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Album Review

Mary Martin Stockdale has all the credentials of a new age pianist: classically trained, she lives in rural Colorado and teaches at the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School, in her spare time spinning out original piano instrumentals to which she gives titles like "Willows by the Stream" and "Smoke in the Valley," and to which she assigns "artistic impressions" in her liner notes, such as "Tender but strong, always bending, offering a place of refuge for animals, home, hardy, persevering" (that's "Willows by the Stream"). But in her press biography, she confesses to being introduced to Broadway show music by her parents and admits that she "also couldn't help but absorb the vibrations from the whole Sixties revolution which was reflected in the music of that time." Whatever ethereal and abstract imagery she may conjure to enable herself to compose and play her pieces, that exposure to Broadway and '60s pop comes through loud and clear. To listen, for example, to "Henry's Song," which the artist herself relates to "Children dealing with illness, the whole spectrum of parental love, hope for healing," is to hear echoes of Burt Bacharach here, Gerry & the Pacemakers' "Ferry Cross the Mersey" there. Usually, there isn't enough of a familiar melody to name a direct antecedent, but Stockdale has a taste for short melodic figures like the one that repeats all through "Runnin' Fence," melodic figures that a Paul McCartney or Richard Rodgers would extend into formal, and very catchy, tunes. In Stockdale's hands, such little melody fragments are placed within typical new age embroidery much of the time, but they're still there, giving her music an unusually memorable quality for the genre, and suggesting that someone needs to introduce her to a good lyricist.

Customer Reviews

Beautiful

A hidden gem. I love this album...Bluebird Waltz is absolutely fantastic!!!

Biography

Genre: New Age

Years Active: '00s

New age pianist Mary Martin Stockdale grew up in the country town of Romeo, MI, north of Detroit. When she was a child, her family was given a piano by neighbors, and she began taking lessons at the age of five and writing songs at 11. She performed in recitals and accompanied choirs while attending high school. When she was 18, her family moved to the desert outside Tucson, AZ, and she attended the University of Arizona, from which she graduated with a B.A. in education and a minor in music. She...
Full Bio
Timeless, Mary Martin Stockdale
View In iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Pop, Music, New Age
  • Released: May 05, 2004

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