This is a great time for something brighter and lighter, something that brings some ease to the weary listener, who is seeking feelings of harmony and simple respite from a troubled world. The gifted composer, singer, and pianist Fiona Joy Hawkins has just the thing, an album titled Moving Through Worlds
, an enchanting exploration of themes such as land, water, fire, climate change and the vanishing of souls into the wind. The 14 tracks feature mostly solo piano. Some are duos with violin or cello, some have a more full range of accompanists. The music has a way of traversing lots of moods, rich with dynamic energy. In places the sound is delicate and slow, in places the feelings build and gain velocity and then gently recede.
The first track, "Calling County Clare," is a haunting bit of a quiet easy dance with piano, percussion, acoustic guitar, bass, Irish flute, and vocals floating ethereally. The Australian bush is tinder dry and has been increasingly dangerous in recent times. 2019 was named the Black Summer because of the unusually intense bushfires throughout Australia. On this album, Fiona Joy has several songs meditating on this terrible time. The second track of the album is titled "Bushfire Moon." The musical style crosses into the jazz world, and the solo piano brings the listener into a sense of wonder, while remembering and honoring the devastation of nature, enduring such a tragic inferno.
There's nothing like a bit of rain to gladden the hearts. "Prayer For Rain" has a lighter, slower feel, with vocal touches. Another track that explores the sorrow of the fires, through piano, cello and English horn, "Tolling of the Fire Bell," comes flowing and building, a proper solemn and yet uplifting meditation on a troublesome time, of lives lost and nature ravaged. All we have left in the end is memories. The fourth track is a graceful and powerful meditation on what is left, somehow both sad, enduring, and life affirming. "All That is Left" has a light vocal shadowing, a shifting pace, with violin and horn, understated percussion, like the breeze the song gradually slows down quietly then resumes.
Moving through parallel worlds, sometimes objects can exist in more than one location simultaneously, even though the objects are invisible to us in all but one location. "Moving Through Worlds," the album's title track, features glorious piano accompanied with violin, a story of darkness with persistent hope. Enjoy the journey!
Calling County Clare; Bushfire Moon; Prayer For Rain; All That is Left; Aqua 1; Prelude in E Minor (Chopin, #4);
Desert of Crystal; Tolling of the Fire Bell; Aqua 2; Passing Of Midnight; Moving Through Worlds; For the Roses
(Solo Piano); Song For Louise; Twilight Moment.
Irish whistle: Paul Jarman.