Annie Locke | A Glimmer of Hope

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New Age: Solo Instrumental Classical: New Age Moods: Featuring Piano
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A Glimmer of Hope

by Annie Locke

Beautiful, melodious piano pieces - at times relaxing, sometimes stimulating - that will whisk you away on a river journey, entice you into a deep forest, take you riding through Montana and exploring exotic places...
Genre: New Age: Solo Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. The Story Begins
2:17 $0.99
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2. An End to Hunger, An End to War
3:28 $0.99
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3. River Story
5:09 $0.99
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4. Riding Through Montana
3:30 $0.99
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5. Deep in the Forest
3:21 $0.99
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6. A Man Called Alan
3:53 $0.99
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7. Honour (Piano Version)
3:13 $0.99
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8. Natasha
3:30 $0.99
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9. Holiday in Shanghai
2:35 $0.99
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10. Towards the Summit
3:01 $0.99
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11. Encounter in Venice
3:39 $0.99
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12. Whatever It Takes
3:29 $0.99
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13. With No Regrets
3:09 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Annie Locke has become known and respected in many parts of the world for her special contribution to relaxation and new age classical music. Her work, with its lingering melodies and unusual textures of sound, is distinctive, yet easily accessible and immediately appealing.

'A GLIMMER OF HOPE' is her very first solo piano album and her first album in over twenty years. She has always written and improvised a great deal of piano music. The tracks on this album form a spectrum from her earlier pieces to more recent ones.

COMMENTS ON THE ALBUM:

"Congratulations on producing such a beautiful new album. I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to A Glimmer of Hope, I really love it! I have my favourite tracks..Honour, Riding Through Montana and Holiday in Shanghai - and the more I listen to A Man Called Alan, the more majestic it sounds. Your music is an inspiration to me…I look forward to hearing lots more!"
Alexandra Hurley

"Thank you for my copy of your album – I have just listened to it all and really loved it.
It’s difficult to have one favourite piece – I was quite affected by ‘Deep in the Forest’ - and also ‘Towards the Summit’ sent me soaring! But each of the pieces were so different and……I thought them all really ‘full of music’ – if that means anything to you!!
I wish you every success with ‘A Glimmer of Hope’ – you deserve it."
Andrea G

HOW THIS ALBUM NEARLY DIDN'T HAPPEN!

Annie was just starting to record her new album when she had an accident in which, amongst other things, she fractured both her wrists very badly in several places.

This could have stopped her playing altogether, but luckily the surgeon, who also happened to be a keen musician, suggested fitting titanium implants in both hands and wrists to stabilise them. The operation was a great success and, although Annie had to re-learn some of her playing skills, within a year or so her playing was as good as it was before the accident.

ANNIE ON WRITING HER MUSIC

"One of the things I love doing most is improvising music. When I feel in the right mood, I switch on the recorder and, often without any idea of how I’m going to start, I begin to play…When I’ve finished, I listen back to the recording. I usually don’t have any recollection of what I’ve just played, but, on a good day, I can discover that I have somehow improvised one or two complete pieces…

"It still feels like absolute magic to me and I’m so grateful to have discovered this ability. Most of the pieces on this album began life exactly in this way – then were written out and re-recorded."

ON ANNIE'S MUSIC:

Annie Locke’s music has become popular with people of all ages and from all walks of life. The reasons for this are simple enough; her music touches the hearts of folk because she plays from the heart and wishes to help bring some sunshine and quiet into all our lives.

BACKGROUND

Annie started playing at the age of five when her mother bought her a piano and gave her a few basic lessons. She then carried on teaching herself until a lady, who ran the small school next door, heard her play and offered her free lessons.
She won a scholarship for lessons at secondary school. It was not easy for her to practice in those earlier years as she spent a lot of time in hospital with a rare blood disease which was very nearly fatal. She eventually recovered when she was about fifteen.

Her father was also very ill from the time she was three and, because of this, she could only practice for about half-an-hour a day. Nevertheless, she managed to get a place at the Royal Academy of Music, London, from where she obtained a music degree, with piano and oboe as main studies.

