Showing posts with label Indie Music Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Indie Music Reviews. Show all posts

Contemporary Instrumental - Classical: Paul Barton-Mayumi Kato Piano Works, Volume 1

Release Date: December 16, 2023

Label: ‎Independent


Paul Barton's Mayumi Kato Piano Works, Volume 1, was released in 2016; however, it was released for streaming on December 16, 2023. The music was brought to my attention because of the quality and importance of the works. Paul is a multi-talented artist who plays the piano as a concert pianist, is classically trained, and is a prolific painter. Those two elemental artistic expressions go hand in hand. Mayumi Kato is a superb composer who deserved to have her compositions translated and performed by such an eloquent and precise instrument as the piano and played by Paul Barton.


"Butterfly" is the first track. It is just under two minutes; however, its gracefulness and beauty epitomize the flight of that gentle and colorful insect. The length of the track is inconsequential as its beauty is stunning and goes straight to your heart.


"Summer Breeze," like the previous track, symbolizes its title. The warmth and rhythm of the music sweep you away in the 2:26 time frame. It proves that the artist expertly utilizes time and space to leave a lasting impression on the listener.


"Alone" is complex and rhythmic and gives you the impression of loneliness happening rapidly; as the track is played while thinking of that state of mind, it comes across with emphasis and power, although beautifully played on the piano. Is there beauty and complexity in loneliness? It depends on who you are, how you interpret it, and what it means.


Living in the U.S. Northeast, you find "Snow" to be a very relatable topic. Although December is almost over, and the temperature is hovering around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, we all know it's coming. The keys on the piano are the snowflakes falling in your mind's eye.


"Kyoto" sounds like a person stepping gently along a pathway to their destination. It is very gentle and inviting.


"Three Etudes" starts with a dark chord and then launches into a rolling piano verse. The pace changes quickly, becoming more emotional and purposeful to depict the storyline. Each very brief break offers a different section of the composition, showing the versatility and incredible talent of the artist.


"Heaven" is whatever you see it as. Individually, we all have our vision and process. Unfortunately, we must wait to see and experience it, or can we create it here on Earth? It's a choice. Paul expresses his version of the composition through his nimble fingers. A touch of heaven indeed.


"Lovely Snow" brings us back to the weather but in a different context. It can be viewed as a nuisance and dangerous; however, anyone can see it as one of nature's gifts. The track expresses that natural exquisiteness that falls upon the evergreens to form a painting of quiet beauty and loveliness.


"Destiny" is a powerful word that implies the meaning and path of one's life on this planet. Paul's playing is enduring and expressive, immersing you in the word's meaning and implications. The sound is majestic.


"Kite in the Wind" (Mayumi's maiden work) is about freedom. The different shapes, sizes, and colors decorate the blue sky like a portrait of life. In just under two minutes, the artist puts the vision of a kite into your mind and relaxes you, allowing you to let go of stress and tension through the music.


"Cherry Blossom in Spring Wind" is another track relating to nature and all its wonders, beauty, and odors that capture your attention, and you find appreciation for all of it. The track is another outstanding rhythmic journey that paints that picture so wonderfully. Paul's rapid playing is precise and thoughtful.


"Little Princess" is as gentle and perfect as a child princess can be in real life, as in royalty or memories of one's daughter dressing up like a princess and living the part in their imagination. I hold those memories, and my daughter will always be my little princess regardless of age—such a warm and tender composition. It is one of the longer tracks, clocking in at 5:24 minutes, allowing many thoughts and images to cross your mind. I particularly enjoyed some of the changes within that timeframe. It goes from slow and meaningful to quicker pacing to inject excitement into the story. It touched my soul.


"Life - That's Not True" is upbeat, colorful, and full of life. It is trying to get your attention to listen to the music and look at the meaning of the words. Mission accomplished, and the music got the point across.


"Geisha - My Story" is 6:06 minutes of the purest form of piano to tell this important story. 


