10 Songs, 52 Minutes

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Ratings and Reviews

Voice-over dude

Certainly transcendent

This artist creates music and indeed places one on a musical journey that definitely TRANSPORTS one to another place and time (and that would be, the BEST place and time).

In trying to discover words to explain my reaction to this wonderfully beautiful album, I think it might be best just to just use words - descriptives such as: ethereal, uplifting, introspective and indeed transcendant!

One more word? ENJOY!

KathyPiano7

From MainlyPiano

Michael Whalen’s "Kiss The Quiet" is subtitled “meditations on life & love” and is a very soulful exploration of both. The ten tracks on "Kiss The Quiet" are an ambient and atmospheric combination of acoustic and electric piano, synthesizers, electronics, and processing - all performed and composed by Whalen. The piano melodies are simple but very expressive, and Whalen’s very effective use of reverb and layered background sounds often creates the feeling of open space and solitude.

Whalen is a two-time Emmy winner, a BMI award winner, and an Emmy-nominated composer and music supervisor with more than 700 TV and film scores, thousands of commercials, and numerous TV themes and video games to his credit. He released his first album on the Narada label back in 1993 and his music was included in a number of Narada and Windham Hill compilations in addition to his own albums. Whalen has been an adjunct professor at the Berklee College of Music, The City College of New York and NYU, is an expert on music copyrights and music monetization, and often participates in panel discussions about the future of the music business.

"Kiss The Quiet" begins with the title track, setting the quiet, peaceful tone of the album. The piano melody is very slow and spare with a shimmering background and gives me the feeling of being up in the middle of the night, savoring the tranquility while most people are sleeping. “Heart So Filled With Joy” is one of my favorite pieces on the album. Far from a giddy dance, this piece is meditative and reflective, expressing gratitude and passionate emotion that truly comes from the heart. “Full Moon Dance” has a slow, graceful lilt that brings images of a silent romantic dance in the moonlight. “The Prayer Box” takes on a darker, more mysterious air that gradually becomes more dramatic and poignant, then gradually softens and fades away - another favorite. I also love “No More Secrets,” one of the more rhythmic and intense pieces on the album. A powerful mix of emotions fuels the driving force of the music which is again dark and mysterious but in a different way. “My Obsequious Tear” is very spare and sad, and yet it is one of the more melodic pieces on the album. Gorgeous! “Hush the Night” reflects the quiet stillness of a dark night when it feels like you are the only one awake. It is especially ambient and atmospheric, but always very peaceful. “Ever Closer, Ever Nearer, Ever Sooner” brings this beautiful album to a warm and serene close, almost like floating on a fluffy white cloud.

"Kiss The Quiet" is a very good indicator of why Michael Whalen’s music has been a part of our lives for such a long time - even if many people were not aware of it! Recommended!

CandiceMichelle1

Beautiful ambient-piano soundscapes!

Michael Whalen is a veteran of over 700 TV and film scores, thousands of commercials and numerous TV themes and video games. A highly versatile composer, his superb discography and many associated projects span new age, ambient, classical, pop, jazz and fusion styles of music. The follow-up recording to his outstanding 2017 release, Dream Cycle, which incorporated ambient-electronic and dreamy vocal elements, Whalen’s newest album, Kiss the Quiet (subtitled Meditations on Life & Love) is comprised of ten compositions that equally stuns with its haunting blend of subtle ambient textures and atmospherically minimal piano. Topping it off is the impeccable mastering skills of none other than Tom Eaton, who’s crafted some top-notch ambient-piano albums of his own.

The title piece, “Kiss the Quiet”, beautifully introduces the album with gossamer textures thinly enshrouding the listening space like a moonlit mist, as a tenderly lulling piano melody reverberates throughout the twilight soundscape. Following next is “Heart So Full of Joy”, which livens the mood a bit with a gently forceful and soulful melody played on piano amid synthetic strings and twinkling timbres. Next is “Full Moon Dance”, which opens with a melody that somewhat reminds me of the classic nursery song, “Lullaby”, albeit more elegant, flowing and sophisticated in what perhaps can be likened to a lullaby for adults.

