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ICE - Piano Slightly Chilled

Fiona Joy Hawkins

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Album Review

In the mid- to late 2000s, Australian-based pianist Fiona Joy Hawkins created a global sensation with the two best-selling indie instrumental recordings that launched her career. Her 2005 debut, Portrait of a Waterfall, hit number one on the New Age Reporter World Charts, made the Top Five in the MusicOz Awards for the classical genre, and was a finalist for Best Piano Album at the 2005 NAR Lifestyle Music Awards. The multifaceted composer/performer — whose music is a staple on Sky FM Internet radio's solo piano channel — followed that with Angel Above My Piano, which won Best Piano Album at NAR Lifestyle Music Awards in 2006. New age and classical were the foundations for a cool and melodic, spiritually uplifting yet edgy electronica-driven hybrid style she called Blend. Ice: Piano Slightly Chilled broke ground on this vibe, which sounds like what might have happened if David Lanz and Paul Speer's new age/rock projects in the '80s had taken a time machine toward the age of chill in the 2000s. Hawkins' trippy, hypnotic track "Frosted View" — which swirls graceful, rhythmic acoustic piano with exotic electronic percussion textures and otherworldly sounds and effects — won similar acclaim at the MusicOz Awards. The sweeping opening track, "Iced Rain," incorporates all kinds of strange effects over the texturing of simmering rock guitar and ambience, but never forsakes the hypnotic piano melody. The ice theme permeates the entire disc from there on out, from the song titles ("Antarctic Wings," "Frozen Rose") to the mixture of icicle-sharp acoustic piano notes and swirling soundscapes that keep the wind at the listener's back and inspire notions of rushing through frozen tundra.

ICE - Piano Slightly Chilled, Fiona Joy Hawkins
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