Australian musicians Fiona Joy Hawkins and Rebecca Daniel team up once again to create a remarkable acoustic new age album titled Heavenly Voices. Recorded and mixed by Grammy-nominated producer Cookie Marenco and released under Marenco’s own label Blue Coast Records, Heavenly Voices sounds close and present. The entirety of the album was performed live in Blue Coast’s Extended Sound Environment (E.S.E.) and recorded straight to DSD256 (1). Expert recording techniques combined with the high definition audio bring to life every rich keystroke and string vibration. Heavenly Voices is a testament to what great musicianship and audio engineering can accomplish.
Pianist Fiona Joy Hawkins has won several awards including Album of the Year by Zone Music Rewards, Best New Age Album by Independent Music Rewards, and her song “Grace” was featured on a Grammy Award winning album in 2014 (2). Violinist Rebecca Daniel has performed around the world. The Australian Chamber Orchestra in Sydney invited her to join their ranks where she held duties as the Orchestra Leader for several of their productions (3). Both virtuoso in their own right, together Hawkins and Daniel make for an incomparable team.
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Hawkins’ pensive piano playing lays the foundation for Daniel’s expressive violin work. Listeners will become immersed in the evocative melodies and harmonies, where the piano and violin have their own emotions that they wish to convey. Tracks such as “Sugar Plum Ghost,” “The Lightness of Dark,” and the title song “Heavenly Voices” also feature Hawkins’ and Daniel’s voices, adding a greater ethereal element. Though every part was performed live, much of the album sounds other-worldly, as though Hawkins and Daniel are pulling back the curtain to reveal a glimpse into the afterlife. In a way, Heavenly Voices is a lament. It evokes feelings of grief and loss, though not without a ray of hope, as if the very impermanence that causes our mourning is also the source of beauty upon which we gaze.
Expertly crafted in composition, performance, and production, Heavenly Voices is an album that fans of contemporary classical music will not want to miss. We’re sure once you hear the music this will be a MUST HAVE!
This is how the piano and violin were meant to sound!