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Piano Solos

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Editors’ Notes

Austere yet inviting, Laura Sullivan’s Piano Solos (2003) transcends the New Age category some might place it in. The Northern California-born composer anchors her music in well-sculpted melodies and sparse chording, making the otherworldly intimations in her work all the more vivid. Her classical background informs pieces like the stately “Brave Mournings” and the bittersweet “Lullaby Wind” with a dignity suggestive of the Victorian Era, yet there’s nothing musty about the compositions here. “Calls To Spirit” adds a dash of modern-day dissonance to the proceedings, and a restless ambiance pervades such numbers as “The Voyage Home” and “Hope For The Sun.” The composer’s mystical side gains fullest expression in the graceful “Dreaming Underwater.” Her keyboard technique is restrained, nuanced and deeply-felt, grounding her music in solid craft and infusing it with palpable emotion, creating an album at once bracing, evocative and ultimately moving.

Customer Reviews

Laura Sullivan's Debut

The unassumingly titled “Piano Solos” by Laura Sullivan is an interesting collection of seven original pieces, three pieces by Roy Finch, and “Claire de Lune” by Debussy. A strong and passionate pianist, Sullivan brings a distinctive new voice to contemporary piano. Her previous two releases were collections of cover tunes for weddings and “special requests” from the standards repertoire, and I would hope that she’ll continue to record her original work. In her promotional material, she makes the following statement about her music: “Mine is a softer, feminine kin to styles played by Will Ackerman, George Winston, and David Lanz.” This seems like kind of an odd statement, and I don’t find it to be particularly true. Her style is much different from all three of the other artists, and I wouldn’t compare it to any of them. Sullivan’s original pieces include “Dreaming Underwater,” a very nice flowing and rippling piece with a quiet mood; “Lullaby Wind,” which is also quiet and serene - my favorite track on this album; and “Calls to Spirit,” which is more upbeat and has a “bigger” sound. I also like ”Of Land and Sea, Of Mortal and Divine,” a flowing piece with classical and contemporary influences. Both wistful and with a sense of purpose, this piece is quite effective. I also really like Finch’s “Selling Water By the River,” which has an interesting rhythm and a nice, easy feel. His “Sleepwalking (On a Tightrope)” and “In Last Hours” are very dark and moody, and their forms are more abstract. Sullivan does a lovely job with “Claire de Lune,” although I kept wondering why it was included in a collection where all of the other pieces are so different from it. So, if you’re looking for something kind of different, this could be a good choice.

A problem with the recording

When I listen o the song is stop few time for a fraction of the second.

Good Album but has skips

Very peaceful and melodic. Great for those mid-day naps. However the recording has distracting "skips".

Piano Solos, Laura Sullivan
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Customer Ratings