The Industry Source for New Age, World, Ambient, Electronic, Solo Piano, Relaxation, Instrumental and many other genres of Music
review board:  View all reviews Submit your own reviews
member reviews
Through It All by Lisa Swerdlow
- posted by Dyan Garris on 7/12/2023
Trough It All by Lisa Swerdlow
Lisa Swerdlow is a talented pianist and composer of classical crossover, neo-classical, and New Age piano music. Being brought up in a house filled with music due to her father’s musical influences, Lisa began studying classical piano at the age of 6. By age 16, she was writing and performing songs on piano and guitar. She went on to study music theory and composition at Humboldt State University and College of the Redwoods.

Lisa’s newest album release, “Through It All,” is inspired by her wife’s struggle to overcome a very rare and aggressive cancer. Their love story, which spans more than 27 years, can be heard and felt throughout the album. Unfortunately, Lisa’s wife passed away in March 2023.
Lisa says, “Whenever I’d hear my wife laugh, I could hear her life force in music. It’s the harmony of the cosmos that connects us all. We are a song.”

“Through It All” is 8 tracks of passionate, poignant solo piano music leading us through Lisa’s journey of growth and resilience, and a lifetime of love with her wife. The album opens with the emotionally evocative solo piano piece, “A Rhapsody Lives in You.” This was the first single released from the album. This is a lovely and scintillating opening with deep lower register tones and chords, then moving into different melodies in the upper register. Free flowing, yet structured, there are some wonderful chord progressions here as well.

Following is the truly heart-stirring, “Song For Lucie.” This composition serves as a testament to the indomitable human spirit. Touching upon themes of life, love, loss, and personal triumph, the piece resonates with listeners on a deeply profound level.

The title track has moments of both dark and light, just as our journey through life does. “Till We Meet Again,” is bittersweet, as one might imagine. We can literally feel the heart-to-heart connection. And we know, and can indeed feel it through the music, that even though they are gone from this particular place, we shall meet our loved ones again sometime.

“Goodbye” is mainly soft and flowing, becoming ardent toward the end. And like any goodbye, we surely don’t want it to come to an end.

Another single released from this album is, “Finding My Way.” Slower paced than what Lisa usually writes, the song opens with soft, plaintive piano effectively drawing us into the reflective mood of trying to find one’s way “through it all.” The song's powerful message of resilience and determination resonates with anyone who has ever felt lost or uncertain.

“November Moon” is the third single released from the album. Lisa wrote this dreamy and expressive song on a chilly morning in November when she was first processing her wife’s cancer diagnosis. That day, Lisa had awakened before dawn to feed their horses. The quarter moon was “floating like a smile” over the hills that morning, bringing her a sense of strangely unfathomable calm. “November Moon” perfectly captures these emotions as a lovely, simple soundscape, sensitively played, where we can almost feel ourselves out there with Lisa standing in the reflective moonlit quietude. Here, the music brings a certain tranquility to the heart that belies the circumstances.

The album closes out with “Spring Equinox-Persephone Returns.” There is good use of both upper and lower registers here and an ultimate sense of renewal and rejuvenation as we have come “through it all.” We are left with a profound sense of connection, contemplation, and eternal hope.

This is a great solo piano album which will resonate for many under any circumstance, but particularly for any and all who are grieving and/or going “through it.” It’s a love-filled tribute to a lifetime full of love.

Available on all major streaming platforms.
Official artist website:

Note: This album is dedicated to Lucie Tetrault, Lisa’s loving wife of 27 happy years. It was recorded at Piano Haven studios in Sedona, Arizona. Sound engineering and mastering by Joe Bongiorno. Cover art by

Broadcast and Media Promotion:
LAZZ Promotions
Ed and Stacey Bonk
Rating: Very Good +
Love Walks Through Rain by Ann Sweeten
- posted by Robin Jame on 6/9/2023
Love Walks Through Rain
Love Walks Through Rain
Ann Sweeten

Listening to Love Walks Through Rain is as easy as taking in a breeze, the instrumental piano magic just flows, eventually bringing a full spectrum of the quiet emotions. Every track is unique, and each note brings a history. What I hear is music that reaches beyond New Age, and leans toward a classical piano crossover and neo-classical, a sound that, somehow transcends spiritual levels and transports the listener to a higher plane. Ann helps us feel all emotions with this album. Much of this album is written in honor of her beloved dogs that have emotionally carried her through some serious challenges in her life. Feel the transformative power of the artist’s perseverance and the spiritual medicine of the dogs’ energies.