(Geisha (芸者) ( / ˈɡeɪʃə /; Japanese: [ɡeːɕa] ), [1] [2] also known as geiko (芸子) (in Kyoto and Kanazawa) or geigi (芸妓), are a class of female Japanese performing artists and entertainers)


I appreciated the complexities of the composition and how it sounded like more than one person playing the piano. It is a masterwork of contemporary and classical music that the composer and musician should take great pride in presenting. The piano playing is extraordinary, and you will love it if you enjoy instrumentals of this kind. The changes are dramatic and compelling.


"Winter Waltz" brings that magnificent season back to close out this fifteen-track instrumental recording. I could picture a ballerina gliding across the stage gracefully, this music playing in the background, choreographing every step and movement. This track and the entire recording are about sound, color, and movement, just like Mother Nature.


Mayumi Kato Piano Works, Volume 1, was a joy to listen to. Every recording element was on point from beginning to end, including composition, substance, meaning, engineering, clarity of sound, and, most importantly, musicianship beyond comparison.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-NAMR Founder

December 28, 2023


01. Butterfly 

02. Summer Breeze 

03. Alone 

04. Snow 

05. Kyoto 

06. Three Etudes 

07. Heaven 

08. Lovely Snow 

09. Destiny 

10. Kite in the Wind 

11. Cherry Blossom in Spring Wind 

12. Little Princess 

13. Life - That's Not True 

14. Geisha - My Story 

15. Winter Waltz

New Age Instrumental: Michelle Qureshi-A Day On Venus

Release Date: January 19, 2024

Label: ‎Independent


Michelle Qureshi is an established artist in the new-age community. Her music has touched the souls of many people through an extensive catalog of releases.


A Day On Venus will bring in the new year with the grace and style her listeners are accustomed to.

Michelle’s acoustic guitar playing will resonate with a wide range of listeners even though it has a new-age foundation with elements of ambient and world mixed in. I can tell you that every track is entirely different.


“Luminous Fields” is one fine example of the music she can produce. The track is ambient and ethereal, with a nice touch of the Native American flute, synths, and acoustic piano. It is the kind of music that can be a relaxing listen or used for meditation. 


Whatever way you decide to enjoy this music, it will enlighten your soul and free your mind. That is the primary purpose of music created specifically for the new age genre. There are eighteen tracks to absorb and process in 52 minutes. However, ten tracks are under three minutes, which is just perfect. The way to approach music like this is with an open heart and mind, and then it will flow seamlessly to you, in you, and through you. The three parts are mind, body, and soul, all interconnected to experience the audio sensations presented. 


Within This Night” has Michelle commanding some of her best playing. It is delicate and soft, will leave its imprint upon you, and only takes 2:48. I thought that was very impressive. The next track, “Electric Blue,” is one of my favorites, with its echoing sounds and reverberating acoustic guitar. I loved it.


“Rain In Heaven” was another favorite and quite different from previous tracks. It had a spacey feel, yet it was easy to acknowledge it immediately and focus on its uniqueness—this is where the realizations of gratefulness are realized repeatedly in this recording.


I appreciated the brevity of the tracks as the recording moved along. The impact of the music is apparent regardless of the time for each song. That is one of the more prolific aspects of her music. She knows how to create a composition that does not go too far, too long, or for too short a period. Most listeners would appreciate that approach. For my listening pleasure, I can go either way with the times of songs depending on what type of music it is. 


There is so much to enjoy on A Day On Venus; what is most important is what it can do for each listener. It depends on your approach, mindset, and what you seek in the music. There is plenty to discover within the music and yourself.


When music can find a place in your consciousness and heart so quickly, it makes the transition or transformation from one space in time to another more meaningful and feels like it was meant to be all along. Thank you for the blessings of your beautiful artistry, Michelle.


