as one of the leading concert pianists, and instrumental recording artist.
David Lanz celebrates the 25 year anniversary of Cristofori’s Dream in 2012 by the release of a brand new recorded version of his most popular piano album. New Age Music World host John P. Olsen had an opportunity to interview David Lanz prior to the New Year 2013.
This newest interview covers a variety of topics, including the new solo piano, and piano with instrumental recordings of Cristofori’s Dream, Liverpool – Re-imagining the Beatles, Here Comes the Sun, and a new Christmas album project scheduled for release in 2012.
During this interview with David Lanz there are also questions about his career achievements and personal style as composer. We are pleased to present their conversation to David Lanz’s international fan base and our site visitors.
John P. Olsen: Thank you for giving everyone a moment of your time David. Like your fans, I too have admired your music for many years, so our interview today is especially rewarding to me.
You gained prominence as a new age artist early in your career, and have enjoyed many successes along the way. Let me begin our interview by first congratulating you on a remarkable 25 year career David!
David Lanz: Thanks John, I am happy to be here and speaking with you today!
John: Decades ago you helped put the New Age Music Genre on the forefront by release of Cristofori’s Dream. In fact Billboard Magazine selected Cristofori’s Dream as the #1 album in 1988 when they introduced the Billboard Adult Alternative/New Age Album Chart for the first time. Are you optimistic your 2012 Cristofori’s Dream releases, in either version, may make the Billboard Chart again?
David Lanz: That would be great, however I do not really pay as much attention to charts anymore and without a major label doing the leg work, it may be a stretch, but hope springs eternal – right?
John: Was the overwhelming success of Cristofori’s Dream in 1988 a surprise to you at all, or did you feel after completion you had produced an album, many people then and now consider a masterpiece?
David Lanz: I remember both Paul Speer and I (Paul was my co-producer) sitting and listening to the final mix and thinking, “This is a good record.” That was our response, so the overwhelming success did catch us a bit off guard! When you are doing your work-you don’t really stop to think about its impact, only that you are either satisfied or not.
John: Cristofori’s Dream is your most popular album. What do you feel are the key characteristics about the original Cristofori’s Dream that have made this one of your top selling albums of all time?
David Lanz: There were a number of factors. The timing was right, as radio was very open to the album. The cover version of A Whiter Shade of Pale was a great bridge between pop instrumental and New Age music, and the fact that I had tapped into history by bringing Cristofori’s work and name into the hearts, minds, and ears of the public was a major factor I believe.
John: How are the first and second Cristofori’s Dream albums alike, and in what ways do the two albums vary?
David Lanz: Well, the list of songs is the same, but they have been opened up a bit with variations and improvisation and recorded as solo piano pieces this time, without the extras like strings, synths, percussion, etc.
We have also included several bonus tracks not found on the original and created a 16-page booklet that gets into the making of as well as giving historical background on Cristofori himself.
John: During the early years when you lived in Seattle Washington you played in bands, covering a variety of music genres including Rock, Pop, Jazz and Blues. You are widely recognized as an innovator and new age music superstar by your early recordings. In retrospect, what was the catalyst that began your transition to composing and performing new age music?
David Lanz: As I matured as a musician, and as a spiritually aware human, I looked around to see what I could contribute through my music, and the answer was found in a more introspective music and an attitude that focused on the attributes of healing and relaxation. This was the answer to my question, “What does the world need from me?”
John: I have always felt the Piano is perhaps one of the best instruments to express the depth of oneself on a personal level. What was the connection, or reasons you chose the piano over other instruments?
David Lanz: Well that was pretty simple. Both my grandmother and mother played the piano, and they each had pianos in their homes, so I was exposed to that influence as a child and had a natural curiosity about the piano, which led my mother to get me started with piano lessons before I was even 5 years old.
John: As an original song composer, how do you go about the process of composing solo piano music?
David Lanz: That is a big question. Honestly, every song has its own story of origin. The easiest answer is I sometimes just sit at the piano, and improvise until I play something that catches my ear – and it goes from there. There are times however when something in my life will directly affect me emotionally, and then I am able to transform those feelings into music.
John: What led you to compose Cristofori’s Dream?