TIME IN TELEVISION

Annie joined BBC Television after leaving college, wanting to become a classical music producer, but somehow ended up working on her other love, drama. She was fortunate enough to work (mainly as a Production Manager) with many talented directors, including Mike Leigh (on Abigail’s Party), Michael Apted (who has directed many notable feature films including Gorillas in the Mist and Bond film, The World is Not Enough) and Alan Clarke, a talented director and close friend, who is remembered in the track - A Man Called Alan.

She also directed some music programmes (including a broadcast of Haydn’s music from Longleat House in Wiltshire – home of the Marquis of Bath).

MAKING HER ALBUMS

Annie only began to write music after she left college, whilst still working in drama, and after playing a synthesizer for the first time. Some of the sounds inspired her to start improvising pieces, which she recorded as her first album, The Living Earth. After the success of that album, she left the BBC to pursue composing and performing full-time.

She found that she had a special gift for writing relaxing, therapeutic music with strong melodies, and her first three albums, The Living Earth, Portraits, and Memories, gained a following amongst therapists, health professionals and many others wanting to relax.

Her music, mainly by word of mouth, reached many countries and, in the days before the internet took off, she sold over 100,000 albums. 'The Living Earth' reached the top ten for music of its kind in the Billboard charts in the USA.

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Reviews


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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"A Glimmer of Hope" is British composer/pianist Annie Locke’s fourth album, but it is her first release in more than twenty years and her first solo piano collection. The thirteen original pieces on the album range from earlier compositions up through more recent work. The music is warm and personal, and there is a comforting touch in all of the pieces. Much of Locke’s music begins with improvisation and she retains that spontaneity and freshness in the finished work. Her classical roots are apparent in the richness of the harmonies and the beautiful flow of the melodies, and yet this music is timeless.

Locke started playing the piano at the age of five and won a scholarship for lessons in secondary school, but between her father’s and her own serious health issues, she wasn’t able to devote as much time as she would have liked to her music. Despite those obstacles, Locke was accepted by the Royal Academy of Music in London and earned a music degree with piano and oboe as her main studies. She didn’t start composing until after college and her discovery of the synthesizer. Her first three albums became popular relaxation music among a variety of health professionals as well as the listening public, and the music reached many countries even before the internet took off and landed in the “Top 10” Billboard charts in the USA.

"A Glimmer of Hope" begins with “The Story Begins,” a colorful prelude and introductory “song without words.” “An End to Hunger, An End to War” was improvised in the first few hours of the Gulf War and reflects Locke’s emotional reaction to the unfolding events. Poignant and beautifully expressed, it’s one of the highlights of the album. “River Story” has a peaceful grace that is almost hypnotic in its tranquility. “Riding Through Montana” suggests the vast openness of “Big Sky Country” and the majesty of the more rugged areas of the state. “Deep In the Forest” tells a fanciful story of night creatures in the deep forest who come out of hiding in the dark of night to dance until dawn. Much of the story is told from the lower half of the piano keyboard, which suggests a feeling of darkness - I really like this one! “Honour” appeared in a more orchestrated form on an earlier album and was dedicated to the late Sir George Trevelyan. Warm and melodic with deep emotional expression, it’s another beauty. “Natasha” elegantly conveys love and appreciation for a dear friend. “Encounter In Venice” is another favorite. It begins with sparkling broken chords that make me think of moonlight dancing on water. The second part of the piece tells a story - perhaps a meeting with a dashing stranger or a long conversation in a cafe. Whatever the actual event was, it must have been wonderful! The album ends with “With No Regrets” - a great way to close!