The dance between the higher piano melodies and the soft rhythmically slower tones of the other instruments helps the listener to experience feelings of relief, hope and calm. It embodies a respect for the good memories in life. Guest performers include Charlie Bisharat (Violin), Eugene Friesen (Cello), Nancy Rumbel (English Horn), Premik Russell-Tubbs (Akai EWI Wind Synthesizer, Soprano Saxophone), Will Ackerman (Guitar), Tom Eaton (Bass).

The first track sets the mood that warmly stays through the whole album, a fresh, slightly melancholic but always delightfully uplifting combination of feelings. Love is clearly the focus of this music. “Valley Greene” (4:22) lays out the terrain, this solo piano version speaks of showing that you care, of making someone feel special, telling them they are loved, and doing things for them.

Love transcends the human species, and includes many of our warmest canine companions. How do dogs show their affection? “Glimmer” (5:21) might refer to eyes that shine with a warm wavering light, the piano is joined by strings. The key is to maintain natural eye contact while you’re playing or just rubbing a furry back or nosey noggin. Now looking to the heavens above, “Seirios” (4:08) is the Greek name for Canis Majoris, the ancient Dog Star, sometimes known as Sirius. Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky and has been romanticized for millenia. “The Winter’s Circle” (5:33), an homage to those six stars in the darkest sky, also known as the Winter Hexagon. Sometimes on a dark and clear moonless night, you can see part of the softly glowing river of stars that we call the Milky Way, meandering right through the center of the Winter Hexagon. I think I hear a violin and the English Horn.

Perhaps we do best and feel a sense of joy when we see our partner happy, and when they are sad or depressed, we feel their blue mood, too. “Love Walks Through Rain” (4:54) sharing laughter and tears, the course of love never runs always easily. Now for the hardest of the emotions. A requiem is performed for the dead, “Red–Requiem for an Old Friend” (5:58) completes the circle of emotions, not all forms of love are the same. This track was inspired by a Red Maple that stood in the yard of her and her husband’s home for 40 years before it had to be cut down. The massive tree lived for two centuries and its root ball weighed over 5000 lbs.

Stepping back now, take a moment to indulge an ancestral instinct, finding a familiar path through “The Hills of Riversong” (5:32). I think that the music endeavors to capture the original voices and remain true to the ancients. As with any modern heartbreak, “The Shadow of You” (4:38) remains, sometimes we follow familiar shadows around and do the things that they used to do. On the track “Through Jasmine’s Eyes” (5:12) I hear sparkling runs, strings and a horn. The melody and twinkle of these sweet uplifting piano notes show the happy, pure and innocent nature of Jasmine’s personality. I remember my first dog, a thunderstorm of fuzzy playfulness, and how I would tell her my deepest childhood secrets. Emerging “Out of the Fog” (4:42) the guest musicians blend their instrumental voices with the piano, like water, with Saxophone (Premik Russel-Tubbs), Bass (Tom Eaton), & Guitar (Will Ackerman). Like a sunset, the colors change and bring new feelings, I hear layers of quietly energetic positive intricate full-hearted and beautiful sensations.

The album closes, like bookends, with “Valley Greene Orchestral Reprise” (4:26). I hear the marvelous violin, echoing phrases, with the supporting cello and calming English Horn. Each time I listen, I find that Love Walks Through the Rain is a deeply soul-stirring experience that envelops me in a blanket of lush, melodic reverie bringing strong and positive emotional and mental states. The feeling grows steadily, with strength and courage, and emerges, out of the misty fog, and on into the light.

Ann was a successful ballet dancer earlier in her life, gracing the stage in Swan Lake, Les Symphides and Sleeping Beauty. One can feel that kind of exquisite, free-flowing coryphee movement in her music here, which sweeps across our souls, reminding us that life is a dance, and sometimes we must endure the searing pain of loss to experience the greater rewards these experiences offer in abundance.

