Fiona Joy | Signature Synchronicity

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New Age: Contemporary Instrumental New Age: Celtic New Age Moods: Featuring Piano
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Signature Synchronicity

by Fiona Joy

Award winning album from leading 'next generation' New Age artist Fiona Joy. Dream-like piano, instrumentals and vocals that captures the listeners imagination.
Genre: New Age: Contemporary Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Ceremony
3:44 $1.10
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2. Grace
5:40 $1.10
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3. Fair Not
4:18 $1.10
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4. Once Upon Impossible
4:23 $1.10
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5. Calling Earth
4:06 $1.10
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6. Invisible Train
3:44 $1.10
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7. Grace (Chill Version)
4:30 $1.10
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8. Signature
2:41 $1.10
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9. From the Mist
5:19 $1.10
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10. Little Star
4:55 $1.10
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
“One of the brightest lights in contemporary instrumental music, Fiona Joy is poised to move into stardom.” Will Ackerman, Founder of Windham Hill Records.

Signature – Synchronicity combines mystery, magic, musical surrealism and cutting edge technology to bring the second album in Fiona Joy’s Signature series to life. in 2016 the album was a finalist in the International Acoustic Music Awards, the USA Songwriting Awards, the Hollywood Music in Media Awards and double winner in the Independent Music Awards as well as charting at #1 for two consecutive months in the International Radio ZMR Charts for ambient music.

Featuring a Mother and Son New-Age beat-box version of Grace (the song on a Grammy Winning album in 2015) the album instantly creates intrigue. Grace (chill version) also featured on a recent compilation with some of the biggest names in the Australian music industry to raise awareness of gay rights and equality.

The Signature collection is a two part series and began in 2015 with the release of Signature – Solo, which charted as the first solo piano album to reach #1 on the ZMR International Radio Charts since George Winston and went on to win ALBUM OF THE YEAR in 2016. Now, Fiona Joy brings us the second album: Signature – Synchronicity.

Australian born Fiona Joy is known around the world for her melodic songs and lush arrangements as well as her mesmerising ballet-like performance on the concert stage. In China she is called the Piano Angel. Fiona’s unique barefoot style sets her apart as a storyteller who is clearly connected to the piano and her emotions.

Fiona Joy’s musical stories are derived from what she sees and is touched by in the world around her with compositions that are a commentary of subjects we are all familiar with. These stories are bought to life with piano, voice and sometimes a rich tapestry of instruments and arrangements crossing genres beyond her classical training.

Also a touring artist, Fiona Joy is known as the Piano Angel in China. Concert reviewer Michael Diamond attended Fiona’s 2014 Throckmorton Theatre concert in San Francisco, writing “What I appreciated most was being able to listen and watch Fiona at the piano. The passion and elegance in her performance was breathtaking, as her flawless technique combined with pure emotional expression.”
Fiona enjoys musical collaborations, and has worked with Will Ackerman, Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel, Dire Straits), Jeff Haynes (Pat Metheny), Eugene Friesen (Paul Winter Consort), Heather Rankin, Charlie Bisharat (Shadowfax), Rebecca Daniel (ACO), plus many others.

Will Ackerman, founder of both Windham Hill Records and Imaginary Road Studios, has embraced and encouraged Fiona’s music stating, “Fiona’s Blue Dream album was the most ambitious project of my entire career and resulted in one of the most remarkable collaborations this genre has ever known. Blue Dream is unique and I’m as proud of it as anything I’ve ever worked on in my 35 year career of GRAMMY® Awards and gold /platinum records.”

Quotes:
“One of the brightest lights in the New Age genre, Fiona Joy is poised to move into stardom."
-Will Ackerman (Founder of Windham Records)

"Fiona Joy is a TRUE artist, constantly growing, signature - Synchronicity is the latest expression of her prodigious talent, I urge you to check it out." - Bog Ludwig, Gateway Mastering

“Fiona Joy takes over from where George Winston left off… Her music is a cross of George Winston's simple melodies and Ludovico Einaudi's musical sophistication."
– Cookie Marenco, 5x Grammy®-nominated Producer, Blue Coast Records.

