Thursday, November 30, 2023

A Light in the Dark By Antonio Miguel Pérez


A Light in the Dark


Antonio Miguel Pérez

Written by

Steve Sheppard


There is nothing the world needs now more than hope, hope that our fears may fade, hope that love wins over hate, and hope that lights up the entire world in a rhapsody of peace and respect, this brand new single by Antonio Miguel Pérez may well offer all of the above with its all empowering narrative entitled, A Light In The Dark.

The moving orchestration and powerful piano set the direction of this deeply commanding composition; this is a movement of the ages, a rally cry of future possibilities, and of course the aforementioned hope, the string sections are always going to lend a little retrospectivity into the proceedings, and the composer manifests that perfectly.

A Light in the Dark is an arrangement that illustrates our deepest desires for a peaceful life, and the emotive segments of the dance between both piano and orchestration in a symbiotic pastiche of brilliance, is truly compelling; this one has to be a big future hit for the creator, and maybe even a track that needs to be taken seriously for the big or small screen.

Shanti Noel By Paul Avgerinos


Shanti Noel


Paul Avgerinos

Written by

Steve Sheppard


The world of New Age music is never quite complete without a little Paul Avgerinos; this delightful composition I am featuring within this review is from the album of the same name and entitled Shanti Noel. The whole of this soothing album is 14 tracks of new and classic seasonal offerings, each given the care and attention to detail by the master creator himself; strangely enough both Paul and I are the same age, but just miss out on identical birthdays by some 6 days, myself being the older, but the music that Paul produces here is some of the most blissful for an ambient seasonal period you are ever likely to find.

Shanti Noel as a composition is just under 8 minutes of serenity, with some electronic mastery and layers of synths that spread across the fields of calm and peace like never before, there is no doubt that this album is likely to calm any seasonal household this winter. Avgerinos layers textures of ambience upon one another on this offering in particular, to radiate a level of tranquillity to this genre that may have never been seen, or should I say, heard before.

Shanti Noel by Paul Avgerinos is a heavenly collective of no less than 14 tracks and this incredible new arrangement is for me the highlight of one of the most remarkable ambient compositions of its style for ages.

Winter Lullaby By Michelle Qureshi


Winter Lullaby


Michelle Qureshi

Written by

Steve Sheppard


The ambience of this new single by Michelle Qureshi is palpable and called Winter Lullaby; she has taken the subject of winter and created a realm of rebirth through her music with the most gentle of hands at the helm. The softness of her musical palette is utterly beautiful and each textured tone, a vibrancy of bliss and calm.

Qureshi now has to be the most ambient guitarist on the planet that is constantly producing high quality material to ease the listener into a dimension of pure peace and serenity, she has been one of my go to artists for years now and honestly she just keeps getting better and better.

Winter Lullaby by Michelle Qureshi highlights the importance of nature’s halt, death and rebirth; both the keyboards and guitar build a perfection of tranquillity and tenderness like never before, this is a fine example of how to manifest layer after layer of stillness, thus portraying the very essence of winter time itself, this is simply perfect in every way and a song that deserves to be saved to as many playlists as physically possible.  

The Magic of Christmas Joy By Julia Thomsen


The Magic of Christmas Joy


Julia Thomsen

Written by

Steve Sheppard


This brand new seasonal offering by Julia Thomsen is a light in the dark for us at this time of year, her stunningly beautiful creation called The Magic of Christmas Joy reminds us that this time of year can be as cathartic as it can be challenging for us all, but above all, it has to be a happy time, and that is exactly the energy that this new single brings to my heart.

Julia is fast becoming very well known for not only her skills on the piano, but of one who composes absolutely glorious neo classical manifestations, ones that literally make the hairs on your arms stand up, The Magic of Christmas Joy is one such arrangement, soft palettes of musical colour are added by some of the most magical emotional orchestration you are likely to hear.

The gentle narrative of this composition makes it so very compelling and deeply moving. I have said this before, but Julia’s music truly needs to find its way into the heart of the soundtrack genre and onto a movie quickly, it is that good.

I must also give a shout out to Shere Fraser who plays flute on this piece, Julia told me that Shere had always wanted to collaborate with her on a piece of music, and it was wonderful to finally have this happen.

So while you are unwrapping your presents this year, please make sure to add The Magic of Christmas Joy by Julia Thomsen on your seasonal playlist of choice, it will utterly enhance the experience, and leave all with a sense of Yule bliss.