David Lanz: There is a great explanation of that in the liner notes of the new recording. The spark, the divine seed if you will for Cristofori’s Dream, was found in Judith Oringer’s book, Passion for the Piano, a gift received from a good friend, and a very fortuitous gift it turned out to be! In the forward of this book about the piano and various pianists throughout history, was a dedication to a one, Bartolomeo Cristofori, “the inventor of the piano.”
You could have knocked me over with a feather! There I stood in the middle of my kitchen, mouth agape, a thirty something year old pianist who had played the piano most of his life, but had never once stopped to consider that the piano had an inventor. Hello!
Immediately upon seeing the name Cristofori, my imagination mimicked the name and whispered in my mind, “Christ-Euphoria,” followed directly by the title, Cristofori’s Dream. This was a defining moment! It was also highly unusual for me, as song titles rarely appear like this, if ever, or precede a composition, almost always coming to me during or even after a piece has been composed.”
John: You have more new releases for 2012 including The Beatles inspired Here Comes The Sun, which is available in two separate versions. Apart from the solo piano and piano with instrumental aspects, what are the style variances in the way they were composed and recorded?
David Lanz: I always arrange my pieces to stand alone as solo piano arrangements. I do usually leave space in my arrangements as a matter of style. This allows the use of other instruments, but the piano always carries the melody and can easily standalone without any other musical embellishment.
John: Liverpool – Re-imagining the Beatles & Here Comes the Sun are both beautiful with exclusive variations in style. What are the distinctions from one another?
David Lanz: Liverpool was recorded pretty much live in the studio with a bit larger cast of musician, including drums and hand percussion, making rhythm a larger part of the sound. On Here Comes The Sun, we have more of a chamber sound with the music being performed on piano cello and flute only.
We referred to ourselves (the 3 of us) as the Liverpool Trio, and performed as the same. Both albums feature primarily the music of Lennon and McCartney, but Here Comes The Sun of course features that wonderful piece from George Harrison as well as an original piece I dedicated to both him and George Martin entitled Sir George-Liverpool Farewell.
John: Clearly The Beatles influence on music worldwide cannot be overstated, but on a personal level, what elements about The Beatles music that compels you to compose and perform their cover songs?
David Lanz: I grew up as a musician and a young composer, being much influenced by the way they composed their songs. I wanted to pass the torch, so to speak, as I have a younger generation of composers who look too my work. I wanted them to see where much of my early influence and inspiration has come from. I believe our early influences really help to shape us in whatever we do in life.
John: How do you make your song selections from the many great albums and songs by The Beatles?
David Lanz: That was a very long process of listening and just trying them out on the piano to see how they laid under my hands. It was a very long labor of love!
John: You also have a brand new songbook titled The David Lanz Collection 2000-2011, which is a special group of songs with a connection to family and friends. Would you like to give the details about this new songbook collection?
David Lanz: it was simply a way to put a few highlights from the last decade of music I’ve composed and recorded into a collection for those folks who may only be exposed to my earlier work from the 80’s and 90’s.
There is a very special piece dedicated to my friend Robbie King, who was a musical mentor and passed away several years ago, leaving us much too soon!
John: Being a prolific artist, there is an endless list of albums to choose from out of your current album collection. For anyone who may be new to your music, what 2 albums would you suggest they sample or purchase from each of your solo piano works and piano with instrumentals?
David Lanz: Skyline Firedance features both solo and ensemble versions of the album’s material. Look at Romantic – The Ultimate David Lanz Collection (a 2-CD set with a nice cross section from the first two decades of material, both solo and ensemble) or Painting The Sun and A Cup of Moonlight are a nice representation at my current solo piano work.
John: Your piano sheet music is quite a hit, and very popular seller too, isn’t that right?
David Lanz: Everywhere I go, I hear from piano teachers that tell me my music is not only popular with their students, but it is easy to teach and laid out well. It makes them look good and everyone is happy. There is now over a quarter of a million books of my music out in the world!
John: That’s impressive to have such a popular selection David! I’ve heard the news you have a new Christmas album for 2012. Can you give the title, and when will you be releasing your new Christmas album?
David Lanz: We are working on having that out by mid-November. This is a solo piano collection of Christmas music entitled Joy Noel.