“Fiona Joy pours her heart and soul into playing these compositions and adds her soft, sultry vocal talents as well (on selected tracks). Songs range from somber and pensive to rollicking and energizing, held together by superb production, engineering and mixing/mastering. Chalk up another tour de force for the talented and gorgeous Aussie pianist, as well as the crew and players at IR Studios.” - Bill Binkelman, Editor, WindAndWire.com

“What I appreciated most was being able to listen and watch Fiona at the piano. The passion and elegance in her performance was breathtaking, as her flawless technique combined with pure emotional expression.”
 - Michael Diamond, Music & Media Focus

Thematically, Signature – Synchronicity combines mystery, magic, musical surrealism and cutting edge technology to fulfill Fiona Joy’s brave intellectual approach to what are essentially fairy tale themes. Combining a childhood fantasy with stories of the Little Red Caboose, castles, princesses, stories from well-known tales and real life experiences helps paint deep heartfelt images to flesh out the compelling and sweeping instrumental melodies and her beautifully transporting vocalizations. – Jonathan Widran (Music Connection, All Music Guide, Jazziz)

Brilliant! laugh one minute, cry the next, dance in your seat with music that touches every sense..." -Jordan Rich, KWBZ Radio Boston

“To say Fiona Joy has a real talent would be grossly understating the obvious, but I cannot over emphasise enough, that here is a woman who not only knows her abilities and skills on the piano, but also has that amazing ability to paint lyrical pictures from her own musical imagination and carry you along on that journey with ease and confidence.” - Steve Sheppard, One World Music UK
“Fiona Joy enters the realm of masterful.” Sandy Shore, SmoothJazz.com
Discography:
1. PORTRAIT OF A WATERFALL (Fiona Joy Hawkins)
2. ANGEL ABOVE MY PIANO (Fiona Joy Hawkins)
3. ICE - PIANO SLIGHTLY CHILLED (Fiona Joy Hawkins)
4. BLUE DREAM CD AND SA-CD (Fiona Joy Hawkins)
5. MUSIC FOR MASSAGE (Fiona Joy Hawkins)
6. CHRISTMAS JOY CD AND SA-CD (Fiona Joy Hawkins)
7. LIVE at THE Q with the Blue Dream Ensemble (Fiona Joy Hawkins)
8. SENSUAL JOURNEYS (Fiona Joy Hawkins)
9. 600 Years in a Moment (CD/SACD/Vinyl) (Fiona Joy Hawkins)
10. Signature - Solo (Blue Coast Records) (Fiona Joy)
11. Signature Synchronicity (Fiona Joy)
12. Into the Mist (Fiona Joy) Blue Coast Records


Media Relations: Beth Hilton, The B Company: bethhilton@thebcompany.com
General, Sales and Booking Info: sales@littlehartleymusic.com.au or visit http://www.fionajoy.com
Online: www.Facebook.com/fionajoymusic * www.Youtube.com/fionajoy * Twitter @fionajoymusic

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Reviews


to write a review

Candice Michelle

Review from Journeyscapes Radio
“Signature-Synchronicity” is the highly anticipated album by Fiona Joy, an award-winning pianist, composer and vocalist from Australia. Recorded at Imaginary Road Studios in Vermont, the album was produced by Will Ackerman, Tom Eaton (who also mixed the recording) and James Englund. As the sequel to her “Signature-Solo” album, “Signature-Synchronicity” features piano ensemble arrangements of its predecessor’s solo compositions. Fiona Joy’s own vocals grace much of the album, along with contributions by a fantastic lineup of musicians who lend various instruments throughout - including cello, violin, flugelhorn, keyboard, bass, percussion, electric and acoustic guitar - as well as additional layered vocals.