Keith “MuzikMan” Founder

December 14, 2023


01. Stars By The Pocketful (3:27) 

02. American Prelude (3:01) 

03. Luminous Fields (4:07) 

04. Being There (3:01) 

05. Within This Night (2:48) 

06. Electric Blue (2:59) 

07. Belonging Here (2:14) 

08. Before You Speak (2:21) 

09. Slipped Away (3:12) 

10. Rain In Heaven (2:48) 

11. Dusty Springs (2:12) 

12. Mayan Trails (2:41) 

13. Warm Waters (4:42) 

14. Sliding Away (2:53) 

15. Light Rain (2:47) 

16. Without This Night (3:01) 

17. Wondrous (4:34) 

18. Walk At Dusk (2:47) 

Featured Track: Paul Adams and Elizabeth Geyer-A Journey of Dreams

Paul Adams and Elizabeth Geyer are an excellent musical team. They have partnered with each other on many recordings over the years.

“A Journey of Dreams” is their latest track release.

The Native American Anasazi Flute and slide guitar provided by Paul and Elizabeth’s keyboards and vocalizations are a superb marriage of sound.

The title and artwork are engaging and give you a good idea of the journey you are about to partake. The music is suitable for relaxing and meditating, and if you choose to do some dreaming during the day or evening, it is perfect for that as well. And that is the point of this music.

The flute is so beautiful with its earthy tones, and the slide guitar calls out to you with purpose and emotion. The mix is clear and crisp and sounds great even with small speakers connected to your laptop. That says it all regarding quality and getting the message of the music over to the listener.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-NAMR Founder

December 7, 2023

More About Paul and Elizabeth


New Age Holiday Instrumental Review: Paul Avgerinos-Shanti Noel

Release Date: November 17, 2023

Label: Round Sky Music


Stream Now

Paul Avgerinos released his interpretation of classic holiday songs on his new recording Shanti Noel. The word “shanti” means a profound level of peace.

I have covered Paul’s work in the past and found it enjoyable as it benefited my well-being. I felt compelled to hear these different versions of holiday tracks, as I always look for something new and refreshing. I found what I was seeking on Shanti Noel.

The created music contains many sounds you will find in new-age ambient. One of the other essential factors is the heavenly wordless vocals. While typically relaxing and meditative, the layers of sound retain their appeal and the originality of the tracks as you would expect to hear them every year during the holiday season. 


If anything, they become enhanced with new energy and focus. You will recognize all this from the commencement of the opening track, “O Holy Night,” to the closer, “There Is No Rose of Such Virtue.” However, I must say that the entire recording entranced me. The most unique track was “Christmas Caravan” for my ears.


Shanti Noel will pull you in and immerse you in light and beauty. Only then will the true meaning of Christmas be recognized by your soul. Those who give the gift of music have talents that some of us cannot comprehend. I like to accept the gift of this music as something spiritual and divine. That is the message I received from Paul Avgerinos on Shanti Noel. Open your hearts and minds to this music; you will realize the reward with the grace and spirituality you deserve.


Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-NAMR Founder

November 26, 2023


01. O Holy Night 4:47

02. Silent Night 4:25

03. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen 4:44

04. We Three Kings 4:21

05. Christmas Caravan 5:06

06. Snowfalls 4:47

07. Angels We Have Heard On High 10:42

08. In The Bleak Midwinter 7:18

O9. Come Emmanuel 5:01

10. Shanti Noel 7:54

11. Coventry Carol 2:56

12. Carol of Love 5:26

13. What Child Is This 9:38

14. There Is No Rose of Such Virtue 4:17

Instrumental World New Age Review: Russ Jones- At The Edge of Space

Release Date: November 17, 2023

Label: Independent


Russ Jones is a self-taught flutist. He started his journey in 2011. Jones' flute collection includes historical Native American Flutes, including the Shakuhachi and the Kaval.

At The Edge of Space is the recently released recording featuring 12 tracks. 


The music presented is atmospheric, ambient, and, at times, drone-like, which I picked up on with the title track. All of it is instrumental World-New Age. One of the most moving features of Ross's music is the ability to get an echoing effect, which then makes it sound like more than one person is playing. 


