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Alexi Musnitsky | Zia

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New Age: Solo Instrumental New Age: Contemporary Instrumental Moods: Featuring Piano
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by Alexi Musnitsky

Original debut acoustic album by a significant new talent, pianist and composer called touching and soulful. Featuring four-time Grammy winner Eugene Friesen and produced by Grammy winning Will Ackerman.
Genre: New Age: Solo Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Zia
4:42 $0.99
2. War of Love (feat. Eugene Friesen)
5:19 $0.99
3. Sparkling Heart
5:56 $0.99
4. The Quest (feat. Eugene Friesen)
8:35 $0.99
5. Light Will Lead the Way (feat. Eugene Friesen)
4:12 $0.99
6. Mile of Life (feat. Eugene Friesen)
6:07 $0.99
7. Dream Catcher (feat. Eugene Friesen)
7:08 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Alexi is French and American, born in the U.S. and living in Paris, France. His music has been called expressive, bringing out emotion and sensitivity.

Four-time Grammy winner Eugene Friesen recorded with Alexi in his Album "Zia," produced by Will Ackerman at the Imaginary Road Studios.

“There are few things more enjoyable as a music producer than to encounter a significant new talent and there is something additionally marvelous about discovering this in a young person who you believe to be on the cusp of great things. Such is the case with pianist Alexi Musnitsky. As founder of Wyndam Hill Records, known in large part for releases of cutting edge piano recordings, I feel my history gives some perspective on the fact that I regard Alexi as a pianist with a bright future."

~ Will Ackerman



to write a review


Review from One World Music Radio (www.oneworldmusic.co.uk)
I had been in need of sanctuary, a place to rest, after travelling 2000 miles and not sleeping for near on 24 hours, drained and tired, I looked for that realm of inner peace and healing in music, and more accurately in Zia by Alexi Musnitsky.
Head hunted by non-other than Will Ackerman, I knew this was going to be pretty special and after all Imaginary Road Studios is in reality, The land of Oz for the contemporary musician in the 21st century.
At such a young age, I marvelled at the very first track, how Musnitsky has manifested such a depth of ambience in the opening offering, the title track Zia was simply amazing and delightful all at the same time, if this was a sample of what is to come dear reader and listener, we’re in for a real treat of a musical journey.
The depth of emotion in the track War of Love was so easy to dive into and feel, as the composition progressed, I felt like I had heard this melody before; perhaps this is an anthem for peace, sown up in the shrouds of conflict, after all love and hate do collide. The slight tempo change is superb and the inclusion of Eugene Friesen on Cello was a stroke of sublime genius.
The level of sensitivity in Musnitsky’s performance can really be felt on this next arrangement called Sparkling Heart, it’s a coalition of ambient music meets solo piano, that cooks so gently on the hob of warm creativity, to deliver on your musical palate, a piece that really does sparkle with the light energy of positivity.
We fall into the second half of this release and come across a delightful little opus of beauty called The Quest and at well over eight minutes, this is really something to behold. Now we have a slow gentle approach that picks up in tempo and then pulls back, like a summer tide on the western rim of the ocean. Musnitsky’s performance and style here is quite breath taking, we can see on this track alone, why the great and powerful musical wizard of Oz, Will Ackerman, sought him out.
This is a moment of sublime reflective majesty, I for one really appreciated this moment of calm, this creation of a realm of inner peace called, The Quest to just float in and allow it to wash over me, in parts this track had a similar style and energy to work of Doug Hammer, but with the added instrumentation of Friesen, it created something much need, a space to just be.
Alexi Musnitsky as a pianist has that rare quality at such a young age of being able to be totally in-tune with his heart and have that information fluently transmitted to his hands as soon as they touch the keys, this piece called Light Will Lead the Way will emphasise that entirely. A subtle opening that is controlled with such style contains a real sense of artistry that one cannot only see the light, but both feel it and hear it through these so delicate tones. Here Friesen’s Cello comes into his own and almost dances with Musnitsky on piano to create an utterly charming narrative, which is only further enhanced by Tom Eaton’s efforts of equal sensitivity on percussion.
Our penultimate offering dear reader and listener is called Mile of Life, this charming performance continues this wonderful sense of tranquillity, the style here is well placed in the new age piano genre, with the subtle key changes and the increasing and decreasing tempos, but the artists flowing performance here is something special to listen to, and will further illustrate to you perhaps, why Musnitsky is a real future talent of great quality and class.
Our journey along the yellow brick road of a musical wonderland of colour and imagination with Alexi Musnitsky is finally highlighted by the tones of a piece that are so filled with charm and tranquillity, and a defined sense of equanimity and called Dream Catcher. This is an enchanting way to leave this project and will leave you dear listener, with one thought and one thought only, and that is, I think I will hit repeat, and listen to the whole album one more time. A tip of the hat must also go to Noah Wilding for some very ethereal vocals on this composition.
Alexi Musnitsky, let’s say that name again, Alexi Musnitsky, because I am convinced completely that this is a name you are most certainly going to be hearing a lot more of in the future, he starts his journey here, with the guidance of Will Ackerman and manifests one of the finest releases of the year, for someone just around 20 years old, he has the potential of a fantastic career ahead of him, and the album Zia is not only a testament to his technical stylish abilities, but a proud and honest statement of his future intent, given time, perhaps we could see a new David Lanz here, Musnitsky certainly has that very special quality of supreme sensitivity, to make his dreams come true.
Zia is an album you would simply be mad to miss; it’s the very beginnings of someone who has a chance to really make it in this industry and the thoughtful, sometimes complex, but always perceptive and kindly motifs of this album, will bring you a level of serenity that perhaps has yet to be touched and felt by your musical souls, a thoroughly recommended release indeed.