“Ceremony” opens the album with a cascading piano melody, washes of wordless vocals, Jeff Haynes playing a tapping percussive rhythm, and Tom Eaton on keyboards, electric and bass guitar. It’s an uplifting introduction that conveys a feeling of flight. Following is the aptly-named “Grace”, an elegant piano piece that gently unfolds like a beautiful flower blooming. Fiona Joy provides lyrical vocals in a delicate breathy timbre, as opposed to an emotive singing style, as she is joined by Eugene Friesen on cello, Jeff Oster on flugelhorn and Tony Levin on bass. An alternate ‘chill version’ of this song is included on the album, which additionally features electric guitar and bass, as well as Fiona Joy’s son, Nick Hawkins, on beat-box. One of my favorites is “Invisible Train”, a more dynamic piece that showcases a passionate, flowing piano melody caressed by wispy, wordless vocals and driving percussion. The equally winsome, “Signature”, is a contemplative interlude-like piece, beginning with Paul Jarman on tárogató - a woodwind instrument common to both Romanian and Hungarian folk music. Together with Fiona Joy’s spacious piano melody and Will Ackerman’s glistening acoustic guitar, these three instruments beautifully weave around one another. I’m also particularly fond of “From the Mist”, another gentle tune that opens with drifting piano notes in a higher register. Accompanied by cello, as well as Rebecca Daniel on violin and Paul Jarman playing an Irish whistle, it feels like taking a stroll through the countryside. Perhaps most cherished is the closing piece, “Little Star”. Complimented by subtle touches of electric guitar and bass, I find the peaceful piano melody to be especially moving yet lulling.

“Signature-Synchronicity” exudes pure elegance and a classically romantic flair, with some of the compositions having a cinematic quality reminiscent of a period film. Even at its most dramatic and powerful, the piano melodies retain an exquisite gracefulness. With past works including piano solo, piano instrumental and piano chill albums, “Signature-Synchronicity” is a majestic display of Fiona Joy’s illustrious repertoire.
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Samantha Garcia

Beautifully refined!
Fiona Joy is a veritable gem possessing an incredibly ethereal voice and beautiful piano musings to match. Her previously released album, Signature-Solo, has been revamped and intensified with her 2016 release of Signature-Synchronicity. Her album starts off with "Ceremony" which is a superbly joyous affair punctuated with swelling percussion, cascading piano, and melodic vocal arrangements. The album then delves into the more subdued track entitled "Grace." A perfect title given she is the complete embodiment of the word. It is a bit more somber than the rest of the tracks on her album. This release features two versions of the song. The second “chill version” has a slightly more upbeat, whimsical vibe to it. Further down the track list, "Invisible Train" is a piece that experiments with a wide array of instrumentation and tempo changes. It is truly incredible to note the dynamic changes in this album as opposed to her previous release of the same ten tracks. The higher intensity and depth of the piano playing, the layers of guitar, cello, and playful percussion all help to take this album up to the level of a masterpiece. Signature-Synchronicity is a dynamic and emotionally charged work of art that beautifully showcases her raw talent and angelic voice. She is positively otherworldly!
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Robert Martin

From GAIA Prime Radio
In May of 2015, we reviewed and “very highly recommended” the album “Signature: Solo” by internationally acclaimed Australian pianist, composer, vocalist, producer, artist, and jewelry designer Fiona Joy. Our general sentiments about the album were stated as follows:

“On this album, Fiona Joy shows that she is a master at using subtle variations in tempo, volume, and intensity to convey the nuances of the thoughts, emotions, and moods she expresses. Her “touch” on the keys is at once gentle, tender, soft, elegant, graceful, passionate, and sincere. There should be no doubt that her hands are fully in touch with her heart – and her emotions – and all of the highs and lows – flow out onto the keys with every note. It is truly an album you will want to listen to over and over.”

Over the past year, the “Signature: Solo” album has been unquestionably successful, and spent some time in the coveted #1 spot on the Zone Music Reporter (ZMR) AirPlay Charts. In fact, the album has also been chosen as the winner of the prestigious ZMR “Solo Piano Album of the Year” award for 2015.

