Tag Archives: pianist

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Fiona Joy Hawkins New Album Moving Through Worlds

Fiona Joy Hawkin’s Presents New Album and Video
Moving Through Worlds

As the Australian Bushfires crept toward her rural home, Fiona Joy Hawkins turned to her Stuart & Sons piano to do what has always bought her solace: writing music. After crafting 4 songs that she later marketed as fundraisers for firefighters and wildlife rescue – and which are included on this album – she began final preparations on Moving Through Worlds.

Although she began recording and conceptualizing the album three years ago, one could say it is an album 44-years in the making. One of the more classical-crossover pieces is “For the Roses” which a 12-year-old Fiona wrote for her Grandmother’s funeral.

Fiona says, “I believe music is a gift from another world, from ancestors of the past communicating to inspire and give us hope. Music is a universal language that connects us without prejudice, it speaks to us all equally, yet is received with great variation. My wish is to open a few more hearts to the power of music. Now more than ever we need the connection to our past to find the pathway to our future.”

The 14-track album was beautifully produced by Will Ackerman (Founder Windham Hill Records) and Tom Eaton. As per her usual style, Fiona defies genre by bringing Classical, Contemporary Piano, and New Age instrumentals together to create something uniquely her own, and reflective of all the worlds that she has moved through so elegantly while this powerful music gathered in her soul.

Fiona Joy Hawkins is an Australian Pianist, Composer and Singer who enjoys and regularly tours China and the USA and is also a member of the Contemporary instrumental group FLOW (Fiona Joy, Lawrence Blatt, Jeff Oster, Will Ackerman). Fiona Joy Hawkins is best known for her romantic, melodic songs and lush arrangements. A prolific composer, she has always been interested in creating music that evokes images, emotions and tells stories.

Fiona Joy is known for ‘Grace’, her song on a Grammy Winning album in 2014 and for her extensive catalogue produced by Will Ackerman (Founder Windham Hill Records). In 2016 she won two categories of the Independent Music Awards at the Lincoln Centre in New York and has been awarded Best Piano Album by International Radio (ZMR Awards) for several of her albums. Nominated alongside Pete Seeger for Best LIVE Performance Album in the Independent Music Awards,Fiona was an ARIA Finalist in Australia in 2008. Fiona works with Australian piano maker Stuart and Sons, and has several albums with Blue Coast Records (content partners with Sony Music for hi-resolution releases).

Watch the Video (Premiered on Scenstr) for Calling County Clare here

In the case of Fiona Joy Hawkins’ latest collection Moving Through Worlds, there are glorious exceptions where it’s not hyperbole in any sense and fits today, tomorrow and for all…let’s just say I can’t imagine there ever being a time in the future when listening to this deeply personal, socially conscious, stylistically expansive 14-track musical narrative would grip me any less than it does today, in the midst of world gone mad 2020. – Jonathan Widran, JWVibe

“Moving Through Worlds” is OUT NOW (July 7) via Little Hartley Music. 

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For further information, Files,  CD and Interview Requests please contact:
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Fiona Joy Hawkins

Fiona Joy Hawkins’ New Single and Video

Fiona Joy Hawkin’s Presents New Single and Video
 Calling County Clare

Music for this moment… A piano journey that finds joy. Calling County Clare is the first track on Fiona Joy’s upcoming album Moving Through Worlds due out 7 July. Calling County Clare is a Celtic dance and joyful celebration featuring piano with Irish Whistle, guitars, accordion and rhythm. In the video Fiona is standing on the shores of Town Beach at Port Macquarie and calling to the shores of Ireland. There’s some really beautiful drone footage of the Irish coast throughout the video shot specifically for the clip.

Fiona Joy Hawkins is an Australian Pianist, Composer and Singer who enjoys and regularly tours China and the USA and is also a member of the Contemporary instrumental group FLOW (Fiona Joy, Lawrence Blatt, Jeff Oster, Will Ackerman). Fiona Joy Hawkins is best known for her romantic, melodic songs and lush arrangements. A prolific composer, she has always been interested in creating music that evokes images, emotions and tells stories.

Fiona Joy is known for ‘Grace’, her song on a Grammy Winning album in 2014 and for her extensive catalogue produced by Will Ackerman (Founder Windham Hill Records). In 2016 she won two categories of the Independent Music Awards at the Lincoln Centre in New York and has been awarded Best Piano Album by International Radio (ZMR Awards) for several of her albums. Nominated alongside Pete Seeger for Best LIVE Performance Album in the Independent Music Awards,Fiona was an ARIA Finalist in Australia in 2008. Fiona works with Australian piano maker Stuart and Sons, and has several albums with Blue Coast Records (content partners with Sony Music for hi-resolution releases).