Michael Diamond (www.michaeldiamondmusic.com)

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus
It’s only been in the last couple years that 20-year-old Alexi Musnitsky began to move away from playing the music of classical composers and started writing his own music. A bridge into this new musical territory and the subsequent recording of his debut album came when his music caught the ear of GRAMMY winning producer and Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman. Will was greatly impressed by what he heard and invited Alexi to come to his iconic Imaginary Road Studios in Vermont to do this album along with 4 time GRAMMY winning cellist Eugene Friesen and engineer/producer/ multi-instrumentalist Tom Eaton. An added benefit for Alexi was the opportunity to record on Will’s highly modified Steinway piano that has been the centerpiece for many albums recorded at Imaginary Road Studios.

From the first notes of the title track that opens the album, I could sense an emotional maturity and depth far beyond his years, not only in the wistful reflective phrasing of his intro, but also in the evocative way Alexi utilized space as musical punctuation. As the last note of the intro trails off into silence, a new, more effusive emotion is heard as Alexi launches into a flurry of arpeggiated notes contrasted by bold expressive chords in a dynamic shift of energy that was as surprising as it is inspiring. It is one of the two solo piano pieces on the album and makes for quite a dramatic first impression.

Also heard on the album is Tom Eaton on bass and percussion. In addition to being an engineer and producer at Imaginary Road Studios, Tom often adds his talents on a wide variety of instruments to the projects being recorded there. I particularly appreciated the uplifting optimistic air of another ensemble piece with Tom and Eugene Friesen, called “Light Will Lead The Way.” I would say though that my favorite song on the album is the final track, entitled “Dream Catcher,” which includes Will Ackerman himself on Hopi Drum and the ethereal vocals of Noah Wilding, a frequent guest artist on Imaginary Road projects.

While there are no lyrics in Alexi’s music, his compositions definitely have a storytelling quality to them. To say that “Zia” is an outstanding debut album would be an understatement. Alexi Musnitky is truly one of the brightest rising stars on the horizon, and is someone I know that we’ll be hearing much more of in the future. That is something I greatly look forward to. But for now I’m quite content to re-visit the evocative musical landscapes he has created on this sterling collection of beautifully written and emotionally revealing compositions.