Journey Through the Seasons By Julia Thomsen


Journey Through the Seasons


Julia Thomsen

Written by

Steve Sheppard


It’s been a pleasure over the last few years to sample compositions and arrangements by Julia Thomsen, she was an artist that helped us through the pandemic years, and now she closes the year 2023 out with one of her most breath-taking creations yet called, Journey Through the Seasons.

This is so very beautiful, the combination of her piano and orchestration is sublimely manifested and produced, this is a true feel good offering that leaves you with a sense of happiness at its conclusion.

Listening to Journey Through the Seasons makes me wonder if some insightful movie director may have a touch of good sense and include this in their film; it would create such an idyllic moment.  Julia Thomsen has grown exponentially in her range of compositional structures and fluent manifestations, and here with Journey Through the Seasons I hear an empowering yet sensitive narrative being played out.

Thomsen has created the perfect year ending moment with this new single, and as such I can see no reason why the artist shouldn’t now have a huge hit on her hands because of it. 

Holiday Wonders By Ante Svircic


Holiday Wonders


Ante Svircic

Written by

Steve Sheppard


It’s that time of year, yes its winter and as such a whole host of holiday seasonal material will be falling from the musical clouds above like snow from a looming cloud, many will melt away until next year, however some, a few, will rise above the rest and offer many opportunities for the artist to expand on further.

Here on this latest single Holiday Wonders by composer Ante Svircic, here the artist has done just that by manifesting a multi-faceted creation that could fill many realities, the gentle mysterious tones of this new offering could be used for example on a new Netflix holiday seasonal movie, the magical properties of this new release could well fit into many television series at this time of year, or it could be part of a cheer filled musical playlist of your choice.

Holiday Wonders by Ante Svircic is a clever release by the composer; it’s a thrilling, sparkling sleigh ride of a composition to enjoy, its cheerful topical melodies will be a constant this season of good will and in doing so will elevate up many a seasonal playlist with its light hearted energies and reveries.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Across A Veiled River By Anantakara


Across A Veiled River



Written by

Steve Sheppard


This latest release by Anantakara has to be the most detailed and in depth work ever by the artist, the title of this new wonder work is Across A Veiled River, and contained inside are 9 simply amazing and fascinating works of electronic wizardry; I’ve always been a fan of the musicians work, but this album seals the deal for me.

We can start with the gentle openings of the first track in Nothing Really Ends, a soothing first few moments soon morphs into a rhythmic pastiche of tones and colours, whilst pieces like All Those Days Down There highlight the creators artistic flair and deliberate patience, as we are gifted a near on 8 minute opus of build, progression and mysterious wonderment, the syncopation of the synth work here is utterly sublime.

We can also listen to the keyboards in piano mode on tracks like Forgiven Not Forgotten, a track that reminds me of early Al Gromer Khan without of course the sitar in parts, and then compositions akin to the addictive and tentative Feeling Safe In This Rift, a beautifully arranged and produced golden nugget of textured electronic mastery.

The penultimate offering is a track entitled Letting Go, Finding Light, again the artist explores new musical narratives and manifests an offering that drifts on the warm winds of the western oceans, and floats in and out like the tides of time itself, this is one of those tracks that you will find yourself coming back to many times over, maybe to catch all those wonderful electronic nuances you missed the first time around.

The concluding musical narrative is the deep waters of the piece entitled The Other Shore In Sight. A track that contains a lighter energy of sorts and in an almost chill out vibe style, this piece then experiments and explores, and then creates a gentle coda with its final parting.

Across A Veiled River by Anantakara is in my view the artists best work thus far, each composition is created in such depth that it demands to be listened to with a keen ear and an open mind. Here is an album with sumptuous textures, and crafted artistry, a very classy work has been created here indeed, and any electronic musician fan or even musician should be proud to have Across A Veiled River by Anantakara in their collections.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Dream of Angel By Victor Birkan


Dream of Angel


Victor Birkan

Written by

Steve Sheppard


This new single by Victor Birkan has to be the most thought provoking and deep compositions thus far by the artist, but with the title of Dream of Angel who would have thought it. One peak at the art work that comes with the single may give you some idea of the reflective and emotive energies behind this new composition.

Birkan plays with a slow but steady tempo, setting the scene, drawing the picture, and creating profound and deep rooted moods, this is Birkan at his artistic best, the passion flows strong within this release, and I think listeners will be attracted to it because of the poignant musical structures that are developed here.

