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Emilee Hartley | Illuminate

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Christine Brown David Nevue Joe Bongiorno

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United States - Colorado

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New Age: Solo Instrumental Classical: Contemporary Moods: Solo Instrumental
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Illuminate

by Emilee Hartley

Solo piano that is inspiring and enlivening. This album blends tranquil melodies with uplifting themes to create music that is both energizing and relaxing.
Genre: New Age: Solo Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Raindrops on the Lake
3:34 $0.99
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2. Prelude to Dusk
3:22 $0.99
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3. Shimmers
2:09 $0.99
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4. The Unicorn (Enchanted Forest)
3:00 $0.99
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5. Lunae
3:19 $0.99
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6. Path of Shining Lights (Enchanted Forest)
2:42 $0.99
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7. The Abandoned Castle
5:15 $0.99
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8. Chasing Sunbeams
3:25 $0.99
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9. Morning Twilight
2:53 $0.99
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10. Amare
3:37 $0.99
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11. Serene Sailing
2:47 $0.99
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12. Turning of Time
3:32 $0.99
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13. A Night of Winter
3:58 $0.99
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14. Journey
4:44 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Solo piano is the perfect avenue for sharing my impressions, where I feel I can capture a memory of a specific time and place by writing a piece about it. Over the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to travel as I compose, and I’m excited to share this album with you, inspired by these adventures. I hope you can experience some of the beauty of the world through my music.

I began learning piano at four years old, and quickly realized I had a love for composing. I composed my first piece at seven years old, a comical little song about a girl being scared by a bear. Throughout grade school, I focused on my piano studies, and won several major competitions in Colorado for piano performance.

My composing took a few different forms throughout my performance career, but it was not until I was in college that I found a renewed love for creating music. I preferred to write my own pieces instead of playing existing music, so I began composing on the side of my college studies. Since graduating college, I've spent even more time composing and being inspired by the world around me.

I have always been fascinated by the idea of light, and the complexity of it. I love the way it plays with a skyline and dances between the leaves of a tree. I'm intrigued by the way that light can illuminate a room, and how no matter how dark an environment is, light will always overcome the darkness.

I selected my favorite pieces from the last few years to create an album, and realized that many of the best pieces I've written have been nature scenes dominated by light. So I named it "Illuminate," not only because many of these works have to do with the concept of light, but because I hope that my music, especially on my debut album, is a beacon of light and encouragement to its listeners.

I hope that my music paints inspiring scenes in your head, and that you feel refreshed and enlivened each time you listen to it.

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Reviews


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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Illuminate" is the debut album by pianist/composer Emilee Hartley. The fourteen piano solos on the album were composed in a very classical style yet communicate a contemporary sensibility that is warm, expressive and accessible. A Colorado native, Hartley started taking piano lessons at the age of four and won first place in the Colorado State Competition four different times. She also won “Best Piano Piece by a Female Composer” at a competition at Mesa State University. It is interesting to note that Hartley was also a competitive gymnast and now coaches a girls gymnastics team. Writing music is her biggest passion, however, and she explains the origins of the music as well as the album’s title: “I selected my favorite pieces from the last few years to create an album, and realized that many of the best pieces I've written have been nature scenes dominated by light. So I named it "Illuminate," not only because many of these works have to do with the concept of light, but because I hope that my music, especially on my debut album, is a beacon of light and encouragement to its listeners.” The album was recorded at Piano Haven Studios on a Shigeru Kawai grand piano and engineered by Joe Bongiorno. As always, the piano sound is gorgeous.

"Illuminate" begins with “Raindrops On the Lake,” a wonderful musical description of a gentle rain falling on a quiet body of water. Lightly percussive over a smooth shimmering sound, it’s an intriguing and welcoming start! “Prelude to Dusk” is smooth and relaxed - a perfect piece for winding down after a busy day. “Shimmers” picks up the tempo a bit with a rolling/flowing accompaniment supporting a simple but gorgeous melody - a favorite! “The Unicorn (Enchanted Forest)” tells a graceful, magical story. “Lunae” is another favorite and reminds me a bit of some of Mendelssohn’s “Songs Without Words.” Light and gently flowing, it paints a peaceful picture of moonlight perhaps over a pond or the ocean. “The Abandoned Castle” shows us a little different side of Hartley’s composing. Much darker and heavier at the beginning, it’s easy to imagine a huge castle in the middle of nowhere, suffering the ravages of years of neglect. The second movement seems to recount the glory days of feasts and dancing in the massive halls of the castle. The final movement is more majestic and powerful - a fascinating story! “Morning Twilight” is lighter than air, dancing on the piano keys with joyful abandon and a feeling of carefree innocence. I hear hints of Beethoven in “Amare,” a buoyant tribute to love. I really like the dramatic changes in “Turning Of Time.” Sometimes swiftly flowing, it slows and becomes lyrical, dark, energetic, quiet and other qualities of the passage of time. “A Night of Winter” is absolutely icy, but is also peaceful, sparkling and very beautiful. It becomes more dynamic and dramatic in the second half of the piece, but is always beyond beautiful. “Journey” closes the album with the piece Hartley won the award for at Mesa State University. Stately and very classical, it tells an elegant story of adventure and travel to distant places - a great ending to an excellent first album!

Emilee Hartley is off to a very promising start with "Illuminate" and I’ll be looking forward to future recordings from her! Recommended!
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