12 Songs, 1 Hour 5 Minutes

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Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

MDiamond ,

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus

With the press release for her latest album, “600 Years In A Moment,” heralding it as “her most epic and significant album,” I was of course very much looking forward to it. And after hearing it in detail, I have to say that it definitely lives up to that lofty accolade. “600 Years in a Moment” was recorded using a unique contemporary piano crafted in Australia along with ancient instruments from around the world. Fiona’s concept is to bring instruments and their distinctive sounds from villages across the globe to explore the hidden musical treasures of cultures in a modern musical setting. The album is eclectic, acoustic, beautifully produced, and spans genres with influences of new age, jazz, classical, and world music, with the distinctly Celtic flavour of her ancestors. In addition to piano, Fiona also adds vocals on the album and has often been told that she sounds like an “Australian Enya.” A number of the songs begin with solo piano before being joined by other instruments and I appreciated that it provided a contrast and an opportunity to experience Fiona’s playing and melodic sensibilities on their own before flowing into a collective musical pool.

Reading the list of accompanists and instruments on the various songs, it might seem like the tracks could be rather busy, but everything is expertly mixed with just the right amount of subtlety to allow Fiona’s graceful piano to shine, while still providing melodic and textural support. “600 Years In A Moment” is a masterful mélange of superlative musical performance, stunning contemporary composition, and widely diversified cultural influences. Preceded by a string of award winning and critically acclaimed recordings, Fiona Joy Hawkins has outdone herself with this release and continues to set the bar ever higher in the unfolding of her creative potential.

KathyPiano7 ,

From MainlyPiano

"600 Years in a Moment" is the much-anticipated new release from Fiona Joy Hawkins. From the stunning cover artwork to the very last note of the music, this album could stand as Hawkins’ magnum opus. Fiona told me last year that she felt that this was her best work to date. As much as I love Blue Dream, I would have to agree. The project was created as an answer to the question of musical “globalisation” with Hawkins performing on a hand-made Stuart and Sons piano (an Australian company that respects traditional piano building while embracing innovation) with an impressive list of supporting artists playing an assortment of ancient musical instruments from all over the world. Most of the twelve tracks are new music, but a few old favorites appear with new arrangements. The album was produced by the team of Will Ackerman, Corin Nelsen, and Hawkins, and was recorded and engineered by Nelsen at Imaginary Road Studios.

"600 Years in a Moment" begins with “600 Years,” a piece that combines spoken word (Fiona), Gaelic vocals (Heather Rankin), and a fascinating combination of instruments that includes piano, Irish whistles, wooden flute, Spanish laud, electric guitar, bass guitar, Irish bodhran, and cello. The voices are ethereal yet earthy, as are the instruments. Calm yet magical, it sets the tone for the rest of the album. The languid and sensual “Naked Love” features piano, violin, Mongolian morin khuur, throat singing, Chinese bawu, Hopi drum, Romanian bells, obsidian chimes, and Japanese Kubota. Eclectic, no? “The Journey,” a favorite, includes Charlie Bisharat on violin as well as wordless vocals, Egyptian water bottle(!!!) and electric upright bass guitar. A bit more uptempo than the previous tracks, it expresses movement and anticipation. “Earthbound” is the only piano solo, and what a fluid, beautiful piece it is - I love the sound of that piano!!! The smooth and elegant “Gliding” has appeared previously, but the instrumentation is somewhat different on this recording - another beauty! The instrumentation becomes even more exotic on the sensuous “Tango in Wednesday”: Hungarian tarogato, Turkish oud, Columbian tiple, African djun djun, tubano, doumbek, tam-tam, deer toenails(!!!),African cabasa, Tibetan tingsha bell, Middle Eastern riq, etc. I know what a few of those are, but only a few! As incongruous as the mix sounds, it’s an incredible combination that works beautifully! “Running On Joy” has appeared before with slightly different titles, but this delightful burst of musical energy is always distinctive with the sound of the Australian didgeridoo. “Flight of the Albatross” appeared on Hawkins’ second album and has gone through a variety of incarnations over the years. It’s still one of my favorites and appears here as “Ancient Albatross.” The piano really sings on this one! “Captured Freedom” has a much simpler instrumentation with piano, violin, and Irish whistle - a rather unusual but very effective combination. The whistle really brings out feelings of longing - lovely! “Forgiveness” closes the album with a gentle but very evocative duet for Chinese bawu and piano - another unusual but very effective pairing.

Fiona Joy Hawkins makes it clear on "600 Years In a Moment" why she has become an artist with an international following. Very highly recommended!

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