Recently, Fiona Joy has released a new and revised version of the album titled “Signature: Synchronicity.” While the earlier version of the album featured mostly solo piano works, the new version, which contains essentially the same songs, includes varied instrumental accompaniment on all of the tracks, provided by a stunning lineup of professional musicians, including Borbala Bodonyi, Eugene Friesen, James Englund, Jeff Haynes, Jeff Oster, Mark Shulman, Nick Hawkins (Fiona Joy’s son), Noah Wilding, Paul Jarman, Premik Russell Tubbs, Rebecca Daniel, Tom Eaton, Tony Levin, and Grammy Award winning guitarist and producer Will Ackerman.

Also, in many cases, the music is magnificently accented by Fiona Joy’s own vocalizations which in our earlier review we described as “whispery, mysterious, darkly sensual, ethereal, and passionate.”

This new version of the album was also co-produced by Will Ackerman, Tom Eaton, and James Englund, and mixed by Eaton, at Ackerman’s Imaginary Road Studios in Vermont (some of the recording was also done at Crash Symphony Productions in Sydney, Australia). Consequently, the production quality is simply outstanding.

For Fiona Joy, the “Signature” series of albums was originally imagined as “a very personal expression ” — an examination of her inner life, and how the unfortunate deterioration of the “signature” bone in her left hand was affecting her ability to share her life’s work. However, it eventually evolved into more of an exploration of possibilities, dreams, and fantasies — both good and bad. Whatever the inspiration, there can be no doubt that Fiona Joy has again, as we have come to expect, poured her heart and soul into every song, every measure, and every note.

This new version of “Signature” is quite different from the previous version. First, the original album featured two different versions of the track titled “Once Upon Impossible” – a solo piano version and a version with light accompaniment. In contrast, the new album features two different versions of the track “Grace.” But it is the addition of the accompaniment on the new album that truly distinguishes it from the original version. Generally speaking, while the accompaniment adds complexity and depth to the original solo piano tracks, as might be expected, it also, at various points, adds clarity, passion, energy, tenderness, character, color, drama, excitement, emotion, creativity, and poignancy. Most importantly, it enhances the interest appeal of the music so much so that a truly outstanding album has been made even better.

For example, on the first track “Ceremony,” the addition of strong percussion by Haynes, electric guitar, electric bass, and keyboard elements from Eaton, and ethereal vocal layers from Bodanyi and Fiona Joy, certainly accentuates the energetic, up-tempo, and celebratory spirit of this track. It is, put simply, an exercise in “joy.”

“Grace,” which is, of course, the Fiona Joy song that appeared on Ricky Kej and Wouter Kellerman’s Grammy Award winning “Winds of Samsara” album, is rendered even more exquisitely beautiful with the addition of cello by Friesen, Levin’s NS bass, and Jeff Oster’s flugelhorn filling in some of Kellerman’s flute elements from the WOS version. But most importantly, it is the addition of the vocal elements – mostly by Fiona Joy – that takes this track to an even higher level of spectacular. Her wispy, profound, intensely emotive, stirring, and captivating vocal solo performance on this track really stands out and makes it our most favorite track on this new album.

According to Fiona Joy, “Grace came to me as a gift at a time when I was feeling down. Someone emailed me to say they had a still born baby girl 10 years earlier and listened to my music to help her recover. She named the baby Grace. Now, 10 years later she has a daughter called Sophie Grace and together they sit and listen my music to remember her baby sister. The message to me was that my music had stood the test of time and that the most important thing I can do with it is to touch and help others. ” Indeed it does!

The other version of “Grace” that appears on this album is dubbed a “Chill Version.” It is a somewhat shorter, more upbeat, less emotional, and jazzier version of the song, with steadier and more prominent percussion, including Fiona Joy’s son Nick on a beatbox, as well as a strong electric guitar solo by Shulman. It also features truly great bass and flugelhorn elements. And Fiona Joy’s vocals are also even more prominent in this version, as are the layered vocal contributions from Bodanyi.

