11 Songs, 58 Minutes

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Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

MDiamond ,

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus

The 11 tracks on this CD are culled from six of Fiona’s earlier releases, from which she carefully chose the songs that reflected her life or were inspired by the unique experience of being female. In her words: “Sensual Journeys celebrates the female essence of new age music, and is dedicated to our Mothers past, present, and our shared Mother... Earth” One of Fiona’s biggest supporters is Grammy-winning producer and founder of Windham Hill Records, Will Ackerman, who was involved in the production of a number of the tracks, and who called Fiona: “'One of the brightest lights in the contemporary instrumental genre, The roster of top-flight studio musicians who are heard along with Fiona on these tracks is impressive and extensive. However, the spotlight is clearly on the talents of Fiona Joy Hawkins as a pianist, vocalist, and composer. The accompaniment is always tastefully arranged to highlight the strength of her evocative compositions and grand piano virtuosity.

The first song entitled “Contemplating,” exudes a mildly melancholy air and features some exquisite ensemble playing by the session musicians. In contrast, the mood elevates considerably on the next song - an upbeat tune simply called “Joy.” A subtle touch of didgeridoo is no surprise, given Fiona’s Australian roots. A lush orchestral arrangement with a string section that features Eugene Friesen of the Paul Winter Consort on cello, graces Fiona’s beautiful composition entitled “Flight Of The Snowbird. “The Midnight Interlude” waxes wistful, with its Gaelic lyrics sung in ethereal ambience. An interesting change-up is on the delicate “White View,” with a blend of subtle electronic elements, traditional Asian instruments, and Fiona’s keyboard integrating harmoniously. The album concludes with audience applause for a solo piano piece entitled “View From My Studio” that was recorded live in concert. It was interesting to note how comfortable Fiona seems to be expressing herself in a range of musical motifs from misty melodies to rhythmic romps. Those who are already fans as well as those just discovering her will find an artful musical collage in this new release – one that Fiona feels most personally and deeply reflects her own life.

KathyPiano7 ,

From MainlyPiano

"Sensual Journeys" is a beautiful compilation/best-of album by Australian pianist/composer Fiona Joy Hawkins. The eleven tracks are representative of six of Hawkins’ previous releases including her award-winning "Blue Dream" (2008). I’ve been a big fan of Fiona’s music for quite a few years now, so a new album from her is always a treat! Although the tracks come from a variety of recordings, the album has a consistent feeling and sound throughout. It is interesting to note that several of these pieces have more than one title, so if the music sounds familiar but the title does not, that could be the reason. An impressive list of regular musicians from Will Ackerman’s Imaginary Road studio appear, including Charlie Bisharat on violin, Eugene Friesen on cello, Jeff Oster on flugelhorn, Jill Haley on English horn, T-Bone Wolk on bass, Noah Wilding’s vocals, and Will Ackerman on guitar and mandolin.

"Sensual Journeys" begins with “Contemplating,” a highlight from Blue Dream. Wordless vocals by Luka Bloom and Noah Wilding add passion and depth to the graceful, dreamy melody. “Joy” appeared as the title track on last year’s "Christmas Joy" and is a light-hearted, swirling happy dance. “Flight of the Snowbird” is arguably Hawkins’ signature piece and is also known as “Flight of the Albatross” and “Antarctic Wings.” This version, arranged by Philip Aaberg, also comes from "Christmas Joy." Love it!!! “Gliding on Air” first appeared on the Christmas album as “Gliding on a Sleigh” - smooth and dreamy. Haunting, ethereal vocals make “The Midnight Interlude” and its segue into “Moving On” another highlight from "Blue Dream." I’ve always loved Fiona’s "Ice: Piano Slightly Chilled," and “White View” is one of the best tracks from that album - it’s great to hear it again! Actually, “White View” is very closely related to “View From My Studio,” which first appeared on Fiona’s 2005 debut "Portrait of a Waterfall" and is another of her signature pieces. This version is the concert piano solo recorded for "Live At the Q."

Whether you’re a long-time fan like me or new to Fiona Joy Hawkins’ music, this is a great album! Will Ackerman says of Fiona “One of the brightest lights in the contemporary instrumental genre, Fiona Joy Hawkins is poised to move into stardom.” Discover for yourself what all the buzz is about! Highly recommended!

Alan Summers ,

Recommended Highly

Fiona Joy Hawkins brings the best of the best in this amazing performance, with some of the best in new age artistry and legendary performers! First a live album and now this masterpiece! What's next?

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