The next three compositions are comparatively moodier, beginning with the aptly-titled “Almost Touching Heaven”, which imparts a beautifully mysterious and contemplative atmosphere of spacious piano notes that seemingly echo among protracted halls. Equally stunning is “The Prayer Box”, which feels both nocturnal and solitary. Characterized by a perfectly understated melody, this gorgeous composition enthrallingly lingers on with each affecting note. Likewise outstanding is “No More Secrets”, which ensues with churning ambient textures accompanied by reverberating piano notes that are both dramatic yet minimalist.

Another favorite composition of mine is the second-to-last track, “Hush the Night”, which conveys both a pensive and somewhat foreboding atmosphere with its shadowy encompassing tones and somber piano chords. The mood perks up a bit with the final piece, “Ever Closer, Ever Nearer, Ever Sooner”, which seemingly relays a gentle sense of hope and optimism brushed with a subtle touch of longing.

Seeming to relate a story of closely-guarded secrets, Michael Whalen has crafted a supremely beautiful album that simultaneously conveys an overall affecting yet reticent mood throughout. Certain to have vast appeal among fans of both minimal piano and ambient music, Kiss the Quiet is easily on track to be one of the most outstanding piano albums of the year!

About Michael Whalen

A prolific, Emmy Award-winning composer, Michael Whalen grew up in Washington, D.C., where he played in a variety of orchestras, bands, and experimental performance groups. He studied music at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory, and University of Maryland. In 1987, he moved to New York City, where he composed for television soundtracks and commercials; Whalen provided music for well over 1,000 commercials, including award-winning campaigns for clients such as Coca-Cola, BMW, Nike, IBM, and GE.

In 1995, Whalen traveled to the Czech Republic to record a collection of symphonic and chamber works entitled Afraid of Thunder. The recording was performed by the Janácek Philharmonic under the baton of Dennis Burkhr and Music Amici, a chamber orchestra. Whalen's other chamber compositions (many of which were published and available for performance) included works for string quartet, a mixed octet, several pieces for string orchestra and soloists, and a commission for choir. Also in 1995, he started Spout Multimedia to handle all aspects of his recording, film production, interactive, and web design projects.

His work also included a number of themes for major television networks (among them Good Morning America and The Oprah Winfrey Show) and scores for television documentaries, some of which saw a soundtrack release, including Sea Power: A Global Journey (1993, Narada), Forever Wild (1996, Narada), The Shape of Life (2002, Alchemy Records), and Slavery and the Making of America (2005, Valley Entertainment). His film scores have included Perfect Moment (winner of the Audience Award at the 1997 Utah Slamdance Film Festival), Mulligan (2000), Hit to Right (2009), and Guilty Not Guilty (2017), among others.

During his long tenure as a composer for the screen, Whalen continued to release instrumental music of his own. Nightscenes, issued in 1996 by Hearts of Space Records, showcased electronic music, while 1997's North from Riverside was with his jazz band, Open Door. The Softest Touch was an album of solo piano released by Max in 1999. A collection of atmospheric but jazz-informed electronic music, The Border of Dusk arrived via Koch in 2000. The label also released 2001's Mysterious Ways. Like Rain Through My Hands followed in 2004 on Alchemy Records, while Narada released 2005's My Secret Heart: Romantic Meditations for Ambient Piano. The EverSound label issued a compilation titled Dancing in Black & White: The Best of Michael Whalen in 2010.

While also engaged with teaching and with speaking appearances on the subject of digital copyright and music monetization, Whalen returned in 2015 with the crowdfunded You Are My Home. Its follow-up, Dream Cycle, was released by Soothe Your World/Valley in 2017. ~ Marcy Donelson & Carol Wright

HOMETOWN
New York City, NY
GENRE
New Age
BORN
December 2, 1965

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