Fiona Joy

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Christmas Joy Review

 

AUDIOPHILE AUDITION:

Published on November 16, 2011

 

It’s that time of year again and the Christmas discs are crossing my desk, whether requested on not. Here’s our annual survey of what we auditioned, and it will start off with two SACDs:

Fiona Joy Hawkins – Christmas Joy – Little Hartley Music multichannel SACD FJH013 *****:

This excellent disc—more than your usual Christmas album—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 Hawkins’ previous Blue Dream SACD.

Starting out as a classically-trained pianist, Hawkins likes to create music evoking images, and mixes world influences with classical and jazz, and New Age mysticism. Among the backing musicians on the date are Will Ackerman on guitar, Eugene Friesen on cello, Tony Levin on bass guitar, and Philip Aaberg did the orchestral arrangements.

The disc opens with “Walking in the Air,” a striking tune by Howard Blake which is far from hackneyed and whose haunting melody will take your breath away. The second verse has Hawkin’s singing in Gaelic, though most of the tracks are instrumental. “Gliding on a Sleigh” features a violin and soprano sax duo, and you haven’t lived if you have never heard “Jingle Bells” played on a digeridoo! Some of the 11 tunes are done a bit slower than we normally hear them, but with the lovely arrangements tempi seem just right. “Christmas Joy” cuts loose with many different instruments, and the closing “Away in a Manger” is done as a tender lullaby.

—John Sunier

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fionajoymusic RT @beyondron: Relax and enjoy! Video by @fionajoymusic: "The Basement Sydney - LIVE - Fiona Joy" https://t.co/qjMwx12ZQU
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fionajoymusic RT @beyondron: A sweet listen, enjoy! Album by @fionajoymusic: "Signature Synchronicity" https://t.co/HlLmS5iwxx
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fionajoymusic RT @fionajoymusic: Why did a New Age band just get formed? https://t.co/wBJtZD5MsC
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fionajoymusic Bottom line... this is what counts most. The music. Please let me share with you because YOU, the audience... https://t.co/l37wgFQI3p
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fionajoymusic Why did a New Age band just get formed? https://t.co/wBJtZD5MsC
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fionajoymusic RT @The_B_Company: Tune in online as @fionajoymusic talks GRAMMY Week & other fun w/Janeane on Get The Funk Out! https://t.co/SQ2BVRTc0z #O
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fionajoymusic RT @Momz_Rock: @fionajoymusic Loved chatting with the lovely Fiona Joy! She is a Classically trained New Age Composer,... https://t.co/EZki
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fionajoymusic Likewise @Momz_Rock - it was wonderful to chat and thanks for asking great questions! https://t.co/0vYy37TsVp
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fionajoymusic RT @beyondron: Beautiful. Watch this. Video by @fionajoymusic: "Fair Not - Fiona Joy (The Princess & The Dragon)" https://t.co/Iz4y9xbWwU
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fionajoymusic RT @RoboWho1960: Album by @fionajoymusic: "Signature Synchronicity" Very sweet sounding. https://t.co/lDxznW2Awq
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