Piano-Heaven Award Winner:

Allure of Sanctuary

Karen Marie Garrett

Waterstreet Records

 2005

www.kgpiano.com

 

 

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There is something exciting about discovering someone new on the New Age Piano circuit who blows the listener away with their magical piano playing. This is most certainly the case with Karen Marie Garrett's second CD, one that features mainly original compositions.

Tip-Toe Dancer opens the twelve track CD, and what a gorgeous way to begin. I am not famed for my dancing, but this piece makes me want to get up and start dancing around the room! The melody is simply beautiful from start to finish.

This track has been extremely popular, and Karen Marie Garrett is rapidly making quite a name for herself in the music circuit.

Whereas Tip-Toe Dancer is a most uplifting piece, the second track, Lake Ewok Muse, is most mournful. It combines piano and cello to devastating effect. As Karen explains herself in the linear notes, "This improvisational piece followed a sunrise meditation beside Lake Ewok at the Skywalker Ranch. The serene setting of the lake and the wildlife were breathtaking."  

The third track, Simple Things, is another favourite. Very delicate, as perhaps the title would suggest, it is lovely to listen to from beginning to end. Welcome B is yet another special track, in a CD that is full of highlights. Another beautiful melody that the listener will want to hear time and time again.

Tracks 7 through to 9 pay homage to the great Erik Satie with three pieces: Gnossienne No. 1, 2 and 3.

The founder of the legendary Windham Hill Records empire, Will Ackerman, produced this album, and Karen clearly feels indebted to him. She dedicates the album's tenth track to her mentor. "Will's Song" is another improvisation. Whilst warming up the concert grand in the studio, Will was being interviewed in the Green Room. A melody suddenly came Karen's way, which she developed there and then. She quickly asked the engineer to start recording, and the second cut became the complete song. In her dedications, Karen says, "To Will: Thank you for helping me find where the music is coming from and to not be afraid to share the music I feel with others." With clearly genuine appreciation and admiration in equal measure, she goes on to say, "Thank you for becoming my mentor; this project would not have been possible without you."

The CD closes with a reprisal of the second track- this time solo piano. It is gorgeous.

This really is an outstanding CD. I give it my highest recommendation and feel blessed to have discovered it. There is also excellent news for fans of Karen- as well as the 2007 release of It's About the Rose, a new CD is in the pipe-line featuring plenty of piano / cello, and is scheduled for a 2011 release.

S.C.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allure of Sanctuary

Allure of Sanctuary

Karen Marie Garrett

 

 

Karen Marie Garrett

 

 

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