To read a full-length feature article on this album, as well as others, please visit: www.MichaelDiamondMusic.com

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Zia" is the debut album by Alexi Musnitsky, young pianist born in New Mexico who has spent most of his life in Paris. Musnitsky started his formal classical piano lessons at the tender age of four, and began composing his own music at 18. He made some home recordings and posted them on SoundCloud, where the music received numerous hits and favorable comments. This eventually led to him being named as an “upcoming artist” by the French/Belgian Project, Daybreak, which features interviews and articles on rising stars in the music business. Shortly after that, Will Ackerman reached out to Alexi and asked him to come to Imaginary Road Studios to record his debut album, "Zia." What an amazing way to start a career! While I don’t like to compare artists, the beautiful grace and restraint of Musnitsky’s playing and composing styles remind me of Zachary Bruno, another extraordinary young artist with a velvet touch on the piano keys and very deep expression in his music. (Bruno was awarded the 2015 Album of the Year at this year’s Whisperings Solo Piano Radio Awards Show.)

Produced by Will Ackerman, Tom Eaton, and Musnitsky and recorded at Imaginary Road Studios, the seven original tracks include two piano solos, two duets with cellist Eugene Friesen, and three ensemble tracks that include Friesen, Tom Eaton on bass and percussion; and one that includes all of the above plus Noah Wilding’s vocals and Ackerman on Hopi drum. Again, what a way to launch a career!

"Zia" begins with the title track. A very open and pensive piano solo for the first minute or so, it becomes somewhat more energetic while maintaining the simplicity of the melody - an impressive opening! “War of Love” starts out as a melancholy and touching piano solo, but when Eugene Friesen adds his cello, the piece becomes a heartbreaker with a very big “wow!” factor. “Sparkling Heart” is the second piano solo. Much lighter and more optimistic than “Zia,” it shows a different facet of Musnitsky’s musical personality. “The Quest” begins very simply as a piano solo, building slowly to include Friesen and his cello, then ebbing to a simple piano solo interlude and gradually rebuilding strength and intensity as a duet. At 8 1/2 minutes, the piece has plenty of time to evolve, ending with a gentle whisper. “Light Will Lead the Way” is an upbeat trio for piano, cello, and bass. Graceful and lyrical, it’s a beauty! Reflective of life itself, “Mile of Life” ranges from quiet and still to energetic and enthusiastic. Piano and cello merge to tell a colorful tale with vivid images. “Dream Catcher” brings this excellent debut album to a close with a peaceful piano solo that gradually expands to include the full ensemble of musicians.

Alexi Musnitsky has created an amazing first album (with the help of his friends!) to launch his very promising career! Very highly recommended!

Candice Michelle

Review from Journeyscapes Radio
“Zia” is the debut album by Alexi Musnitsky, a young pianist born in New Mexico and currently living in Paris. Having played piano since age four with a formal background in classical training, Alexi began composing his own music when he was eighteen. Produced by Will Ackerman along with Tom Eaton and Alexi Musnitsky, and recorded at Imaginary Road studios in Vermont, the album is named after the indigenous Zia tribe of New Mexico. Cellist Eugene Friesen is featured on several of the compositions, while Tom Eaton lends subtle percussion and bass to three of the seven tracks.

“Zia” opens the album with gentle piano notes that eventually unfold into a romantic and graceful melody. “War of Love” follows next, which is perhaps my favorite piece on the album. Capturing the essence of memories and things held sacred to the heart, accompanying cello and subtle percussion lend a slightly poignant quality to this tender composition. Radiance exudes from “Sparkling Heart”; beginning in the upper register of the piano, the pace picks up about one-third of the way through the piece, expressively alternating between a hushed and hurried dynamic. “The Quest” is the album’s lengthiest piece at just over eight and a half minutes. A heartfelt composition featuring cello, bass and percussion, the melody flows like a river winding through mountains, peaceful one moment and powerful the next. A morning sunrise shines on “Light Will Lead the Way”; likewise joined by passionate cello and soft percussion, this inspirational piece instills a sense of hope and optimism. A brighter piano melody is carried on “Mile of Life”, which is contrasted by the lower solemn tone of its complementary cello. A setting sun gives way to moonlight on “Dreamcatcher”, the album’s final piece. Along with Eugene’s cello, Will Ackerman lends the soft sound of a Hopi drum to this composition, while Noah Wilding’s wordless vocals pass through towards the end like a gentle evening breeze.

Eloquently restrained and never bombastic in its approach, “Zia” offers an impressive level of musical maturity and depth for this young talent. Demonstrating a piano playing style that is fluid and supple, “Zia” is not to be missed by those who particularly enjoy elegant piano music wrapped in wholesome beauty.