The track “Fair Not” is rendered even darker, and more somber, intense, and dramatic with the additional accompaniment by Friesen on cello, Daniel on violin, and Eaton on bass, keyboards, and percussion. It even more magnificently conveys feelings of despair, devastation, anger, and of course, a sense of “not fair.” It is also easily one of our favorite tracks on “Signature: Synchronicity.”

Another of our favorites is “Once Upon Impossible.” It seems to be a slightly recrafted version of the “accompanied” track that appeared on “Signature: Solo.” It nonetheless remains a sincere, emotional, and expressive lament that is both profoundly touching and disconcerting. The addition of the hauntingly poignant vocalizations of Fiona Joy adds to the unsettling sense of despair summoned in this song.

As did the version from “Signature: Solo,” “Calling Earth” magnificently conveys the feelings of isolation, hopelessness, foreboding, and perhaps resignation that one might expect from someone who is, as the title suggests, desperately “calling out to the earth” from some place very far away. And while the cello, NS bass, and ethereal vocals by Wilding added to this track are less prominent than on other tracks, they nonetheless contribute to and accent the emotional intensity conveyed by Fiona Joy’s piano.

The addition of an EWI (electric wind instrument) from Tubbs, percussion, and NS bass to “Invisible Train” provides more depth, complexity, and intrigue, and truly compounds the energy, spirit, and overall impression of movement conveyed in this work. Even more so than before, one can easily envision a locomotive starting on its journey, a bit slow at first, then gradually picking up speed; then powerfully and rhythmically pushing steadily onward, until, as it begins to approach its destination, it slows to an eventual stop. So just sit back and enjoy the ride.

With modest accompaniment added, “Signature” remains one of the slower, more poignant, more reflective, and more pensive works on the album. An exquisite opening by Jarman on a Taragato (a woodwind instrument from Hungary and Romania) and subtle but nonetheless stylish acoustic guitar contributions by Will Ackerman, fit masterfully with Fiona Joy’s piano, adding beautifully to the magic and overall emotional power of this track.

“From The Mist” and “Little Star” are similar in that they both have a bit more classical music feel and both feature exceptional melodies. The addition of an Irish whistle to “From The Mist” provides more depth, more intensity, and more drama, and certainly emphasizes the decidedly Celtic music influences on this track, especially at the end. And on “Little Star,” even though the accompaniment is more subtle, the bass, and occasional slide guitar elements definitely accentuates the tender, gentle, contemplative, emotional, and dramatic elements of this song, and makes for a wonderful ending to the album.

In summary, both of the “Signature” albums from Fiona Joy are outstanding works, and definitely worth adding to your collection. But with the additional instrumental and vocal elements added, “Signature: Synchronicity” is truly a magnificent album and so we give it our highest possible recommendation.
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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Signature - Synchronicity" is the promised orchestrated version of Fiona Joy’s first solo piano album, "Signature - Solo" (2015). Produced by Will Ackerman, Tom Eaton, and James Englund, "Synchronicity" was recorded at Ackerman’s Imaginary Road Studio in Vermont. In addition to Fiona Joy’s piano, keyboard and vocals, "Synchronicity" features world-class musicians such as Ackerman, Jeff Oster, Eugene Friesen, Marc Shulman, Premik Russell Tubbs, Jeff Haynes, and Tony Levin. A classically-trained pianist from Australia, Fiona Joy has created an impressive collection of recordings beginning with her 2004 release, "Portrait of a Waterfall" (as Fiona Joy Hawkins). Several of her earlier albums were also recorded at Imaginary Road Studio and co-produced with Will Ackerman who refers to Fiona Joy as “one of the brightest lights in contemporary instrumental music.”

The Signature Series is an ambitious project that has evolved over a period of five years. Fiona Joy originally conceived the project as an expression of her inner life and how the deteriorating “signature” bone in her left hand was affecting her ability to share her music. It ultimately evolved into a series about the ideas we buy into and the modern fairytales we create for ourselves, as well as an exploration of emerging recording formats and how they are received. Both albums have been released in multiple formats. The song list is the same on both albums, except that on "Synchronicity," “Once Upon Impossible” appears once and there are two versions of “Grace.”