On "Reaching For You," parts of the track sound like a bird calling out to the flock. It aligns well with the typical earth tones and connection with nature that the Native American Flute has. It is, for me, the essence of the flute's sound and purpose. 


This music's emphasis is to provide tremendous relaxation and a meditative effect. The utilization of the flute reaches its highest total capacity by Russ. It allows a listener to disengage from their current space and or state of mind. That allows a complete detachment of one's surroundings on the physical plane. You then are offered total focus on what you hear and become very aware of where it can take you. That is a powerful and healing exercise from my point of view and how it worked for me.


I understand that everyone is an individual with different needs; however, if you give this collection of tracks an opportunity, it can and will change you in some way. I know meditation takes time and practice. Indeed, what is most impressive is that this artist taught himself to play an ancient and sacred instrument. 


The music on At The Edge of Space has a definite hypnotic, decisive effect. Music is primarily a valuable tool for giving me time to heal the mind, body, and spirit. And that is the quintessential nourishment we all need at times. Accessing it regularly would be a good idea.


Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-NAMR Founder

November 19, 2023


01. At The Edge Of Space 3:14

02. Reaching For You 3:45

03. On The Plains with Bigbow 3:05

04. Perfect Stars 2:50

05. Cullys Universe 3:06

06. Rolling Thru 3:30

07. Love of my Heart 3:11

08. Grains Of Sand 3:52

09. Airstreams 5:13

10. In Another Time 3:32

11. Particiles 2:38

12. Firecrow Memories 2:29

Featured Track: Contemporary Instrumental -Terry Lee Nichols-Finding Annie

Terry Lee Nichols is known for his contributions to the new age and contemporary instrumental world. The latest track released is “Finding Annie.”

The track is a beautiful contemporary instrumental with its roots in classical music. Terry's piano playing reflects that in the most eloquent way.

If you note on the cover in smaller text, it reads, “Love is coming in 2024.” It is a precursor to a full-length project available after we usher in the new year.

If “Finding Annie” indicates what is to come, then instrumental music enthusiasts will have something to look forward to. I know I will, and I always enjoy the music that Terry releases. His excellence and years of experience always set high expectations of what will come next.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-NAMR Founder

November 9, 2023

You sometimes read the phrase "he/she was born to it" when describing how a person came by their particular calling. Such is the case with Terry Lee Nichols. By the time he was four, he had already decided that composing and performing music was his true life's goal (discovered while playing popular tunes on his grandmother's piano) …READ MORE…



Featured Track: Rebecca Harrold-Chorean

Pianist Rebecca Harrold's new single "Chorean" supports her The Tree of Life album. It is also her tribute to the legendary pianist Chick Corea, who inspired many musicians during his long career. Since his passing, many folks continue to recognize the impact he had.

The rhythmic piano playing is superb. Rebecca's abilities are tremendous, as it sounds like she is playing two tracks at once. The composition continues to grow and change in complexity as it moves along, entrancing the listener.


The combination of jazz and classical elements merge for 2:38 minutes of blissful instrumental piano music. The music the artist fits into under 3 minutes is remarkable and a tribute to her talent with her instrument and the love for the man that inspired the track.


You will be compelled to listen to The Tree of Life after listening to the track.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck

October 12, 2023

Check out Rebecca’s Discography here

Instrumental Ambient Review: Frore-Biome

Release Date: April 21st, 2023

Label: Spotted Peccary Music


Frore is the ambient music project of Paul Casper. His first solo project for Spotted Peccary Music was Biome, released in April this year. The principle of this project is fundamentally sound and essential to us all.

biome is a biogeographical unit consisting of a biological community formed in response to the physical environment in which they are found and a shared regional climate. Biomes may span more than one continent. Biome is a broader term than habitat and can comprise a variety of habitats.


How does that explanation relate to the music? Take one look at the track title as a starting point. But where do you go from there in putting the pieces together of what this artist is trying to do with his music?