There is also an underpinned sensitivity within this arrangement that is also very appealing, its heart felt sentiments drift from the pianist’s keys like a late autumn sunset, and then hover around the listeners senses begging to be acknowledged, which allows me to say that in my opinion Dream of Angel by Victor Birkan is some of his best work thus far.

Joy to the World By Jamie Bonk


Joy to the World


Jamie Bonk

Written by

Steve Sheppard


The music of Jamie Bonk has been in my life as a European radio host since 2012 and the album Necessity, but the artist has been plying his trade for far longer; however I get to review his first new Christmas music in a decade, since the release of The First Noel back in 2013, and it has to be said it is one of the most charming of arrangements of Joy To The World I think I have ever heard.

The whole piece is given a total make over, and beautiful over laid vocals can be heard drifting over the snow tipped mountains of a lush and textured orchestration. Jamie’s signature acoustic guitar of course is a huge part of the composition, and one must say that his performance on it is very uplifting.

This well-known Christmas piece is now a single, and as such its potential to go all the way is real and very tangible. The overall construction and quality of this piece is incredibly attractive and has a popular quality feel to it, one could imagine with ease Jamie playing it live over this festive period, and that experience ending with a rapturous applause, as there can be no doubt that Joy to the World by Jamie Bonk is the perfect of placements on any Christmas playlist this winter.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Friendly Planet By Hanslik & Moniz Experiment


Friendly Planet


Hanslik & Moniz Experiment

Written by

Steve Sheppard


The new offering from Hanslik and Moniz is a prime example of electronic music meets guitar, the resulting compilation of tracks is a superbly crafted Avant guard, almost new electronica and ambient work of genius.

Friendly Planet is a collection of totally addictive arrangements; the title track opens the release and this is but one of six fine portraits of skilled brilliance for us all to enjoy. The mixture of synths and guitar here gift us a combination of music that is literally a selection of works of art in a musical gallery to be admired, the entire composition sets the scene for the unfurling of pieces like Channelling Siri, a track that even though just over 4 minutes long, reminded me of US electronic musician Forrest Smithson in content and style.

The crafted textures of the next offering On Shore Eddie, were so light and ambient and easy to dive into, it was a true pleasure to listen to, especially the fine guitar work by Moniz in the early stages of the composition, those string based moments of magic were matched amazingly with an incredibly hypnotic electronic keyboard performance, one that was almost John Carpenter in style at times, and yes, this would indeed be my favourite piece off the release.

As we take a tentative foot inside the second half of the album we come across a track that is a work of art within itself, and called We Are Your Friends. I found a defined energetic elevation here that was most attractive to listen to; this offering was for me the very real essence of the album, and the experimental nature of this track was deeply fascinating, as both synths and guitar formed a symbiotic partnership here that was incredibly addictive.

We find ourselves knocking on the door to the penultimate offering of the album called Meadow. This piece had a certain mysterious quality about its construction that I found most appealing, and there were certain aspects of the guitar here that worked so beautifully with Hanslik’s keyboards and synths.

This set things up perfectly for the last offering, the short form composition of Drifting gave us the conclusion to the project and done so cleverly that it could have easily been expanded time wise, but would turn out to be a text book finish, allowing us, the ever eager listener to exit what has been a wonderful journey through the realms created by the artists Hanslik and Moniz.

Friendly Planet by the Hanslik & Moniz Experiment is one of those albums you can sit and watch the day go by to and feel totally fulfilled by the experience; for me it was a talented collection of classy electronic and guitar performances, some incredibly inventive and personally for me being a guitarist, at times quite inspiring, I would love to have a go at creating something like this. If you wish an album to enthral you and fascinate you many times over, then you really need to buy Friendly Planet.

Friday, November 24, 2023

Calaboose Islands By Mike Hans STEFFL


Calaboose Islands


Mike Hans STEFFL

Written by

Steve Sheppard


I always appreciate the music of other electronic musicians; it always pleases me to hear their creations and then draw inspiration from it. Here Mike Hans STEFFL has produced one of the most exciting and certainly most moody albums, with the release of his latest work entitled Calaboose Islands.

The perfect prison was, and I imagine still is, a concept that a judiciary system seeks to purvey to its populace, taking the criminals out to a far flung region and leaving them there, almost like a nature version of the French oubliette. Here the artists paints an interesting musical juxtaposition of the then and now, incarceration and natures reclamation of land over time.

