Wednesday, July 13, 2016

New Age Instrumental/Classical Review: Lisa Downing-The Wisdom of My Shadow

Release Date: July 24, 2016
Label: Vision Quest Entertainment

The Wisdom of My Shadow is Lisa Downing’s fourth official studio release. Those who can appreciate solo piano music will fall in love with this recording. Her sound is influenced by prolific classical music with a mixture of new age for a combination that is both heavenly and majestic at the same time. 

Lisa’s solo compositions are elegant and at times stark but always natural in regards to flow and impact. The word stark is not associated with new age or classical, at least that is not the norm that I am fimiliar with. When you look at a track title like “Black Wedding” you get some different ideas of what that could mean. It is not necessarily a negative connotation but it does get your attention. When you hear the opening of the song and the tolling of the bell you feel the blackness of the atmosphere. The very strong pounding of the ivory keys sounds like a movie soundtrack of sorts. However as you intently listen to the piano, Ms. Downing has a way of turning something black into white, a personification and purification of the track with the instrument taking emotions and putting a spin on the story for you to tell and interpret. I for one appreciated the impact of this instrumental gem. There is a lot of food for thought between the notes of this song. I appreciated how different the track was and hearing something so original and unexpected within the realm of the genre.

The Torii Gates” and the rolling tides of the keys sweep across your consciousness, the sheer beauty and presence puts you in another space in time. It is like a story as the ocean tides softly hit the shoreline and your footsteps are the music that leaves the impression in the sand or in the case your very spirit and soul. The music serves as the waves. What good is the music for your psyche if it does not move you in some way or fashion? Much like the ebb and tides of the ocean which can be comparable to the range of emotions we all can feel in the span of a 24 hour period. Music can be the mirror of your soul at the highest level and all that is needed is the music, no words, instrumentation can do it all for you. This music still sings to you without any narrative.

“The Dragon Within” is another very strong title that can imply many different things. When I look at the title my first impression is a reference to a strength within that we all have. It is something summoned when called upon and with some folks it is always there. Silent, confident and with purpose the strong make their way through each day, through life, leaving a legacy for others to admire and follow. The dragon flies and breathes fire but this creature has another purpose. Through the ivory keys Lisa takes you down a different path, one you create for yourself as you allow the music to let you fly with this mythical creature, it becomes yours for the taking, just listen. 

For this listener every track offers me a chance to pause, reflect, to let my feelings flow free like a river into an ocean. I let it take me and the end result is so natural that I feel connected and spiritual and more than I do at any time in my daily life. 

The Wisdom of My Shadow is a masterstroke of piano based music that has a foundation of classical influence with slices of new age in between for a perfected blend of sound and harmony. It is a must have for anyone that enjoys and appreciates piano music.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Black Wedding, The Dragon Within, The Torri Gates

Tracks:
 

01. Forbidden Dance
02. Tragic Dream
03. Black Wedding
04. Mischief
05. Mad World
06. Postludium
07. Cloudwalker
08. The Torii Gates
09. Harlem Nocturne
10. One More Day
11. Moonrise
12. Sad Lisa
13. The Dragon Within
14. Diaphanous Breeze


Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
Founder of:
July 13, 2016

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