John: I hope to release additional news for your fans and our readers today if possible. Can you release any news information or perhaps plans for a new album project?
David Lanz: Well, after working on getting 2 new albums released in one year (don’t try that at home!) I will need to take a break and review my next project, which looks to be a solo piano recording. Much of the music is already sketched out, but I imagine I will jump back into to my composing, so stay tuned!
John: You have enjoyed a successful music career practically your entire life. What do you find the most rewarding experience as a professional musician?
David Lanz: Just being able to support my family and myself doing the work I love to do. I love being in the David Lanz business!
John: That’s great David, and I want to thank you again for giving everyone another opportunity to find out more about you, and your newest projects. I hope we can get together by another interview someday. Before we close, is there anything you would like to express to the fans that have supported you over the years?
David Lanz: I am and have been so grateful for the opportunity to express myself in music. To have been so embraced by my fans and other pianists is really overwhelming! I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to do my work and serve the world on my own terms!
Visit DavidLanz.com for news and information about concerts and workshops. Visit the DavidLanz.com Store for CD albums, downloads, and merchandise like DVDs, songbooks and sheet music. Visit the artist section for David Lanz at Amazon. Interview photos courtesy BHP Images, Carole May Images, Kyle Zimmerman & davidlanz.com.
The Piano – Best Solo Piano Compilation Album in 2012, featuring 17 songs by 17 artists, from Reviews New Age, Alejandro Clavijo.
If you love solo piano music, new album The Piano is likely to be one of the very best new releases in the new age solo piano/instrumental category in 2012. This exclusive piano music collection of 17 top-quality songs by 17 great artists is a brand new compilation album produced by Reviews New Age founding editor and blog host Alejandro Clavijo from Spain.
Many may already be familiar with Alejandro if you have visited his Reviews New Age site, and there is another reason you might recognize the name since Alejandro’s brother is the award-winning guitarist and recording artist David Clavijo.
The Best of Reviews New Age: The Piano by Various artists is the title given to this new 2012 album. The 17 songs are the best song selections from 17 of today’s top contemporary solo pianists. Many artists are top ranked pianists, while other artists are equitably well-known names in the new age music industry.
If you are in any way familiar with artists in the solo piano category, you should be able to recognize most pianists on this compilation album that spans well over an hour in duration. Although I no longer review solo piano music, there are several artists I have featured at this site over the years by way of their piano and instrumental albums.
The Best of Reviews New Age: The Piano is already getting a lot of press simply because a comprehensive collection of the best piano songs by some of today’s best artists is by all accounts, highly desirable.
If you love solo piano music this new compilation album by Reviews New Age, is a release is certainly worthy of your time and money. Even for persons less familiar with the specialized solo piano category of music and want an introductory album, I ask you; why not begin with the best!
Visit ReviewsNewAge.com for more information and music stores to sample or purchase in either audio CD or mp3 download format. Reviews New Age is a multilingual site, so for Spanish to English translation, click on the Google Translate button option at the top.
You can find The Piano at Amazon.com and major online stores like CDBaby, Emusic, and iTunes. Listed below are the 17 artists contributing 17 songs on The Best of Reviews New Age: The Piano – compilation release for 2012. Big Stock Photo – Aysarts.
The Best of Reviews New Age: The Piano – 17 Artists & 17 Songs:
1. Doug Hammer song Maine Morning
2. Rocky Fretz song Kim’s Song
3. Ralph Zurmuhle song The Train
4. Chad Lawson song Set On a Hill
5. Matthew Mayer song Beyond
6. Navid Nevue song A Vision in White
7. Joe Bongiorno song Rise and Shine
8. Philip Wesley song Lamentations of the Heart
9. Mario Lopez Santos song Luceros
10. David Lanz song Sir George (Liverpool Farewell)
11. Wayne Gratz song Natalie’s Song
12. Michele Mclaughlin song Perseverance
13. Joseph Akins song Masterpeace
14. Lisa Downing song Night Games
15. Peter Kater song Ascent
16. Danny Wright song I Always Will
17. Julio Mazziotti song Indicios
Lisa Hilton is a name well recognized in the Jazz Music circuit as a continuous producer of great music having all the vibrancy and positive direction one would expect from a top artist in the genre. What some may not know is her music carries a subtle reference of New Age ambiance in many of the 12 recordings she has produced during her lifetime.