This is a superb electronic music album, filled with mood, thoughtful textures and exciting symbioses, from the ever so mournful opening piece entitled Makronisos, a track with a heartfelt refrain and a deep moving arrangement to pieces like Asinara, the longest piece on the release, and is a dark pervading tones of a mysterious and introspective nature. Mike Hans STEFFL produces a crafted intelligence on synths and keyboards that offers up a duality for us to explore through his music.

This wonderful 7 track collection of shadowy works is a sublime collection of electronic genius, the artist even raises the energy and rhythms on tracks like Con Dao, which then swirls into incredible levels of musical uncertainty, this is truly quality material, if you are a fan of artists like Thom Brennan or Steve Roach, then you are going to adore this great album.

There is nothing to dislike on Calaboose Islands, it’s an electronic music fans Narnia, and while the long form opus of Pianosa drifts on the four winds of yesteryear, the ever inexplicable and deeply perplexing halls of Alcatraz conclude our custodial voyage, with a vibrant powerful and imposing slice of electronic wizardry.

Calaboose Islands by Mike Hans STEFFL is a fine example of top quality electronic music, the keyboard and synth skills are sublime, the creativity and artistry doubly so, the musician also has a wonderfully pronounced imaginative flair, thus opening up the genre of electronic music with a berlin style, to become more accessible to all.  Calaboose Islands by Mike Hans STEFFL has been one of the most enjoyable electronic music albums I have listened to this year; I see big things on the charts for this most profound of albums.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Someday By Mihail Tarlev




Mihail Tarlev

Written by

Steve Sheppard


There is something deeply haunting about this brand new single by pianist Mihail Tarlev entitled Someday, the title itself could be a statement or a claim of a future event occurring, regardless, this is a mood filled opus that drifts around the halls of a dream filled musical castle, the reflective posture here is pronounced and beautifully played.

This new single is one of those that when one listens to its tones, we can find ourselves getting lost in its musical expressions. This is a fascinating arrangement and one that contains a beautiful juxtaposition of tone and timbre, the compositions slow waltz like narrative seems ultra-contemplative in nature, but also, in there is a delightful melody that raises the rhythms of the piece to give an emergence of hope within the creation.

Someday by Mihail Tarlev is a passionate and well performed composition, the gentle layers, colours and textures of Tarlev’s piano breathe a sense of possible expectation into the offering, one that becomes fluent and melodic, and concludes with a most satisfying coda, in an arrangement that has chart bound written all over it.

Watercolors By Mark Barnes



Mark Barnes

Written by

Steve Sheppard


There is a colourful gentleness to this latest Mark Barnes release that has to be applauded, the calming content and wonderful use of pause doubly so, Barnes has become one of the most creative keyboardists around, and his textures on this brand new single are to be completely admired.

Watercolors has to be Mark’s most tranquil single thus far, and it is this I simply adore about its construction, there is an almost dream like quality to this new release that is so pleasurable, whilst listening, one may drift to gaze at the works of one of the great painters in this medium in Matisse, or perhaps the driving source of impressionism in Claude Monet, whose use of light in his great works, which is where I feel that Barnes has gone with this most delightful of manifestations.

The entire track flows, drifts and returns to its base, akin to the sway of a lily pad on a late summer lake in September. It is a piece full of texture and promise, colour and light, and in my view perhaps one of the most artistic offerings ever by the musician, with that being said I can see this being another hit in the charts for the ever popular artist, its timeless reverie is bound to encapsulate many fans of truly good instrumental music, and so it should.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

A Seaside View By Suzanne Herman


A Seaside View


Suzanne Herman

Written by

Steve Sheppard


I have such great memories of several of the tracks from this album, their previous releases as singles gave me a true flavour for the solo piano style of Suzanne Herman, and now my luck is in as I have another 7 more tracks, as before me sits her latest album A Seaside View.

This is a good one for me as I live near a beautiful coast line, so the visuals of Suzanne’s music are easy to imagine. The opener was a big hit for her and entitled The Path of the Sandpiper, this has to be the perfect beginning point, its light airy refrains give us that inevitable pathway of that aforementioned bird, and the melodic structures of the composition are enough to light up anyone’s dull day.

This 10 track release is like opening up a can of bliss, on a late summers day; offerings like Balcony Oasis are a literal vista of oceanic delights, the slow and careful approach here sums up the calmness of the moment in a perfect setting, whilst compositions like Dancing Lights, another single from last year, gives us perhaps an evening view of the bay as the lights of the coastline and boats, twinkle in the azure dusk of a most pleasant night time.