Watch the Video (Premiered last week on Scenstr) for Calling County Clare here

Blue Coast owner/producer Cookie Marenco says, “Fiona’s melodic solo piano and masterful performances are the perfect music to debut the kind of clarity double DSD audio brings to the home listener,”

“One of the brightest lights in contemporary instrumental music, Fiona Joy is poised to move into stardom,” -Will Ackerman, Founder of Windham Hill Records

“Calling County Clare” is OUT NOW via FOGHORN/MGM. 

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For further information, Files, CD and Interview Requests please contact:
Marshall Cullen at Foghorn Media
0416 143 030
marshall@foghornrecords.net

The Eden Project EP Gatefold Art Melissa Black 200918 MASTER

Melissa Black’s Eden Project Makes Mark Overseas

Melissa Black has just wrapped a series of interviews in the US and has also scored several enthusiastic reviews for her recent EP release, The Eden Project.

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Melissa told Indie Music Discovery in the US, “I’ve had an amazing experience recording my new album with Riversong Music at The Back 45. Andy and Scott are an incredibly synergistic duo in the studio. They’re not afraid to push the envelope and the entire creative process is inspiring. I have found my authentic voice and sound.”

The Bandcamp Diaries enthused, “Fallen Angel has a cool 70s throwback sound, which reminds me of artists like Fleetwood Mac. I love Melissa’s energetic vocals and the overall cohesion of the instrumental track!”

The Red Carpet Living blog said, “In a world riddled with destruction, when something pure comes along – you feel it in every pore of your fibre. Because purity and the really good stuff – is translucent. Just like Eden. Her voice is like milk and honey on the radio waves of empty rasp, forced empowerment, and seductive allure.”

Melissa Black – The Eden Project EP is out now on Riversong. 

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Fiona Joy - Story of Ghosts - Cover

Fiona Joy (Hawkins) – New Album – Story of Ghosts

Fiona Joy (Hawkins) – New Album – Story of Ghosts

Having won many awards for her two previous solo piano albums, Fiona is destined to do the same with Story of Ghosts.

Fiona’s third solo piano album takes her fans on her journey of the past year of her life as she deals with a harrowing year in 2017 and makes no attempts to sugarcoat the emotional’s. The year included many friends and family members getting seriously sick, dying or going insane.!!

She bares it all over the course of these mostly grey-toned melancholy and vulnerable pieces, that draw on her classical background and impressionistic modern yet melodic composition.
‘There is a little madness in the music I write, it only pops out of the calmness momentarily, but enough to know that there is uncertainty in everything we hear, feel and experience. It’s much more classical and very connected to my roots” says Fiona .

“There’s a lot of emotion in it, that part was challenging. But when I get feedback from my fans that I’m touching their lives, and in some way making a difference, that makes it worthwhile.”
She uses the piano to weave interconnected tales with similar motifs – She opens the album with the uplifting and just whimsical enough “Song for Dunnie,” which she wrote for the funeral of Annette (Dunnie) Crossley, one of her best friends and business partner in her company Little Hartley Music. The lushly flowing piece represents a life full of vibrant brightness, good humour and joy.
“Story of Angels” moody hypnosis that leads to attempts to dance and then sudden dream-dashing stops into “Story of Ghosts” the deepest tale is told by the third story song. The contemplative “Story of Insanity” which alternates shards of light and night in a romp of anger tempered by gentle understanding. “Contemplating (Solo) which find Fiona deep in thought, seeking answers in the high notes as tension builds. “Blue Dream” whose high and low dynamics indicate mood swings that shift on a dime during crises. “The White Light” perhaps a place between worlds where high and low notes battle it out for our mortal hearts.
Fiona ‘s  choice to work with producer Cookie Marenco reflects Fiona’s appreciation for high quality audio. “Even CD quality is unsatisfying when you’ve heard DSD or SACD, especially when played on a high-end system” says Fiona.
Fans of FLOW, the recently launched hit new age group featuring Fiona, Will Ackerman, Lawrence Blatt and Jeff Oster, will recognise the closing track “Before the Light” as the beautifully rendered foundation of “Arrival,” the opening track on FLOW’s self-titled debut. In the FLOW version, the darker edges of the piece get subsumed into a lighter hearted grooving vibe. Here it’s allowed to flourish in the shadows, exploring the heavy mysteries of life’s pain that occur before the healing – and wondering along the way if it will ever come.