Nuance is Lisa Hilton’s 2010 release that returns to her earlier solo piano style that began her dazzling career from the very beginning in addition to fulfilling a well kept promise for her fans who have been requesting another solo album for years, with Lisa as the singular attraction.
Lisa Hilton from Southern California taught herself to compose music at a young age before more formal education in classical and twentieth century piano became the foundation prior to her transition to popular Jazz, recording and producing an album every year since 1997.
Many of her songs are played in the U.S. and around the world, realizing more recognition over the years by acquiring airtime on NPR Morning Edition, XM Radio, and charting on major Jazz oriented programs while earning numerous awards and nominations in her long enduring career.
In her earlier band inclusion release Twilight & Blues she received nomination at ZMR for the 2009 Album of the Year for the 10 original compositions and renditions of top songs from equally talented artists you are sure to recognize.
Nuance / Twilight & Blues are more subtle in their references as New Age albums and her success as a Jazz musician does reflects this, but her renowned piano performances of improvisation either as a soloist or with the band under her direction is worth a listen knowing Lisa Hilton is a great talent who personifies this ambiance with creativity and imagination, just like you would expect from more mainstream New Age artists within the genre.
David Nevue is a composing Solo Pianist where some comparisons have been made to other pianists in the solo category for years. Those truly familiar with David accept the fact his personalized Neo Classical melodies shed new light on Spiritual piano music while instilling a deeper meaning apart from many by their innermost reverence.
It is true that in addition to his individual concert appearances David who resides with his family in Oregon, has often shared the stage with comparable great talents like David Lanz, Wayne Gratz, Suzanne Ciani, Peter Kater, and a multitude of solo performers, so perhaps a reason some comparisons of his work are made.
Another reason could be the way up in the clouds airplay since his music is heard on over 220 radio, satellite and internet programs worldwide. Overcome is a prior album named Best Instrumental Piano Album of 2005 in the Lifestyle Music Awards and Adoration, which also features traditional hymn arrangements reached # 1 on ZMR charts in May 2008, highlighting the integral popularity of his music.
In relation to his music career David also authored the book How to Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet and founded the educational Music Biz Academy website that helps independent musicians market then advance their individual music careers. David Nevue also founded the free internet based Whisperings : Solo Piano Radio program having nearly a million listeners each month.
Coinciding like an open ministry of personal faith, Revelation : Solo Piano for Prayer & Worship is an offertory album of 19 intimate peaceful songs of beauty within, given the honored hymns of worship that persons with or without their own personal inner beliefs will enjoy.
Revelation : Solo Piano for Prayer & Worship contains 5 new hymn arrangements, 4 original songs and improvisations on 10 modern worship classics and is David’s eleventh release with a rededicated focus on melodic piano music offering a deep spiritual structure.
Revelation is much like past albums by original content and inclusion of new compositions on age old song hymns from centuries past where church attendees from many religious faiths will recognize in the first few measures.
David Nevue has a limited degree of formal music studies so recites much of his songs from memory, but believe me this is not apparent when you witness the beautiful music granted to this devout Christian man also identified by a skillful aptitude in his composing abilities and creative spirit while performing his personalized music.
You will discover that David offers his hymns like an open book with a nice variety of thought and feel on each song he performs. Softly and Tenderly is shown in a like reverence by an emotion filled call during the gentle yet moving piano melody that is more than worthy of this ages old hymn. Blessed Assurance is an onward moving testament by the lively melody set in a moderately faster tempo that reveals the resolute nature of his work.
Holy, Holy, Holy is a lighter piano improvisation validating the positive hallmarks of the holy trinity and Amazing Love ( You Are My King ) is a more introspective song and positive affirmation for the melodies of honor he steadfastly produces. David’s version of this Contemporary Christian music hymn is serene by an inner reflection that stands apart from most modern versions that celebrates his faithful commitment to Solo Piano music exalting a beautiful reverence overfilled with joyful praise.