Track Listing:
1 Valley Greene 4:22
2 Glimmer 5:21
3 Seirios 4:08
4 The Winter’s Circle 5:33
5 Love Walks Through Rain 4:54
6 Red–Requiem for an Old Friend 5:58
7 The Hills of Riversong 5:32
8 The Shadow of You 4:38
9 Through Jasmine’s Eyes 5:12
10 Out of the Fog 4:42
11 Valley Greene Orchestral Reprise 4:26
Rating: Excellent
Private Earth by Carlos Dengler
- posted by Robin B. James on 6/2/2023
Private Earth
Carlos Dengler has a strong sense of arrangement and cinematic accomplishment, the spectrum of sounds is balanced and well constructed. The melodies originate in the bass, while the spectrum of instrumental and other sounds gives a rich and peaceful feeling, a lot of natural instrumentation, a lot of acoustic instrumentation. If you like Patrick O'Hearn, Erik Scott, Brian Eno, or Yes, you might enjoy Private Earth.
In this sonic journey, I am walking in the wonderous uninhabited regions, the path goes through several locations, first the wilderness of sand, then into the darkness of night. There is the dawn, there is a lake, there is a cave, and there is a mountain to behold. The feeling is always lush and refreshing, restful and relaxing, beautifully interesting, as well as both engaging and contemplative. The palette used by Dengler in his latest album, Private Earth, sounds like it includes the trinity of piano, flute and guitar, with an amazing full range of exotic instrumental accents, sometimes with birds and sometimes with vocals.
Now the scene is quiet and emerging, an exotic little caravan is approaching. We are at the edge of endless wilderness, the arid landscape is blooming now, "Desert Flora" (12:49). The colors inspire a tingling up my spine, I hear the birds signifying, one here, later one there. Soon the dawn turns into a hot sky and the distance is burning forever, with some fantastic heat mirages shimmering. Watching and listening to the brisk and mystical stride of the caravan, the increasing tempo energizes as the caravan's steady slow pace persists. There are lots of hidden brief solo voices deep out there. The drums talk with the bass all during my view of the momentary course of the desert journey in bloom, the grandeur grows and deepens.
Next are fingers of peace and tranquility, a breath rings, "Violet Night" (8:22), I love to listen as the night blossoms with melodic positive energy, spirits rise and sparkle, almost slowly. “I went about writing "Violet Night" in a completely unusual way which is, I just made sure to write the entirety of it on the acoustic guitar and I took my time kind of creating a chord progression that made sense, what came about out of that chord progression and then also orchestrating it for flute and piano and all the other instruments that are on.
“There was just this picture of a very saturated hallucinogenic kaleidoscopic kind of evening. Perhaps Absinthe has been imbibed or something like that, you know, it sort of starry night Van Gogh style experience of the evening, maybe like a summer night in that respect how summer nights with a little bit of alcohol or other, intoxicants can sometimes have a very ecstatic and blissful experience. There's just something about that chord progression that makes me feel like it was night and not day. It's sort of like an evening piece, so that's why it was called "Violet Night."
Energizing and hopeful, “Golden Dawn” (7:17) is bathed in light, an ambient and acoustic soundscape grounded in fretless bass and accentuated by delicate acoustic guitar. Imagine watching the sky change into day, greeting the sun, slowly growing brighter and lingering, the melody seems to be concluding, then calmly repeating.
Now imagine walking up to the water, looking out, then setting out into the water, "Ancient Lake" (9:31). The bass pulls the rest of the orchestra along further and further, then the guitar has it, and keeps it steady. The story is always deep in the water under the lake, and the melody haunts me, I love the lingering ringing.
"Solemn Cavern" (7:29) holds a path guided by flute, I am walking carefully down and down into the earth. There are fantastic lights along the way as the atmosphere seems ever darker. There is peace in the darkness, the air feels wide open. I love the deep resonant gong that emerges, we are inside a gigantic chamber that is resonant and simple with many instrumental voices. The track ends on the shore of an underground lake, I hear the gentle waves breaking. The piano leads us as up the mountain we ascend, each instrument shines and shares taking the scene. I hear hand instruments with ringing strings, slow and calming, an imaginative palette of delicate detailed tiny sounds made large. Now I hear more water sounds, and wings flying.
As we rise the view is magnified, rising spirits. The orchestra brings the first view of the sky and rock, "Rising Mountain" (7:01), some birds make the story even more melodic. I feel a traveling sound moving along under a bright sky, the ringing metal energizing the flow, emerging new instruments and new sounds, finger snaps through layers that stay uncomplicated and always uplifting.

1 Desert Flora
2 Violet Night
3 Golden Dawn
4 Ancient Lake
5 Solemn Cavern
6 Rising Mountain

#newmusic​ #electronicmusic #AmbientElectronic​ #CarlosDengler #meditation #natureinspired #acousticambient #indieartists #newagemusic
Rating: Excellent
<<-later reviews | earlier reviews->>   <<- all reviews ->>
Site Map     *     Privacy Policy     *     Terms of Use     *     Contact Us
Core Solutions, LLC