There can be no doubt that Herman is one of the finest descriptive pianists of her day, tracks like The Old Pier will emphasises that, her presentation here bring us a time worn place of great and fond memories, and at I may say, a delightful six minutes plus of artistic grace. Whilst pieces akin to Distant Storms draw the listener in, there is nothing quite so exciting and sometimes exhilarating as a storm, here though Herman postulates the forth coming tempest with such a deep musical narrative, it is literally palpable and mood filled with her passage played.

Early on in this year Suzanne would release Sailing to a Sunset, this is something we have done here in Cyprus, and it is incredibly romantic, this presentation for me is painted with tones and a wondrous timbre of great quality and style, one to bring the listener a moment of natural splendour and happiness, and of course, love.

We conclude our journey of this uplifting solo piano collection with the arrangement Islands Across the Bay, after listening to the whole album I couldn’t have chosen a better track with which to end with myself, its soothing musical posture is simply perfect to leave the listener feeling totally fulfilled and at ease.

A Seaside View by Suzanne Herman is a scrapbook of musical memories lovingly put together by a woman who clearly knows her own environment and adores it; the pianist manifests for us a musical art gallery of sublime solo piano tones, melodies and segments of blissful reveries for us to enjoy, and succeeds with each and every touch of the keys. I have a feeling that A Seaside View by Suzanne Herman is going to not only be a big hit with fans of the solo piano genre, but on the album chart as well.

Works for Solo Piano By Eric Chapelle & Michelle Schumann


Works for Solo Piano


Eric Chapelle & Michelle Schumann

Written by

Steve Sheppard


A little solo piano treasure came my way this November day, a morning where the sun bathed my senses through the curtains of a misty window, and the tones of this new brilliant work fell like dusty fragments of the day ahead. The new creation is entitled Works For Solo Piano and has been manifested into this reality by composer Eric Chapelle, he himself a fine pianist on the world stage, and the performer and pianist Michelle Schumann, a Professor of Music at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, it would turn out that this is a sublime coalescence of genius.

The release is a twelve track compilation of wondrous pieces, from the very opening composition one can feel and see the imagery of Place in Landscape (Baga Beach), a testament to its greatness could be that it took me five repeating plays before I felt I could move onward, Schumann’s performance was so compelling, and this cleverly crafted composition is sublimely penned by Chapelle to give the listener a true vista of an ambient yet stunning location to enjoy.

Moments of artistic clarity fell like autumn leaves from this tree of sound and timbre, mournful compositions like First Light built with a slow intensity but great purpose, whilst narratives like (Fall) Leaves falling on a gray day emphasised the aforementioned statement even further.

This album excels in many ways, but more so for the structures of compositional creativity and intelligence, and the simply delightfully technical masterpiece of presentation from a pianist that touches the keys with such a charming sense of nuance and expression. Tracks like Place in a Landscape, a fluent and splendid eight plus minutes of a sublime ambient classical repose, and is both inventive and crafted to a delicious perfection, whilst offerings like Reflection No. 1 are a dream filled reverie of calming tone, shade and quality.

There is a corner of musical pleasure for everyone here, pieces like the explorative Contemplation from a Distance, which would be one of my personal favourite tracks; I adore Schumann’s performance here, both artistic and knowledgeable in its desire to roam the hallways of ambience with an open mind, and our concluding offering Dusk to Dawn, an utterly evocative piece, one so redolent of the subject matter.

Works for Solo Piano by Eric Chapelle & Michelle Schumann is without doubt worth the three years it took to complete the project, in my view this is one of the finest examples of technically sublime contemporary solo piano with an artistic flair that I have heard for nearly 20 years, this is the style of solo piano that I could listen to on repeat for days, and as such I urge you to open your hearts and minds and explore the sheer genius of Works for Solo Piano by Eric Chapelle & Michelle Schumann.

Monday, November 20, 2023

Slipped Away By Michelle Qureshi


Slipped Away


Michelle Qureshi

Written by

Steve Sheppard


When I gaze at my work list and see the name Michelle Qureshi, I know my day is going to be fulfilled with utterly sublime acoustic music of a wonderfully high quality, then speaking as a music lover, I know that the next few minutes are probably going to be the most reflective I will have this week, and with her new release entitled Slipped Away I could not have been more right.