Craig Urquhart is an accomplished pianist having a renewed focus on quintessential travels into piano music that literally speaks to the heart by virtue of his current seventh Solo Piano composition. Craig also aims to share reflective memories on this album with hopes of achieving mutual recollections which appear reminiscent to our own memories.
Within Memory is Craig’s classic memoir that takes a transcending tour into piano music that quickly becomes a meeting place to share moments of harmonious reflection, focusing on moments that everyone can relate to themselves. Residing in New York City, his regional and United States concerts have also earned worldwide audiences on the airwaves and during performances in Germany, France, and Japan.
Telling of music influences like Classical greats Chopin, Debussy, Satie and Copland, an intriguing aspect about Craig is that he also tells of contemporary influences like Pop and Rock too, so a classic contemporary structure converges with an overall expansive identity in respect to his original compositions.
Craig Urquhart holds a Masters Degree in Composition from the University of Michigan, and is a member of ASCAP, serves on the Board of Directors with the Lotte Lehmann Foundation, is a Whisperings Artist and voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (The Grammys) which speaks volumes about his comprehensive musical career.
Within Memory is an album well suited for telling much about Craig Urquhart’s harmonious directive for parallel unity and poetically becomes the equivalent memoir he openly shares with worldwide concert audiences, presented by a memorable and sincere narrative from the heart.
In The Afternoon is the preamble song of 10 for Within Memory, having a bright tonal cheerfulness recited by a frame of mind you will find engaging. Before The Canvas exhibits a deeper tone and image by proficient piano chords modulation while stair stepping upward during ascending treble scales, changing perceptions with each layer.
Rapture is the benchmark showing a hopeful image to the conceptual pondering and lighter melody. Laid Back has a nice feel by a treble melody concurrent with deeper bass octaves consistent rhythm while October Bright Blue recaptures a crisp and bright piano overture while making a distinction midst the two songs. Low Tide is the deep flowing melody with pause and intonation nicely enriched with hopeful optimism and song I favored most. Prairie Flowers flourishes into a gently moving melody while traveling to and from, given the preceding treble notes lead the closely timed counter bass notes while held in a subsequent role.
Within Memory ( Title Song ) concludes the album recital for the listener, but for Craig Urquhart it begins an arranged lineup for abundant visits to many countries during his role as an esteemed concert pianist. Later this year Craig is scheduled for concert recitals in the United States, Berlin Germany, Positano and Rome, Italy.
I am certain the concert events slated for this year will be another wonderful social meeting place for notable entertainment along with an exchange of lasting memories for everyone, especially for Craig Urquhart.
Visit CraigUrquhart.com to sample and purchase his solo piano album titled Within Memory. Big Stock Photo – aysarts.
Close your eyes to imagine a gentle breeze and warm sunshine against your skin. Add in beautiful sights, sounds, and pleasing aroma of your environment. With everything considered it makes a memorable day you could term sensational.
This scenario could easily place everyone in many favorite pastimes, but for one concert pianist who enjoys sailing the warm oceanic waters in Hawaii, this description matches the wonderful sensations realized while contemplating his next piano album.
Christopher Boscole is a classically trained pianist, composer, and musician where genre’s of New Age, Jazz, folk, and Neo Classical piano, are just some of the elementary influences of his inner expressions as a pianist finding new enlightenment while recalling his personal experiences.
Christopher’s educational achievements run deep, having a Bachelor of Arts in music as a professional music educator performing for over 20 years now that incorporate his scholastic abilities of quality.
He is also a Master of Music in Studio Music, Jazz, and holds a Master in Teaching degree, also serving tenure as a piano teacher, concert band director, and church accompanist, all of which nicely reinforce his level of expertise.
Inner Voyages is the 2010 release by Christopher Boscole, where after the return trip home to his concert piano, inner recollections and creative observations from voyages of the day are transposed to sheet music for our enjoyment. These creative inspirations that are drawn from a favorite pastime greatly show original piano compositions as positive memories, and where his freestyle music readily equates these recollections a truly memorable experience for the listener.
A Melody in My Heart & Title Song Inner Voyages makes wonderful first preludes into the 12 songs showing inner expressions in a primarily moderate tempo recounted as an uplifting time of restful retreat and overall pleasing experience.
