Fiona Joy - Into the Mist - SACD 2.0 hi-res review by Mediaversal
It is hard to imagine that the path of least resistance is typically the most rewarding, and put in audio terms the least processed music often sounds the best. Yet this is precisely what listeners will experience when hearing Fiona Joyâ€™s latest release "Into the Mist" which has been superbly recorded by producer and engineer Cookie Marenco. Utilizing the high-fidelity format called Direct Stream Digital (DSD), Marenco has employed her proprietary technique called Extended Sound Environment (E.S.E.) by which she has directly recorded each unedited take to Quad DSD256.
â€œOne of the brightest lights in the New Age genre, Fiona Joy is poised to move into stardom."
-Will Ackerman, Founder of Windham Records & Imaginary Road
"Fiona Joy is a TRUE artist, constantly growing, signature - Synchronicity is the latest expression of her prodigious talent, I urge you to check it out."- Bog Ludwig, Gateway Mastering, 16x Grammy Winner
â€œFiona Joy takes over from where George Winston left offâ€¦Her music is a cross of George Winston's simple melodies and Ludovico Einaudi's musical sophistication."
â€“ Cookie Marenco, 5xGrammyÂ®-nominated Producer, Blue Coast Records
Published on November 16, 2011
Itâ€™s that time of year again and the Christmas discs are crossing my desk, whether requested on not. Hereâ€™s our annual survey of what we auditioned, and it will start off with two SACDs:
Fiona Joy Hawkins â€“ Christmas Joy â€“ Little Hartley Music multichannel SACD FJH013 *****:
This excellent discâ€”more than your usual Christmas albumâ€”is identified as in the New Age genre, but actually partakes of many world music influences, including Gaelic, Digeridoo, Paraquayan harp, and a variety of ethnic rhythms. Soprano sax and strings are also part of the backing of the piano of Fiona Joy Hawkins. Her SACD was produced by Corin Nelsen and Will Ackerman, who did many Windham Hill albums and also Hawkinsâ€™ previous Blue Dream SACD.
DON'T try to pigeonhole composer, pianist and singer Fiona Joy's style.
Take her song Grace, for example.
The song has an Indian flavour on the Grammy award winning album Winds of Samara, flautist Sherry Finzer's version is slow and ambient, there is Fiona's slow vocal romantic style and the Kendall songstress and her son Nick Hawkins combined to create a yet to be released chilled beat box rendition.
It’s A Small World After All
The term "globalization" came into use around 1830, but its meaning has never been more clear than in 2013. With the advent of the internet, satellites, social media and cell phones, the world has shrunk to the size of a planetary village. There is no doubt that the diaspora of the Celts reached all the around the globe, at some time turned southeast at the pacific, and touched down in Australia. With a bit of nuance and a lot of style, the Land of Oz’ favorite daughter, pianist Fiona Joy Hawkins proves it on her tour de force release, 600 Years in a Moment. This is Fiona's answer to globalization. The provenance of this album is as old as the world and as new as the rising sun. Hawkins proves once and for all that she belongs on the short list of New Age composers that can delight and enchant with every performance. The album is 12 tracks of slightly Celtic/contemporary/New Age piano and light ensemble played on old world instruments and a hand made piano by the renowned Stuart & Sons. You are in for a treat. This is, and please pardon the oxymoronic concept, modern history in musical terms.
Fiona's hushed voice begins the title track, 600 Years proclaiming, "The end is the beginning, 600 years and I will be home." Suddenly I was treated to the sparkling notes of the piano and the delightful voice of Heather Rankin. It is a promise of a return and that a life has come full circle.
Although I haven’t met award-winning composer/pianist/vocalist Fiona Joy Hawkins in person, she feels like an old friend, with this being the fourth album of hers that I’ve had the pleasure to write about. The previous recordings include Sensual Journeys, Blue Dream, and Christmas Joy. 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.
Christmas Joy - Fiona Joy Hawkins
2011 / Little Hartley Music - 56 minutes
Christmas Joy is Fiona Joy Hawkins’ beautiful contribution to the world of Christmas and holiday music. She co-produced the album with Grammy Award winner Corin Nelsen, with Will Ackerman acting as production advisor. Hawkins appears on piano and some of the vocals, backed by a very impressive list of musicians and singers that include Philip Aaberg, Will Ackerman, Heather Rankin, Charlie Bisharat, and Eugene Friesen. The eleven tracks include four originals and seven familiar and traditional Christmas pieces, but even the traditional songs are given a brand new feel with improvisation and original interpretations. Until you’ve heard “Jingle Bells” with didgeridoo in the background, you haven’t really heard it! It is interesting to note that Fiona recorded this album on a Stuart and Son’s piano, a relatively new Australian piano that is hand-made and getting rave reviews all over the world. This really isn’t just another Christmas album - it is more of a musical event that follows up Hawkins’ multi-award winning 2008 album Blue Dream.
FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION
15th October 2009
FIONA JOY HAWKINS RECEIVES ARIA NOMINATION AND IS ON THE GRAMMY BALLOT PAPERS
Australian musician Fiona Joy Hawkins is a star on the rise with a nomination for Best Album (Blue Dream) in the World Music category in this year’s ARIA Awards plus the album and songs from it are on the Grammy Ballot papers in five categories: Best Instrumental Composition, Best Surround Sound, Best New Age Album, Best Pop Instrumental and Best Engineer.
Blue Dream was released by ABC Music in April and features a guest performance from Luka Bloom. This is Fiona’s fourth album. It was upon hearing her earlier music that legendary Grammy Award winning musician Will Ackerman contacted Fiona and asked if she’d like to record her next album at his studio in Vermont. The result has been a phenomenally successful album that just continues to receive high praise.
Insight Magazine did a front cover feature and interview for August, I must say it does feel odd to see my face in a newsagency!!
FIONA JOY HAWKINS - LIVING HER DREAM
This year is shaping up to be a big one for multi-award winning contemporary classical composer and performer Fiona Joy Hawkins. Fiona's fourth album Blue Dream, that was produced by Grammy Award winner Will Ackerman and features guest performances from Luka Bloom and T-Bone Wolk (Hall & Oates), has just been released by ABC Music; she has signed a publishing deal with The Music Sales Group; and Japanese record label Domo Records, home to the legendary Kitaro, has invited her to join them. It is going to be a hectic year.