The sounds produced are ambient, always in motion, and you can hear the growth as the tracks move along. This is like what happens in nature: the process is constantly in motion. You can see the growth of plants in your garden or watch the development of a sapling into a beautiful, strong tree with roots deep into the soil where it connects with other elements of nature and communicates with other trees (yes, that is true). 


To look at another side of the music, for instance, "Trapped in Amber." It sounds organized and progressively industrial-like progress made in the name of money. In other words, we are all somehow trapped in the economy's machinations. Or "Trapped in Amber" with no way out like a prehistoric bug. That was my read on that; however, that may not necessarily be the point of the track. Everyone hears things differently. 


There are many layers of sounds included in Biome. Some of it is very rhythmic and repetitive, which sets the table for other layers of sound to enter the mix. This isn't meditative but focuses on listening for essential enjoyment or contemplation. It would help if you also had a certain mood or mindset to appreciate this music. Again, that is my perspective and may not be someone else's. Its computer-generated sounds would be a perfect soundtrack to a science fiction movie. It has that futuristic feeling and atmosphere to it all.


With ambient music, it is either something you like or need to acquire a taste and appreciation for. I value the time and effort that goes into creating this kind of music. The artist combines it all, becomes one with the instruments and equipment, and has proven to have mastered that. I anticipate another exciting release with the artist harnessing his knowledge and talent to create something entirely different. That is the beauty of electronic music and all it has to offer.


I recommend Biome for those who enjoy the music of Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, and similar artists that set a specific mood and listening experience; you need the right mindset to enjoy it. 


Biome features lengthy tracks, the longest clocking in at 13:50 (Mycelium Dreams) and 8:59 the shortest (Algae Bloom). So, prepare for an immersive listening experience to melt into your easy chair.


Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-NAMR Founder

October 2, 2023


1. Algae Bloom 8:59

2. Trapped in Amber 9:48

3. Protozoa 9:46

4. Fern Cluster 8:11

5. Luminous and Tangled 9:13

6. Mycelium Dreams 13:50

Acoustic Instrumental/New Age Review: Carlos Dengler - Private Earth

Release Date: June 2, 2023

Label: Independent


Carlos Dengler's Private Earth is your seat to appreciating our planet and all its wonders. Carlos has personally tapped into the transformative powers of music, and you will realize that within minutes once you listen.

"Violet Night" enters most beautifully and gently after the introduction of "Desert Flora" to set the mood and proper thought process for what this is all about. The acoustic guitar, flute, and keyboards mold into your private magic carpet ride around the beauty of Mother Earth. The music seeks to take you into the place where we all should be, in total respect and awe of our planet. It is an impactful way to catch the listener's ear and maintain interest. It's like heaven in your backyard with a precise, crisp recording mix and birds chirping happily. Just wait there is more.


Each track is an extensive and immersive experience of nature that is ours to enjoy. This music prompts awareness and appreciation differently than you may be accustomed to. The shortest track is "Rising Mountain" at 7:02, and the longest is "Ancient Lake" at 9:31. The artist ensures the experience is long enough on each track to leave a mark on your consciousness and perhaps a different way of thinking about our environment.


When "Golden Dawn" begins to play, you can feel the atmosphere and ambiance of the music sweeping you away. The acoustic guitar has a nice rhythm and consistency; all the other elements combine to build the song into something you will remember. The music is transient and prolific in that you begin to think about the cycles of nature, the seasons, and all the beauty it beholds for us. Every living thing is here for a reason and purpose, and we quickly forget that going about our daily lives. Music on this track puts things into a different perspective and sheds light on the truth of who we are and the importance of our connection to our planet. From the earth, we originated, and from the land, we shall return. 


I am only two tracks in, and I am thinking about all of these points and facts about our humanity and the inhumanity of our lives on this planet. We are destroying the earth for progress and the almighty dollar. We should have a universal wake-up call before it's too late. 