Fiona recalls asking Ackerman once “What would happen if I ever got happy? Would the creativity dry up?” – since she’s built her artistry and fan base on her incredible musical embrace of sadness.
“No, Fiona, you will just start writing happier music.” He said, surprised at the answer “Maybe down the road, I’ll make a few happy songs”.

But for now, especially on Story of Ghosts we can enjoy the musical beauty and grace that she shares while working through the obstacles to make peace with the sorrow life has thrown her.

 

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Rachel LaFond

Rachel LaFond – New Album – Encounters of the Beautiful Kind

Rachel LaFond – New Album – Encounters of the Beautiful Kind

 

Come along on a powerful musical journey inspired by Rachel LaFond’s experience, of being a stranger in a new country. New Zealand to be precise where she now calls home.

This beautiful solo Piano Album was recorded in high resolution audio at her home and mastered by the golden ears of Mike Bloemendahl.

The music explores universal human experiences: feelings of loneliness, worries about not being good enough, and the evolution we undergo as existing friendships change or fade while new connections spring to life.

This journey culminates in the realisation that as we bear each other up and connect with one another, we make the world a more beautiful place for all of us.

Rachel LaFond

About Rachel LaFond:

Rachel LaFond is an American composer and pianist now residing in New Zealand who has been steeped in musicality her entire life. Her appreciation of the piano began when she was a toddler as her mother (a piano teacher) played with a young Rachel on her lap. She began formal lessons at age five, and by the time Rachel was eleven, she began teaching lessons herself. She lived in Vienna and studied piano performance there as a teenager, then returned home to major in piano at the University of Washington. After university, she continued to teach and perform professionally, but for years Rachel didn’t realise she had a talent for writing music hidden inside herself until David.

David she had met just weeks ago. Rachel couldn’t stop thinking about him on one rainy autumn afternoon, everything changed. Gazing out the window of her teaching studio, Distraction transformed into inspiration, and by the end of that evening she had finished her first original piece, Loving in the Rain. This first piece stood alone for a while as Rachel got swept up in life’s adventures: Rachel and David got married, quit their jobs, and embarked on a year of long-term travel around the world.

Rachel’s music is inspired by, and engages with, the full depth of human experience. Whether she’s capturing the heady wooziness of falling in love or responding to the chest-cracking pain of Barcelonans who suffered in the terror attack of summer 2017, her pieces are unflinching and compel the listener to lean into the feeling of the song for just a moment more. Rachel’s drive to bring beauty, light, and kindness to dark places through her music lends a striking sense of purpose to her creative work. And she’s just getting started.

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All recorded in Auckland, New Zealand in Rachel’s home.

Mastering by Mike Bloemendahl

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Loren Evarts (USA)

Loren Evarts- Newest album Home Again

Loren Evarts newest album Home Again

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Home Again is the 6th original album, of this amazing contemporary pianist. It revisits several pieces previously recorded by Loren in the 1980’s, and eight new ones. It was produced by Grammy award winner Will Ackerman (Windham Hill Records) at his Imaginary Road studio in West River valley, Windham County, Vermont and was engineered by Tom Eaton.

Featuring Grammy-winning artists and Grammy-nominated Artists Eugene Friesen on cello (Paul Winter, Trio  Globo), Rhonda Larson on many types of flutes (Paul Winter, Ventus) and Jeff Haynes on percussion (Pat Metheny, Pete Seeger), bassist Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel and King Crimson).

Besides Piano, Loren Evarts has been known to perform by singing, trombone, hammered dulcimer and organ.

Loren has performed professionally in the Connecticut area of USA in a variety of musical situations for over 40 years. He has been grateful to have been involved in performances with artists such as Dave Weckl (Chick Corea), Gerry Neiwood (Chuck  Mangione), Everett Silver (Chuck Mangione), Mike Davis (Rolling Stones), Danny Stiles (Bill Watrous), Fred Vigdor (Average White Band), Rhonda Larson (Paul Winter Consort).

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About Loren Evarts:

I was in first grade when I heard a fellow classmate play the piano, and I said, “Hey, I want to do that, too.” Of course, I had no idea that you had to practice, which made me think twice about my choice. But due to frequent beatings from my mom, I persisted, Partially kidding!

I started playing classical piano at age 7, but like a lot of kids, I started listening to pop radio in middle school. Fortunately, I was allowed to stick in a few popular tunes in my lessons along with the serious music. In high school I started to get influenced by jazz. My biggest influences were bands like Chicago and Tower of Power, Elton John, James  Taylor, Carole King, Jazz singer Al  Jarreau, and jazz pianists like Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and Liz Story.