The tender touch of Michelle I am sure brings out the most tenderness of tones from her guitar, the gentle fingerstyle doubly so, we could always be in a wonderland of musical bliss with this magical creation. Qureshi always manifests great mood and reflective moments with her compositions; this is not an easy skill, but one she most certainly has in abundance.

Within Slipped Away we are gifted another wondrous moment to sit back in the quiet of the afternoon, and watch the dust dancing with the filtered sanguine autumn light that cascades in through the open curtains. This beautiful new creation is another segment of artistic intelligence and sublime acoustic craft, Qureshi doesn’t just play the notes, she feels each and everyone of them.

And we have even more to look forward to, as this is one of 18 multi-instrumental tracks that will make up a brand new album from the artist called "A Day On Venus", which is realeasing in 2024!

Luminous Fields By Michelle Qureshi


Luminous Fields


Michelle Qureshi

Written by

Steve Sheppard


It is so nice to hear the flute of Michelle Qureshi on a recording once again, also the deep and emotive keyboards of the artists draw a blissful new age styled global fusion of presentations, on  the quite breath taking new single entitled Luminous Fields.

This lush recording highlights the sheer talent of the artist, she manifests such a deep well of emotion within it, and the vibrational tone of the arrangement is deeply palpable, and incredibly moving.

Her use of these deeper pools of this vast lake of musical brilliance is so powerful and exciting, that one would truly expect to see it on a movie segment, its haunting narrative draws the listener in with its ancestral cry over the flute, and then literally the piece hovers with an intent of a late November afternoon.

There are some fantastic new age tracks coming out at the moment, but the manifestation of this colourful tapestry of tone is just magnificent, this is music to watch an autumn sunset with, and then gaze at the creeping mist of a future midnight appear across the woodlands and pines. 

This track will appear on her new album "A Day On Venus" which will be coming our way in 2024! Once again Qureshi has done it, and as such has brought into the world another fine example of superb instrumental music, and if there is any justice in this musical world, Luminous Fields should be a massive hit in the charts as well.

The Last Sunrise By Lorna James


The Last Sunrise


Lorna James

Written by

Steve Sheppard


There are times in our lives when we can be blessed with a halcyon moment of utter beauty, taking that instant and manifesting its radiance in music is another thing entirely, indeed, there are few who can honestly count themselves as artists who perfectly portray an instant in time so wonderfully, that the said composition literally takes you there. This brand new single by Lorna James is one of them and is in my view a masterpiece of mood reflection and nature.

The back drop is a harmonic convergence of flowing synths and ethereal vocalisations, as the artist’s keys bring the main narrative to the fore, drawing upon the very energy of a beautiful sunrise, as each day we move past the moment, it is then our last, until the next day, gratitude is everything.

This piece reminds me greatly of Kevin Kendle’s Ariel Vistas album from 1996, with its soaring pads, its charm filled keyboards and its inspiring textures of an early morning sunrise. Lorna has grown vastly as a musician and now must be one of the finest female artists in her style and genre around today. If The Last Sunrise isn’t a huge hit for Lorna James, then I will never listen to a single piece of music ever again, this is one of the best descriptive instrumental singles I have heard in this style for simply decades. 

Friday, November 17, 2023

November Skies By Neil Tatar


November Skies


Neil Tatar

Written by

Steve Sheppard


This review for Neil Tatar and his new release November Skies, came at a special time of the day for me, our country is still in the grips of a later than ever summer, in a very strange November, and the sun burnt horizon, and the speckled clouds that disappear over it are so very wonderful to see, what’s even more remarkable is this stunning composition, as depicts perfectly for me what I now gaze at.

The piano plays the minor role; the strings add a simply delicious mournful tone to the proceedings, but let’s not forget the harmonic vocalisations, the gentle breeze, and each portion of this magnificent arrangement go to make up a view, a sense of reality, a texture of a moment so fleeting that one could cry, wipe their eyes, and it would be gone.

There are but a few beautiful performances like this; any listener should literally jump at the chance to seize upon its lush tenderness and descriptive reflective genius, since 2015 and the album Learning To Fly, Neil Tatar has been in my musical life, he is a producer of high class instrumental music, and if the there is any justice in this most turbulent of worlds, November Skies should end up being a truly huge hit for the artist.