Think for a moment about the title "Ancient Lake" and how long it has been in existence and all the creatures and vegetation and insects that have kept it alive, not to mention the people that may have used it for survival for water, a source for food and many other things. The strong connection between that source of nature and all the living things that depended upon it is sacred. Native Americans lived by it, respecting all the earth and its creatures and what they provided. While the music plays, I am in a mode of reflection on all of this and enjoying taking in all the beautiful sounds Carlos has produced to initiate all those thoughts. The gentleness of the piano, guitar, and ambient sounds intermingle, bringing a rainforest of sound to your senses. It is refreshing and spiritual. 


Many people understand the delicate balance of the rainforest, which is another way to look at the big picture. The sound of water hitting the shoreline at the end of the track is the final element that hits home and cements those thoughts in your mind.


"Solemn Cavern" and "Rising Mountain" continue the path of reflection to engage the listener and to give reason for thought and consideration. As with previous tracks, the music gently invites you into that mindset. 


Soft, beautiful, and inviting, Carlos Dengler gives you your Private Earth. You can use the music to reflect and think about the message, meditate, or both. Whatever you seek, the music will allow you to go there if you can give pause to your life and absorb all the sounds. I felt moved by the music in many ways and expressed that to interested listeners and those concerned about the life of our planet and all its inhabitants. It's time to listen and receive the message. 


Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-NAMR Founder

September 29, 2023


1.  Desert Flora 

2.  Violet Night

3.  Golden Dawn

4.  Ancient Lake

5.  Solemn Cavern

6.  Rising Mountain

Contemporary Instrumental Review: David J. Pena-Zero Gravity

Release Date: October 6, 2023

Label: Independent


David J. Pena is one of the more productive piano artists, releasing music regularly and adding to the growing archive. I cannot imagine how it must feel to create music that will leave a legacy for lifetimes. What a blessing.

Zero Gravity is due on October 6th. 


The first track and title, “Zero Gravity,” put the vastness of the universe into the eyes of the astronaut floating above Earth. The piano playing and orchestration are heavenly, and it has a floating light-than-air feel, setting the perfect tone to make it as accurate as possible. It was an excellent way to start the recording. I like it when an artist chooses the title track to lead off; it makes sense.


Everyone has dreams. It is up to every individual to seek those things they desire. Sitting around waiting for something to happen never served anyone well. The piano playing is beautiful and engaging while orchestrations reach a peak; David knows how to create the peaks and valleys of our emotions where “Dreams We Shared” are born and sometimes dashed or forgotten. The rule of karma is you get back what you put into life, good, bad, or indifferent. 


This is the “Hour Glass” of life we all must come to terms with. We are going from the top in little grains of sand to the bottom, where our presence here in the physical form ends. The finality of that can be daunting, not knowing what happens until you get there. I think we have some ideas based on stories of people dying and then coming back. Is it different for everyone based on what they did while they were here? Will be “Forgiven” for any wrongs and enter the next life seamlessly? I think our consciousness leaves our bodies and enters a collective consciousness known to many as the spirit world or ether at Zero Gravity, where our friends and family have left and are “Awaiting Your Return.” You can only “Daydream” until you arrive.


“Will You Dance” are steps created by the keys of a piano, subtly and elegantly, as only David can present it. As with the previous tracks, the finishing touches are the orchestrations accompanying him. Is this the dance of life, or a serenade from one to another sending an invitation to join in their dance? It is the dance the listener hears and sees forming in their mind as the song plays through. It is warm, and it touched my heart.


“Renewed” or renewal is a significant word in English. Does the music you hear energize you, or does it cause time to reflect or to come up with an answer to a question that can only be solved by looking within? Beautiful piano-based music with moving orchestrations can initiate many things for a listener. In the end, will you feel renewed in some way? I would answer that with a resounding yes, but that is for me; what will it be for you? Listen and find out.


“Childhood Memories” are so sweet and unforgettable. I felt sadness while listening to this track. Life is so fleeting, and although my childhood was long ago, I will always hold certain aspects dear to my heart. That is why I will never let go of those times and feelings. We cannot make the past come back, but we can relive parts of it, the stories that never grow old and stored in our hearts and minds. This piece was so moving for me; it did bring a tear to my eye. I, at times, long for the simple life I once had. It served as a gentle reminder of the importance of things in the past.