What can a crowd expect at a live show? 

My music is probably best described as a mix of new age, jazz, classical and world. It’s piano-based but sometimes I will add a percussionist, bassist or woodwind player for concerts.

What are your future plans for 2018/2019?

Well, I am an American so, like many of my fellow citizens, I am looking to survive until 2020(enough on politics). But otherwise, At my stage of the game, I just want to put out a good product, and I hope to write some new material now that my newest album has been released. And that means I have to sit down at the piano and start! I am always gratified when people enjoy my music. I no longer crave being a big star. It’s nice being in this place.

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Flow with their self titled Debut Album

FLOW: A DYNAMIC NEW AGE IN MUSIC

Will Ackerman, Fiona Joy Hawkins, Lawrence Blatt and Jeff Oster Take a Open Approach to Musical Discovery, Embracing Friendship While Building Organic Songs for their eponymous new release–FLOW.

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Forty years after Windham Hill became a catalyst for the global musical phenomenon, its bountiful legacy of best-selling solo works (George Winston, Liz Story, Alex DeGrassi, Michael Hedges) and Grammy-winning ensembles (Shadowfax)–extends into a truly new age with FLOW–a new four-piece ensemble comprised of Ackerman and three of today’s most acclaimed independent artists, Australian pianist Fiona Joy Hawkins, acoustic guitarist Lawrence Blatt and flugelhorn master Jeff Oster. All in, FLOW members have accumulated literally dozens of accolades, from GRAMMY® Awards, ZMRs, IMAs, IAMAs and a catalog of #1 albums in the genre.

FLOW, on Blatt’s LMB Music label, came together to record deep in the West River Valley in Southern Vermont, at Imaginary Road Studios, the longtime creative home base of legendary Grammy-winning acoustic guitarist Will Ackerman, the original founder of Windham Hill; the 282-acre property in Windham County has become a hotbed of acoustic excellence over the past 25 years.

Ackerman shared his thoughts on the process of recording with FLOW, saying – “There was a moment in the process of making FLOW with Fiona, Lawrence and Jeff when I felt a hint of panic that my pieces were being altered and transformed into something very different from what I would have done with them on a Will Ackerman record. It was in the moment just after this thought that I realized that FLOW was actually working… that I was experiencing real synergy. The group had become a creative entity unto itself and four dear friends had gathered to create something beyond anything they could have created on their own.Experiments don’t always work. This one worked!?”

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As officially announced, the concept of FLOW had its origins in 2015, when Blatt invited Fiona and Oster to join him at Imaginary Road to create an album inspired by the iconic Windham Hill sound and ensembles. Ackerman had already produced several of Fiona Joy Hawkin’s and Oster’s albums plus Blatt’s recordings The Color of Sunshine, Emergence, and Latitudes and Longitudes featuring Oster on horn; Blatt and Fiona met while recording a special project on Blue Coast Music.

Oster remembers that each of them brought two or three songs to the project to which they added their parts under the guidance of Ackerman’s longtime production partner at Imaginary Road, Tom Eaton. The group likens Eaton’s multi-faceted role in the success of the project as that of The Fifth Beatle.

Reflecting on FLOW’s debut project, Oster says, “If you look back into any time of human existence, this need for peaceful breathing and listening has always and will always be deeply important. It’s not only New Age music, it is EVERY AGE music!”

FLOW made their official debut with an album release celebration at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall on October 6, 2017. The group is booking concert dates this Spring, including a featured performance at the Zone Music Awards on Saturday May 12th at Roussell Hall in New Orleans; they are nominated for both Album of the Year and Best Contemporary Instrumental Album.

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AXS Review

“By Sari Cohen”

“These are four musicians who are all self-sufficient in their talents. They’re brilliant at making albums that are unique and musically successful as soloists. The lovely surprise is that they, we, all managed with grace and ease to come together and create something new and different from anything any of us had ever done before,” Grammy-winner Will Ackerman explains.

World Music Central Review

“By Angel Romero”

Flow is a supergroup of musicians who have been involved with New Age music for many years. The term New Age is used to describe a wide range of genres, from easy listening acoustic music to electronic meditation music. In this case, Flow performs peaceful and ethereal instrumental music with smooth jazz, folk, gliding ambient sounds and classical music elements.

Website Link

https://www.flowthegroup.com/

Link to USA Tour Dates and Tickets

FLOW hope to tour Australia at select locations in 2019

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