Winter Solitude by Steve Sheppard ft. Colin Powell & Chrissie Sheppard



Winter Solitude


Steve Sheppard ft. Colin Powell & Chrissie Sheppard

Written by

Andy Rogers


Steve Sheppard is possibly best known to most people as the co-owner of One World Music Radio, along with his wife Chrissie. For the last few years he has been producing his own music, mostly with a New-age or ambient feel to it which has been attracting many admirers... works such as “Brading Station” and “The Haunted Palace” show an ever increasing musicality and mastery of the ambient genre.

A recent release, “Memories of the Marsh”, featured a collaboration with guitarist Colin Powell, a musical partnership that takes another impressive step forward with this new release “Winter Solitude”.

A gently tolling bell and the sound of gently breaking waves evoke the chill of a cold winter’s morning on a deserted beach. Colin Powell’s guitar then leads us into the piece with Steve’s keyboards setting a calming reflective mood. The interplay between the guitars and keyboards here is quite beautiful and very evocative in setting the musical mood (if you ever heard the John Themis albums from Coda records, then this is what I was reminded of).

Chrissie Sheppard handles production of this excellent single and her flute features as an ambient texture throughout, adding a layer of wistful beauty to the piece. At the end, the single concludes as if with a closing door of sound… All in all this is far and away the best thing to emerge musically from Steve Sheppard – it deserves to do really well and it will be very interesting to see where Steve’s next musical adventure takes us.

Shakti: Sarva Mangala By Sarves Thiru


Shakti: Sarva Mangala


Sarves Thiru

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Sarves Thiru is a composer and performer of sublime quality; her tones reverberate around a cross face of quality genres, with world global fusion and devotional music becoming the most relevant. Here the artist pushes the boundaries like never before, not only are her flavourful melodies the foundation of all that is sublime, but here is a piece with pace, a tempo that is simply undeniable, and a rhythm from the heart and soul of the vocalist herself.

Shakti: Sarva Mangala, by Sarves Thiru, will light up any room with its flowing pastiche of global musical colours, and its tapestry of multi-instrumental magic, one that is weaved with such passion and clarity into this amazingly classy composition, and I must also mention, that there is a second version of this wonderful piece that is quite delectable with no instrumentation, just the vocals of Sarves Thiru.

The energy, ability, strength and effort, of this fantastic musical fused portion of power, is both strong and utterly addictive, there can be no doubt that Sarves Thiru is a force for good in the musical world, and the genre of devotional globally fused vibrations is all the better for her being a part of it, and this brand new single, Shakti: Sarva Mangala, has all the energy required to reap her, the just rewards she most certainly deserves, and her fans and listeners will absolutely adore.

The Everlasting Light By Lynn Tredeau


The Everlasting Light


Lynn Tredeau

Written by

Steve Sheppard


In the middle of winter we are gifted a very important time, we have a few days to relax, unwind, reflect on the year gone by, and if we are fortunate enough to have them, we may be able to spend precious moments with family and friends at a time of year called Christmas. The energies of those days past are filled usually with fun, laughter and love, and of course memorable music that will travel with us over our lifetime, as will those ever enduring memories. Here on this latest album Lynn Tredeau expresses her love for this time of year, through her latest release called The Ever Lasting Light.

The opening piece is a classic and entitled O Tannenbaum; I am going to start with the praise early here, as this I do believe is one of the most delightful representations of this composition I have ever heard, Tredeau plays with a softness and deftness of touch that is so heart-warming to listen to.

This leads us nicely to our next offering called Away in a Manger; here lies a melody we will know only too well from our childhood, the almost lullaby style here on piano is like watching each twinkling of a star opening to caress a winter skyline, however if you listen deeply you may pick out a few reflective nuances within this very clever rendition.

We Wish You a Merry Christmas is our next present to open, here the pianist will emphasize an arrangement that can be sometimes looked over on the standard Christmas music album. Her soothing performance illustrates just what a beautiful arrangement this creation is.

O Little Town of Bethlehem is now upon us, but be careful how you remove the packaging, as this in my view is one of the most delicate manifestations of this well-known religious offering of all time, listen if you will to the piano heaven created within this arrangement, it is fluently masterful.

Pines Dressed in Winter has to be one of the most musically fragrant and most pleasing winter manifestations I have heard through the medium of piano for simply years. Tredeau’s magical performance is sublime, if ever a piece took you to the snow-capped forests of a late December afternoon, this is most certainly the one, and in my view one of my favourites from the album.