Annie Locke is promising a series of solo piano albums, and I can’t wait to hear what else she has for us! I don’t recall hearing any of her previous recordings, but I really like this one! Recommended!
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Steve Sheppard

Review from One World Music Radio
It’s a rare but wonderful thing, when you find a solo pianist from the UK in a genre that is usually dominated by the US, the compositions and arrangements are a total pleasure to listen to. She also has something in common with me, we have both worked for the BBC, so let’s begin another musical journey right now with Annie Locke, and this new realm of music that is opening up before us called, A Glimmer of Hope.
The first offering that starts our new sojourn is called The Story Begins. I must have listened to this piece at least ten times now, there is something quite emotional about this track that I just cannot put my finger on, but it is the perfect vehicle with which to open up our first musical portal.
The next title has such a deep meaning and no matter where we cast our eyes in the world, even now, it is still relevant, it’s called An End to Hunger, An End to War. For most of us on this sweet blue and tiny planet, this would be the ultimate dream, and in my opinion Annie has produced an anthem here that expresses that desire. The performance is passionate and imploring, and one can only hope that in the not too distant future, this dream will come to fruition.
There was something a little Debussy about this next piece called River Story, without wishing to make a pun here, but I will, this arrangement has such a wonderfully warming flow to it. I have read that this is improvised, in that case Annie must have been tuned into or channelling her musical spirit guide, as this composition is quite breath-taking and very sun kissed, it’s one of my favourites from the release too.
Now although I have been to the US many times, Montana is one place I have never visited. However I can do that thanks to Annie’s piece Riding Through Montana. I remember once riding on the interstate to Oklahoma City, and whilst doing so writing poetry along the way, there is an essence about that with this track, there is a constant driving narrative of movement here, with a very appealing melody that depicts travelling and watching images pass by the window as we go.
One of my favourite past times, when I lived in England, was to walk in nature, especially through the woodlands. Here Locke goes further and expresses a narrative of a dark night, Deep in the Forest. The performance here is sublime; it creates images of two realms coming together in a wonderland of mystery and magic, deep within the realms of the moon caressed forests.
Annie Locke now performs a dedication to her friend Alan Clarke, the TV and film director, who sadly died at the young age of 55 on the track A Man Called Alan, there is a real longing here that Locke expresses perfectly, one also feels that this composition is a cathartic journey for the artist as well.
Honour (Piano Version) is another dedication piece to the memory of the late Sir George Trevelyan. This is a proud arrangement that cocoons many memories within it’s over all construction, the performance here was originally on the orchestral based album, Memories.
There was something so familiar about this next piece entitled Natasha for me, the melody seemed so steeped in memory and flowed with a lush colourful narrative. The performance is once again heart felt, and almost like a tribute to a dear friend.
On Holiday in Shanghai we have a horse of a different colour, as we move to the Far East in style, composition and arrangement. Locke creates a wonderful energy of a trip through lands bathed in mystery and vast vistas of lush green valleys and cities that sparkle in an Asian sky.
Now after our long, but most pleasant trip through the realm of this new album, we come across a really attractive moment of musical majesty. This one is called Towards the Summit. Once more Locke delivers a piece that depicts perfectly the slow and careful movement onwards up upwards. There is also something addictive about this piece that makes you listen to the very end to see if this musical journey will be completed.
The vista of a water world and a city with no roads is explored perfectly in this next opus called Encounter in Venice. There is a really sweet melody here that engages a European flavour, one that is so enticing; we could easily imagine travelling on a gondola through the many canals and water ways of the city.
The penultimate offering is entitled Whatever It Takes. The artist digs in deep here and gifts us a track that has an undeniable essence of determination within its performance. To balance the composition, Locke features a calming mixture into the weave, with that overall sense of dogged will power of resolve being the driving narrative.
Our last doorway is now upon us and entitled With No Regrets, this is in my opinion one of the cleverest pieces of the album. Locke rounds off her project here with the perfect ending opus, and a real sense of rounding the circle and mending the hoop can be felt here, as a musical resolution is found, allowing us to leave the album fully satisfied and happy.
A Glimmer of Hope is a release that could be described as a panacea to cure all ills, the music contained within this album touches the heart, gives us hope and leaves us at peace and in contentment. Annie Locke has taken to the solo Piano genre like a fish to water and the wait of twenty years has been well worth it. If you’re a lover of the solo piano genre, you’re really going to want to check this one out; it’s an album that has something for everyone.
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