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Ann Sweeten | In the Wake

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In the Wake

by Ann Sweeten

Ann Sweeten blends stylish, sophisticated, technical composition in well-rooted classical themes with originality and passion, resulting in performances that pack an emotional wallop.
Genre: New Age: Contemporary Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Was It Yesterday?
6:25 $0.99
2. Falling Leaves
5:01 $0.99
3. Metamorphosis
4:07 $0.99
4. Love Remembered
4:44 $0.99
5. A Chance for Goodbye
4:51 $0.99
6. In the Wake
3:44 $0.99
7. On Wings of Light
5:32 $0.99
8. Out of Embers
5:23 $0.99
9. The Abyss
4:44 $0.99
10. October Sky
4:44 $0.99
11. Now, and Again
4:19 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
*Judges screened 17,400 albums across 70 genres

"Ann Sweeten's music continues to evolve, broaden and deepen. It is now beyond doubt that her prodigious performances are equaled by her brilliant compositional skills. This is an artist very much at the top of her game and everything has come together seamlessly in her new CD, In the Wake."
Grammy award-winning artist/producer Will Ackerman, Founder Windham Hill Records

“In the Wake” is best a metaphor for life… There are those who look ahead of the vessel… the captains, crew, or just those along for the ride, and those who glance behind, at the wake, perhaps a bit too often. I am such a person….
My journey thus far, has been one of great joy and great loss. This album merely speaks to their echo. “In the Wake” of all that has happened then, I give you these words….

Oh to be the wise and careful captain
With eyes unerring straight ahead
But how foolish, I instead,
Keep the watch that time has fled.

In the wake of lives and dreams
And chapters long since turned,
I feel a sadness so complete
For all I still so yearn.

But of tomorrow then, I ask,
What do we really know?
For now, I’ll paint the colors of today
And dream in those of yesterday.

For now and again, they will appear,
Oh so tender and so dear,
The moments past, their nectar, sweet,
And now, I lay me down to sleep.
A.S. 11/17/10

… In closing, know that as the vessel continues amidst life’s uncharted waters, and journeys forward, so do I, despite myself, and the wake recedes.

(In order of Appearance)

Ann Sweeten – Steinway Baby Grand, Model B
Will Ackerman – Acoustic Guitar (Was it Yesterday? Out of Embers)
Trisha Craig – Flute (Was it Yesterday?)
Akane Setiawan – English Horn (Falling Leaves, On Wings of Light)
- Oboe (Now, and Again)
Andrew Eng – Viola, Violin (Love Remembered) Viola (October Sky)
Liz Ehrman – Cello (A Chance for Goodbye; Now, and Again)

I want to extend a big thank you to all the musicians who brought their passion and unique vision to this project. You are all wonderful!

Working with Will Ackerman is always a learning and growing experience, which for an Artist is "key"! So thank you Will for your brilliant insight. A special gratitude to Tom Eaton for his superior Engineering skills and creative input. To Randy Yoder of RBY Photography, words cannot express the awe I feel for your Art and Inspiration. And to Bill Ballard, a most valuable piano technician, as always, thank you for preparing the "canvas"!

Engineered mixed and mastered by Tom Eaton at Imaginary Road Studios www.thomaseaton.com

Visual Artistic Direction and Photography by Randy Yoder
RBY Photography, Salem, MA

Manufactured and printed by Disc Makers, Pennsauken, NJ

Piano Technician: William Ballard

In Memoriam
Mary Cox – December 21, 2009
Jack Goehring – January 9, 2010

Produced by Ann Sweeten and Will Ackerman
Recorded at Imaginary Road Studios, Windham County, VT
Composed and performed by Ann Sweeten



to write a review

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"In the Wake," a metaphor for life, is pianist/composer Ann Sweeten’s ninth album (plus two Italian compilations). Co-produced by Will Ackerman (who plays guitar on two tracks) and recorded at Ackerman’s Imaginary Road Studios, the album features several acoustic instrumentalists on strings, flute, oboe, and English horn. Sweeten’s graceful touch and fluid playing style are beautifully expressed on a Steinway baby grand (model B), and the sound quality of the music is flawless. Often tinged with melancholy, Sweeten’s compositions have a dreamy quality that encourages the listener to kick back and just listen for a while, becoming immersed in the music and soothed by the gentle waves of sound. Ann Sweeten draws from vast life experience in the arts with her acting, singing, and dancing in addition to her music. She is also a staunch environmentalist, animal activist, and vegetarian. With so many means of self-expression available to her, it is no wonder that her music communicates so effortlessly.