We move now to the half way marker of the album and as we do so we come across a very familiar piece indeed, and one I personally remember from opening the door to carol singers, and of course called The First Noel. This for me is a prime example of Tredeau bringing memory, reflection and echoes of a happy past into the proceedings.

We can now see the lights of a Christmas tree through the cabin window as we draw nearer, and perhaps we can even hear those same carol singers expressing the tones of another well-known historical piece called God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen. This one made me stop and listen repeatedly, there was a sumptuous reflective energy about it, the emotive textures were strong; once more I have to say, this is probably one of the finest versions I have heard from the piano genre.

One of the many things I like about the album, is the willingness of the artist to explore the Christmas narrative, which she does perfectly on this next piece called Toyland; here she has captured that sense of mystery and imagination with such style and tenderness, one can almost see a child opening its eyes as they dream of a world of magical toys, ah but for those days of such sweet innocence.

With a gentle stroke of the hands upon the keys, we move into the deep snow drifts of the album with this next offering entitled Christmas Paper. Here is another fine example of memory and the past coalescing; Tredeau’s performance is as if she is wrapping up the last few presents for the big day. The presentation is palpable and building into a semi crescendo of excitement, this is one much crafted performance indeed by the artist.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel has to be one of the most original arrangements I have heard with regard to this classic Christmas song, there was also a depth within this composition that was not only very compelling, but deeply moving as well.

We find ourselves now at the penultimate doorway of our musical advent calendar, and as such out next gift is a bright and most pleasant version of Silver Bells from the pianist, this is the albums feel good composition and will no doubt be one of those tracks that will drift around many winter households in the snowy weeks ahead.

So it’s finally Christmas day and we can open our last gift from the musician and it is, Joy to the World. Always finish with a classic and leave the listeners fulfilled from the journey taken, in selecting a powerful and uplifting piece like this to end with that makes Lynn not only one of the best female pianists of her day, but also one of the most intelligent, a sublime conclusion to a fine album indeed.

The Everlasting Light by Lynn Tredeau was for me a very pleasant musical experience, as the years have rolled on new Christmas albums have become somewhat of a rarity, but here is most certainly one that should be taken seriously, for one thing it shows the growth and skill set of the pianist, for another it shows the talent of the artist to manifest her thoughts on this time of year, and allow us humble listeners, to walk the Christmas hall ways of her seasonal memory palace with her.  

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Finding Annie By Terry Lee Nichols


Finding Annie


Terry Lee Nichols

Written by

Steve Sheppard


I personally found this new single by Terry Lee Nichols incredibly emotional, it’s called Finding Annie and it is one of the most beautiful solo piano creations I think I have heard this year. The artist is perhaps known more for his amazing works that include orchestration and added instrumentation, but here on this new single he manifests something that is utterly moving and deeply emotive.

I sat rooted to the moment whilst this passionate song played, and then I remembered an old movie from 1980 called Somewhere in Time, and I thought that this composition would be perfect for a romantic fantasy film like the aforementioned big screen picture.

Terry Lee Nichols is a pianist who plays with his heart on his sleeve and here on Finding Annie he manifests such a heartfelt moment of musical magic, and with such intense honesty. The power and fluency of the artist’s performance here is both remarkable and technically superior, we can literally feel the passion and the tenderness flow from the keys. This is without doubt a classy composition, and I will be amazed if it doesn’t break into the top 5 of the chart with ease. It is also going to be a track on his album Love Is, which is coming in 2024!

Dawn By Sonya Haramis




Sonya Haramis

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Creating songs about the Dawn is more than just sitting down at the keyboard; here Sonya has clearly sat in the early hours of a morning and said to herself, I must create a song about this beautiful time of day, when nature rules and mankind is still in its late slumbers of regeneration.

From that point, we sit, we listen, we smell the dawn, we immerse ourselves in it, we enjoy the moment no matter how fleeting, then we are ready to compose. Haramis has allowed her early morning muse to manufacture something quite honest and real, the flowing synth pads add weight to the bird sound and stillness that abounds within this arrangement.

In a way this song reminds me of some of the early new age music artists like Mike Rowland, but also newer references could be found within the work of artists like Anaya, and this is a first, even myself with my early morning swimming track The Healing Pool.

Regardless, this is a most enjoyable offering from Sonya, one that has a truly attractive melody, and one that lightens ones spirits, before the haze of modern day living drops onto the lands of peace and tranquillity we have just had the pleasure of enjoying. I can see this one becoming a bit of a hit in the charts and on Atmospheric music shows and playlists.