Heart of Romance share mid range moments of calming ambiance with very upper octaves during the final touches, while Spanish Dreamer in a more stirring melody, closely matches the joyful atmosphere of the moment by classic chords journey up and down the note filled landscape.
Land of Sea and Sky gives breezier moments that smoothly glide in contrasting horizons of calm. The moving song Sea of Spirits reflects leisurely back and forth steps in the scales with notes that give the feeling of time well spent by the song’s more inward introspection.
Cry of the Birds in lingering moments, nicely correspond with key notes that similarly mimic sound imagery of the environment, and Suite Sunrise, has pondering contemplations by a singular key melody paired with upper octave trills where by effect, give a shimmering tint to the open flight of his personal experiences.
Christopher Boscole readily shows much versatility by his prior piano compositions totaling 7 albums. September Songs & Land Of Music are Contemporary Instrumental, while Shimmer, O Christmas Tree, & Presents Of Angels are Solo Piano, with nominations in 2 categories at ZMR. His Jazz influenced album Natural Instincts combines talents with great performers in the Instrumental Jazz category, and is a nice selection too.
Inner Voyages is a fine solo piano album where calmer winds and tides prevail during Christopher Boscole’s recollections. You will find the audible sensations closely match expectations one would discover if they were sitting right beside this music professional while he navigates the warm calm waters of his sensational inner piano compositions.
When searching by computer for talented artists in your favorite genre, a couple of simple search terms might quickly get you good results. If not, you can try searching the many recording labels to help you find talented artists, or at least point you in the right direction.
Lisa Downing is one name to search for, and Vision Quest Entertainment is another search term you can try. With either result, Lisa Downing’s name will appear since this business was originally her own record label and now a combined talent agency doing business as Vision Quest Entertainment, representing over 1200 musicians in Colorado.
Now that we know Lisa Downing as a businesswoman, let me tell you about her busy career as composer, recording artists, and concert pianist. Lisa performs in many concert venues including corporate and private events, along with conducting workshops and concerts with Liz Story and Joseph Akins, among many additional reputable artists.
Teaching piano along with her academic studies, Lisa attended the University of Colorado at Denver and Metropolitan State College to study music and piano performance. Graduating with a degree in Traditional and Nontraditional Music with Keyboard Emphasis in 1982, her educational pursuits appear to be nicely balanced too.
A Delicate Balance is her 2010 Solo Piano, New Age, Neo Classical release, in an album title that is pretty well equal to her business and creative endeavors as a Solo Pianist. What’s interesting about the inside cover of this CD is the special written diary about the thoughts behind each song’s composition which uniquely portrays Lisa’s intimate expressions during some rather personal moments in her life. I did enjoy reading her diary of songs while listening and preparing for this review of A Delicate Balance since it meticulously brought her personal recounting for each composition into the picture, giving her piano melodies a conclusively heartfelt and well spoken reflection.
Without giving away all of the diary secrets, many songs like The Gift, reflect a wonderful positive expression by the classical phrasing leading to the uplifting feel given by full register piano runs. This song aligned in a moderate tempo made me think of the intrinsic treasures a gift giver feels and the unexpected joyful surprises a recipient receives.
The song Lost nicely portrays the first quiet moments in piano composition before well placed notes makes one realize that someone dear has lost their way, leading to deeper moments of pause and curiosity by her intonation. After bolder dynamic chords suggest a winding road of lost hope, an upbeat conclusive ending happily points to a more familiar direction, ending with a more moderate calming tone of security. Indecision is a faster moving piece where treble runs are shown like racing thoughts of indecisiveness, and lower register chords lean towards equal balance in an affirmative way, reflecting the decisive moments in life that are pretty much universal to everyone.
No Matter What I Do involves a special dedication and meaning to Lisa and does reflect this by quieter phrases giving way to pause, leading to a wider path, where positive chords suggest a new resolve in this scenario, ending in a more relaxed contemplation. Lisa’s prior albums Think On These Things is much like her current personal melodies with well timed moments of reflection, and her Holiday CD Christmas for Two are traditional holiday arrangements you will easily recognize and are easy to find CDs.