"In the Wake" begins with “Was It Yesterday?” a nostalgic ballad for piano, guitar, and flute (Trisha Craig). Wistful and dreamy, the gentle flow of the three instruments sets a mood of calm repose and reflection. “Falling Leaves” becomes even more soothing and relaxed, and Akane Setiawan’s English horn adds the perfect counterpoint to Sweeten’s graceful piano. “Metamorphosis” weaves a series of musical themes together to create a lovely tapestry that tells a story of change and inter-relatedness. Sometimes flowing and almost harp-like, sometimes quite rhythmic, and sometimes quiet and still, it is a very effective piece. “Love Remembered” is an introspective daydream with a passionate undercurrent. Andrew Eng on violin and viola enhances the poignance of this piece. As the title suggests, “A Chance for Goodbye” is deeply emotional and sad, and Liz Ehrman’s cello is the perfect accompaniment to the piano. “On Wings of Light” feels lighter and more optimistic, and Setiawan’s English horn keeps the piece soaring to new heights. “Out of Embers,” Ackerman’s second appearance, is a favorite. Exquisitely gentle and dreamy, it seems to tell of hope and renewal - beautiful! My favorite track on this album is the more classical “October Sky,” a passionate and bittersweet piece for piano and viola that would be an amazing tear-jerker in a movie soundtrack. “Now and Again” closes the album much as it began - wistful and peaceful. Cello and oboe make this a gorgeous, heartfelt trio that leaves the listener feeling refreshed and renewed.

"In the Wake" is sure to be another chart-topper for Ann Sweeten! Recommended!

Michael Diamond

Review excerpt from Music & Media Focus (www.michaeldiamondmusic.com)
In a recording career that has spanned 14 years and includes 9 best selling albums and 2 Italian compilations, Ann Sweeten has managed to achieve a level of success that many musicians only dream of. In addition to her music consistently placing high on the charts, receiving extensive radio airplay, and winning numerous awards, she holds the prestigious title of an official “Steinway Artist/ Composer,” placing her in the company of some of the most distinguished pianists in the world.

Her latest release, “In The Wake,” is a showcase for the skills that have elevated her to such lofty musical heights. The album is co-produced by Windham Hill Records founder and Grammy award winning producer Will Ackerman, who also plays guitar on two tracks. Additional instrumentation includes flute, English horn, oboe, violin, violoa, and cello, all of which are used sparingly to lightly season and subtly enhance the flavor of her rich piano compositions. Among her inspirations she lists one of my all-time favorite pianists, Suzanne Ciani, as well as composers Stephen Sondheim, Erik Satie, Tchaikovsky, and Debussy, revealing her classical background and new age influences.

As I put on the CD to listen, the heartfelt warmth of the opening notes, inspired me to draw in a deep breath and settle back to luxuriate in the elegant music that was unfolding. Delicate acoustic guitar by Will Ackerman shadowed Ann’s playing with graceful understatement on the first song, Mid-way through, an airy flute soars above the rising and falling melody like a sea bird gliding just above the waves. On the solo piano composition, “Metamorphosis,” I appreciated the contrast between spaciousness and Ann’s tinkling harp-like glissandos that adorned the arrangement. On the wistful “Love Remembered” violin and viola add a poignant touch to the ambience. The last song on the recording, “Now, and Again,” makes a fitting finale as oboe and cello intertwine with Ann’s exquisite piano artistry in a piece that would make an enchanting film soundtrack. Her music is both contemplative and emotionally evocative, providing a world-class listening experience.

To read a full-length review of this CD, please visit: www.michaeldiamondmusic.com

Raj Manoharan (www.rajmanreviews.blogspot.com)

The RajMan Review
Ann Sweeten returns refreshed and renewed with a collection of tranquil piano tunes that seek to move beyond the pressures of the past and look ahead to the future with determination.

Once again, Sweeten turns to producer Will Ackerman and his Imaginary Road Studios in Vermont to provide a crisp, state-of-the-art recording that brings out the nuanced subtleties of Sweeten’s masterful keyboard skills. This gives the CD the sense of an up-close-and-personal performance at an intimate venue.

Sweeten is joined on this outing by Ackerman on guitar, Trisha Craig on flute, Akane Setiawan on English horn and oboe, Andrew Eng on viola and violin, and Liz Ehrman on cello. These musicians are as masterful in their restraint as they are in their technique, perfectly accentuating the piano-based focus of the music and providing just a hint of embellishment in keeping with the overall quietude of the album.

As usual, Sweeten’s compositions are striking and beautiful, complemented by Sweeten’s gorgeous performances. Some of her playing is simple and understated, and some of it is very complex and involved. But it is all effortlessly and expertly controlled, evidence of a true maestro at work. The result is a perfect mental getaway and a fine listening experience.