Those are some of my favorite tracks. Of course, there is more to be listened to and explored. And it would be best to let go of the day and all the thoughts running through your mind; finding that way is through music like David Pena can offer you Zero Gravity.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-NAMR Founder

September 11, 2023

01. Zero Gravity 
02. Hour Glass 
03. Dreams We Shared 
04. Will You Dance 
05. Renewed 06. 
Childhood Memories 
07. Forgiven 
08. Jeannette 
09. Daydream 
10. Awaiting Your Return

Contemporary Instrumental Review: Ann Sweeten-Love Walks Through Rain

Release Date:  June 11, 2023

Label: Orange Band Records


Ann Sweeten has an extensive discography to share with music lovers. Love Walks Through Rain has assured a place amongst one of her favorite recordings. She shares her music on a magnificent Steinway piano with exceptional grace and precision. Ann returned to Will Ackerman’s Imaginary Road Studios to record her ninth proper album—as would be expected, the recording production values are beyond reproach.

The title would imply that true love can withstand life when rain comes our way. When we are in a storm, the one person we know that can be counted on is the one we love or, if we are fortunate, all those we love. In Ann’s life, she has conquered cancer twice and is currently battling leukemia. That says much about her resiliency and ability to let love help her walk through the rain. Her music is beautifully composed and performed with flawless melodies.

In addition, the timeless beauty that her piano gives a listener with each track, there are brilliant guest appearances included such as Charlie Bisharat (Violin), Eugene Friesen (Cello), Nancy Rumbel (English Horn), Premik Russell-Tubbs (EWI, Soprano Saxophone), Will Ackerman (Guitar) and Tom Eaton (Bass).

Her soul's emotional depth and impact in the music is felt strongly. Take “The Winter’s Circle,” for instance; her piano calls out to you like it is singing with the angels from heaven. The additional instruments, such as the violin and cello, are the perfect companions to emphasize the delicate touch of her fingers on the piano's keys. It is an ode to strong faith and unyielding spirituality that the artist feels and how it is transformed and envisioned for the listener to receive. The impact is unquestionable.

You will notice some changes in the mood and pace with a track likeRed – Requiem for an Old Friend.”  There is some melancholy with a requiem; however, you can also hear the triumph and hope in the song. The track runs for 5:58, which is the longest on the album, thus giving it space for several changes in pace and depth. I did appreciate the different feelings I went through, and that was the point of the track. One goes through several emotions when losing a loved one or friend, so the natural flow of the music and its changes was like an emotional mirror for the creator and could serve in the same way for anyone. The power of great music and piano-based instrumentals like those presented on Love Walks Through Rain will show you how that works so well.

Every track on Love Walks Through Rain will allow the listener to use it for healing, grieving, happiness, and sadness. The range of the human condition is far-reaching, and everyone should stop and listen to any instrumental music that can touch upon all that complexity.

Ann Sweeten has created another masterwork of piano instrumentals that will leave an indelible mark on you. You will be compelled to listen to it more than once; I can guarantee you that. With everything to gain and nothing to lose now, why wouldn’t you listen to Love Walks Through Rain?

I cannot tell anyone what they feel or how the music will be interpreted. I can promise that the pure emotion of Ann Sweeten’s instrumentals will touch you somehow. I know how it affects me, and I do my best to describe that in my own words. I hope that each listener will find peace and healing in this music. I most certainly did.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck- NAMR Founder

September 26, 2023


01. Valley Greene 4:22

02. Glimmer 5:21

03. Seirios 4:08

04. The Winter’s Circle 5:33

05. Love Walks Through Rain 4:54

06. Red – Requiem for an Old Friend 5:58

07. The Hills of Riversong 5:32

08. The Shadow of You 4:38

09. Through Jasmine’s Eyes 5:12

10. Out of the Fog 4:42

11. Valley Greene Orchestral Reprise 4:26