A Delicate Balance is a fine Solo Piano album with the personal Lisa Downing expressive touch. Reading her song diary while listening to her latest musical gift about finding many delicate lines during the search for perfect balance is sure to please everyone, provided they take the time to search and then find this talented artist for themselves.
Picture copyright Big Stock Photo – og-vision.
Music is an important aspect in many people’s lives, with just one specific genre becoming their favorite form of musical entertainment. That’s fine really, but most realize it does limit the total music experience, and a vast range of enjoyment found in all forms of music.
Isaac Shepard from Southern California is like many of us who share the same philosophy when it comes to the unlimited resources for finding great music in other genres, becoming revitalized in the process, and similar to the way Isaac put it, just might make you appreciate your favorite form of music even more.
Isaac began playing piano by ear at an early age and this early love of music began as a family circle of musical talent while performing with his father during many community venues in California, including benefits for homeless shelters, social gatherings and church events.
I am pretty sure this early introduction and appreciation of all music genres was a rewarding first step in the right direction as he began a well rounded approach into his individual projects as a piano soloist.
The Renewing is Isaac Shepard’s most recent form of expression as a solo pianist, where his individual composing performances offer relaxing ballads, classical progressions and beautiful melodies in each of the 10 songs composed with a pleasing source of renewal in mind.
Exploring the musical space and taking in all that it has to offer is a universal calling and can be life-changing. You might discover a genre that pushes your boundaries and leaves you wanting more, or you might come away being that much more thankful for what you call your own. Isaac Shepard
Tears Can Fall is a peaceful balled where an extending range of emotion has a presence in both the keyboards and what you will find in your first sample song in new music discovery. Lead off phrasing is like a gentle question and answer session with treble notes asking the need to know questions and lower octaves blending in a responding reply that contrasts the upper octaves curiosity in important matters pertaining to harmonic togetherness.
Doors of Life has quieter moments in the earliest measures, moving into classic timed refrains before climbing to full heights in terms of the growing melody heard during this piece with steadiness like a soulful march. While piano keys move to greater distances in this song, the melody flows and sways by nice runs along the keyboard while sweeping notes trickle right in time with a more moderate background.
All Smiles like the name suggests is motion moving in an upward direction in an easy going natural movement shown by classic form, with strong stanzas recognizing a positive fullness in depth. The rich fullness of a quiet melody blossoms while reaching full cord progressions with classic touches filling in the outlining shades of color, giving a more dignified tone to the overall feeling of happiness in this pretty song of joyful contentment.
The Renewing tells of dancing rhythms resting beside moments of introspection, becoming a nice getaway from the pounding beats and winding guitars competing for your attention. Whatever your favorite form of music is, here is an opportunity to explore Isaac’s latest solo piano release and become pleasantly refreshed in the process.
Big Stock Photo copyright – Wilmy.
Most people begin their day with the hopes of making the most of each new opportunity improving their lives in some aspect. One solo pianist has made it a priority to better his music abilities through hard work, education, and practice. This dedication to betterment has empowered him to acquire musical abilities heard at a more professional level.
Matthew Labarge from Blacksburg Virginia is the composing solo pianist who first started his job career as an engineer, then began to study piano composition full time with composer John Hilliard, shortly releasing his first two albums, First Fall Night & In Small Hours.
Even though both projects are something to be proud of Matthew Labarge felt composing was his stronger point and actively began to rebuild and improve his technique of piano playing from the ground up, greatly restructuring his performance foundation before releasing his current album October.
Believing this latest solo piano project is his best to date, I do agree with him after listening to all 3 albums, and I do notice the improvement in his performance abilities, but wouldn’t completely disregard his prior albums.
I really liked the songs Prelude & Dance from the First Fall Night. Both albums gave me a better understanding about the changes in composition on the October project.
October is Matthew’s latest release, and the first he had total control over, having wrote, played, engineered, and produced the entire project. This latest highlights his re-dedication to self improvement on the piano, and it shows in both the composition and performance aspects in my opinion.
Music has been so very important to me. During my worst hours, it has been a singular candle in the darkness. I truly can’t imagine life without the music that I love.