"Signature - Synchronicity" begins with “Ceremony,” a lively, upbeat piece that features piano, vocals, percussion, electric guitar, electric bass, and keyboard pads. “Grace” is becoming one of Fiona Joy’s “signature” pieces. (A different arrangement was included on the 2014 Grammy Award-winning album, "Winds of Samsara" by Ricky Kej and Wouter Kellerman.) This version features piano, Fiona’s ethereal vocals, flugelhorn, cello, and NS bass. The addition of strings enhances the emotional power of the melancholy “Fair Not.” Overflowing with heartbreaking emotion “Once Upon Impossible” is just Fiona’s voice and her piano. “Calling Earth” first appeared as “Earthbound” on 600 Years in a Moment (2013). This version includes piano, vocals, cello, and NS bass. “Invisible Train” picks up the energy level considerably with piano, vocals, EWI, percussion and NS bass. The chill version of “Grace” introduces Fiona’s son, Nick, on beat box - an interesting addition to keyboard, vocals, percussion, electric guitar, electric bass, and flugelhorn. The elegant title track is slow, pensive and very heartfelt; tarogato and acoustic guitar add their magic to the mix. The gentle “Little Star” concludes the album simply and without a lot of embellishment.

It’s always fun to hear different arrangements of favorite music, so if you enjoyed "Signature - Solo," you will definitely enjoy "Signature - Synchronicity." I have to admit that I’m still partial to the Solo version, but that’s just my personal preference. Recommended!
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Michael Diamond (www.michaeldiamondmusic.com)

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus
Fiona Joy is a truly a remarkable composer and pianist whose graceful and elegant piano work is as technically impressive as it is emotionally evocative. In fact, the depth of feeling that goes into her music is one of the things that distinguish her in the new age music genre. In addition to her exquisite piano playing, Fiona’s airy vocals imbue the tracks they are on with an ethereal ambiance that reminded me at times of Enya. With this new release, “Signature – Synchronicity,” Fiona reprises the stunning piano compositions from her recent solo piano release, “Signature - Solo,” but here adds accompaniment by a host of world-class musicians, recorded at GRAMMY winning producer and Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman’s iconic Imaginary Road Studios.

The opening track, entitled “Ceremony,” is a song which Fiona wrote for her wedding and begins with a lovely and lighthearted piano arpeggio that unfolds in a way that brought to mind the path a couple might follow as they begin their life together. Fiona’s misty angelic vocal is a highlight of the track called “Grace,” which she wrote for a fan who shared that Fiona’s music helped her through a profound personal tragedy. This album seems to include more vocal tracks than I remember hearing on Fiona’s previous albums. Interestingly though, her vocals have a whispery, ghostly quality that blends in with the instrumentation rather than standing out as in traditional vocal recordings.

On a track (no pun intended) called “Invisible Train,” a feeling of forward motion is captured by ex-Pat Metheney Group percussionist Jeff Haynes, and an atmospheric element is created by one of my favorite instrumentalists, Premik Russell Tubbs who plays and EWI, or electronic wind instrument. Premik has recorded and performed with huge list of top artists including Ravi Shankar, Santana, Lady Gaga, Sting, and more. Up next is a pleasant surprise, and one that was not on the Signature –Solo album in this form. It’s called “Grace (Chill Version)” and is a reprise of track 2 but with a twist. This version includes Fiona’s son, Nick Hawkins doing beat-box percussion, as well as the ambient horn maestro himself, Jeff Oster on flugelhorn, as well as a number of other top-notch musicians. I love the cool contemporary feel they’ve given to the song, and the way Fiona’s vocals drift dreamily over the instrumentation.

Fiona’s compositions range from subtle and understated to more elaborate and ornate but always exhibit the emotional expressiveness she has become so well known for. The term “synchronicity” is defined as: the coming together of inner and outer events. On Fiona’s homage to this phenomenon, her deep inspiration and artistic vision combine with the exceptional talents of the many gifted musicians and producers she had the good fortune to work with.


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