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Heart Song by Elise Lebec
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 3/17/2015
Elise Lebec Heart Song
I am constantly amazed by the sheer talent of musicians out there these days and their ability to simply create something wonderful in a world of chaos, this is pretty much what Elise Lebec has done on Heart Song.
I always like a good opening and Lebec provides that, with the peace filled tranquil oasis of piano called, quite aptly, Silence.
There is something so very confident and assured with her playing and the creation of tracks like Lullaby emphasises the point entirely. The inclusion of Elizabeth Vandervennet is nothing more than sheer genius, as were gifted beauty from keys and strings combined.
The title track Heart Song, is packed with overflowing emotion and a melody that is a true musical reflection of our feelings. Jeff Oster joins Lebec and Vandervennet, for the delightfully mysterious and dark at the edges track, Pirates and Poets, a real light and shade composition, but this is just another fine example of Lebec’s expertise and talent, as she plays out a musical narrative that captures the imagination of us, the listener.
Heart Songs truly has something for everyone, at every turn and at every corner, the ambience of, It Was Always You, is stunningly spacious and both honest and reflective in its tale. While Afternoon Kisses, is a little light reverie, through the bedroom window, watching the day drift past in bliss and in love, a real lazy Sunday afternoon song.
The chimes of the Ghost Ship returns our musical tale to the nautical and I must say this is an extremely well performed piece that I personally liked a lot, it had such a beautiful slow movement to it, that allows us to drift along with the track, but creates a sonic backdrop of utter magnificence along the way.
Lebec creates something special on Moonlit Waters with some quite incredible misty, spirit driven vocals on a track that is as brilliant as it is packed with an underpinned sense of emotion. While A Break in the Clouds takes us on a gentle hill side moment of happiness, then the performance inspires a fresh start, as the clouds clear at last.
On Sacred Land we have a respectful reflective tip of the hat to the indigenous peoples of the land and the music reflects the care and love we must have for our mother, there are some amazing natural sounds and effects in this piece as well. On Following the Rain, she calmly plays a piece that is so gentle, but with a sense of purpose built deep within, the energy of new life is strong, in this delicate track.
Lebec has proved her ability to change course and power at will, the deep and more powerful resonance of, Away into the Horizon, will acknowledge that. We even have time to sample a sublime moment of genius once again, as David Darling, joins Lebec on a reprise of the title track Heart Song (Avec Cello). Its time therefore to round up, what has been a total breath of fresh air in the genre known as, solo piano with instrumentation, with a nod in the direction of a the traditional, with a final ballad called Greensleeves.
Heart Song represents to me an album that is not only performed with extremely talented playing and style, but a well-crafted and well though out release, that really deserves to chart and receive future awards, a good album with a great narrative, is always a winner and Heart Song is just that.
Rating: Excellent
Heart Song by Elise Lebec
- posted by Michael Diamond on 3/13/2015
Heart Song by Elise Lebec
“Heart Song” certainly had a number of pleasant creative surprises for me. Elise has brought a diversity of styles and elements into play here that can range from sharing a sensitive story on solo piano to more experimental territory. Out of silence comes sound, so the opening track is the appropriately titled, “Silence.” It’s a quiet introspective piece that draws the listener into a peaceful place and sets a nice tone for the album. Pleasant dreams are evoked in the next piece, entitled “Lullaby,” which features the soulful cello playing of Elizabeth Vandervennet. A number of cellists contribute to the recording, including well-known Paul Winter Consort member David Darling who adds his musical magic to a reprise of the title track that appears near the end of the album.

On a track called “Pirates and Poets,” unexpected elements evolve as the piece unfolds, including unusual chord changes, atonality, trippy backwards tape loops, yin/yang melodic contrasts, and more. This piece is definitely more adventurous and exploratory than anything heard thus far on the album, providing a brief excursion into the avant-garde. A track called, “It Was Always You,” introduces George Chavez, the second of three cellists who grace the album. George can be quite experimental himself, and here his playing includes beautiful melodic phrasing, long drone-like tones, and multi-tracked cello creating atmospheric synthesizer-like textures.

A nice change up takes place on “Ghost Ships” where Elise opens the piece playing electronic keyboards to create an appropriately haunting soundscape that serves as an ambient background for her piano that eventually appears out of the mist. A track called “Sacred Land” features an elder from a Guatemalan native tribe speaking about respecting and blessing the earth, being grateful and honoring all of nature and life. The piece includes ambient synthesizers, earthy native drumming, airy wooden flute, environmental sounds, piano, and more

I enjoyed the mystery of listening to the album for the first time and not knowing what direction the next piece would take. I particularly appreciated the expressiveness of Elise’s playing, as well as her creativity and willingness to think outside the box musically. On “Heart Song,” her third album, Elise has presented a unique collection of solo piano and ensemble pieces that provide a most intriguing listening experience. The artistic touches that adorn her music have certainly piqued my interest for what she will do next. I’ll be looking forward to that.

Rating: Very Good +
Reiki Hands of Love by CG Deuter
- posted by gena on 3/2/2015

Deuter has long been one of the top new age musicians in the world (60 albums over the last 45 years) and he is still making exceptional music. Just take a listen to his new recording REIKI HANDS OF LOVE, a quality right-in-the-pocket new age album featuring a combination of melodic tunes and some hauntingly-lovely ambient. The music contains piano, synthesizer, flute, acoustic guitar, violin, cello, harpsichord and electric piano -- all played by Deuter. The art of Reiki (pronounced RAY-key), by the way, is a relaxation and healing technique involving the laying of hands on the body of the patient. This is simply beautiful music. If you are a fan of either Deuter, new age music in general, or both, this is one for you.
Rating: Excellent
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