What music has done for me, I want badly to pass on. My deepest hope is that this music inspires you and makes your life a little better, if even for some fleeting moment. Matthew Labarge
This album is polished and sincere, greatly dignified by the abundant classical touches that portray Contemporary Piano in a refined manner by his classic articulation, elevating both the expression and imagination to the overall project, without over emphasizing the classical theme. John P. Olsen
The song Wedding Waltz has special meaning to Matthew since it was written during the time period when he proposed marriage to his girlfriend. Knowing this is already a bit revealing to the rest of us.
This first piece begins in a mid tempo moment of quiet anticipation that gently responds with an invitingly deep tonal perspective, parlayed in a classical straight forward sense, yet in a provocative way too by the inclusion of major to minor key changes.
The rich piano melody is timed equally like a sentence where cords join in unison, adding the context of emotion as if waiting for her answer to the big question, which leaves everyone else wondering what was the outcome of his marriage proposal.
Her reply to Matthew’s marriage proposal was YES!
The song Leaves Dancing marks the officiating period when our happy couple exchanged wedding vows, placed rings on one another’s fingers, and then became husband and wife. This celebration piece appropriately leaps with excitement starting with an upper register play on notes that are well suited, befitting the theme of colorful leaves falling on an October day while also observing this couple’s commitment pledge to one another.
Then an interchange in piano octaves are given during the melody, marking this song and occasion by the leaps and bounds of notes from upper register octaves that step to lower register notes, then revisit again while qualifying this moving song and this wedding occasion as a beautiful celebration of their holy union of marriage together.
We would like to congratulate Mr. & Mrs. Matthew Labarge on their recent wedding. We wish you both the very best and much happiness in your life together.
Visit the just married Solo Pianist matthewlabarge.com here. Picture Copyright Big Stock Photo – Yarchyk.
Imagine yourself as captain of a sailboat near the Hawaiian Islands exploring nature in the great outdoors, taking photographs, listening to music, and then sketching out the notes for your next piano solo album.
Christopher Boscole is a composing pianist who enjoys those activities while sail boating near his home in Hawaii, a state prized for its natural beauty.
I am sure composing piano music rates among the highest on his list of activities since he currently has 6 albums available. September Songs & Land Of Music are Contemporary Instrumental, while Shimmer, O Christmas Tree, & Presents Of Angels are Solo Piano. I also found his Jazz influenced album Natural Instincts a pretty good performance while combining his talents on piano with other like minded artist in the Instrumental Jazz category.
Christopher is a classically trained pianist having a Bachelor of Arts in music and professional music educator performing for over 20 years now. He also earned a Master of Music in Studio Music and Jazz, and holds a Master in Teaching degree, so it won’t come as any surprise that you will find these qualities apparent in both his composing skills and music abilities in every one of his solo piano releases.
Presents Of Angels is his current release, doing well after receiving nomination in 2009 at the online Whisperings Radio. This latest original composition for Solo Piano is in the New Age, Lyrical Folk Piano style of Contemporary Piano.
You won’t hear any dry music Seascapes, since his studious background apparently provides an effortless grace that rises like a tidal swell, then sails along comfortably with many points of interest during his adventures on the grand piano. The solo performances are gently delivered with vigor and grace, capturing the full range of motion on the piano keyboard, as if he were capturing the full wind in his sails.
The 14 solo piano songs on Presents Of Angels represent a wide range in tempo and style in a classic setting, bestowing a restful state of repose and contemplation, while also granting plenty of exciting moments full of adventure.
The song Sailing To You is a good choice since there were many classical thoughts and key changes that held my interest, which pretty much describes the complete solo compositions on this latest album.
Just as a person would stand and pull the rope rigging hand over hand on a sailboat, Christopher resides at his piano in a like manner, except this hand over hand crossing motion is a gentle touch of the piano keys, giving a sound impression of ocean waves softly lapping against the hull of a boat.
Christopher Boscole’s new solo piano album for this fall titled Inner Voyages will undoubtedly reflect his sailing adventures in Hawaii too. I can just picture Christopher composing music for this next album after first charting a direction, hoisting the sails, and then setting the boat rigging for his next adventure. Knowing Christopher Boscole’s best piano compositions are set to a gentle ocean breeze, everyone can expect another smooth sailing performance.