Jill Haley | The Winds of Badlands

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New Age: Nature Folk: Gentle Moods: Instrumental
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The Winds of Badlands

by Jill Haley

Instrumental music played on Oboe, English Horn, piano, guitar, and cello, and written about our National Parks capturing the spirit and beauty of these amazing places
Genre: New Age: Nature
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Whirlwind
3:05 $0.99
2. Wind Hymn
4:33 $0.99
3. Cliff Shelf Breeze
4:30 $0.99
4. Silhouettes at Dusk
5:17 $0.99
5. Western Meadowlark Call
3:59 $0.99
6. Sculpted by Water
3:49 $0.99
7. Floor of the Sky
4:41 $0.99
8. Rustles of Green and Gold
5:13 $0.99
9. Moon over Badlands
5:25 $0.99
10. Uplift
5:20 $0.99
11. Sage Creek Basin
4:34 $0.99
12. Prairie Grass Dance
3:36 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
“This collection is an exquisite introduction not only to these sacred lands, but also to an artist who chronicles living history while creating living breathing history of her own.” Jonathan Widran of J.W. Vibe.
This recording aurally captures the spirit of South Dakota’s Badlands National Park. Jill was an Artist in Residence there one April and spent the month immersing herself in the environment while composing music reflecting her time there. The wind was ever present and it’s spirit is reflected in many of the tunes on this recording. From Whirlwind to Wind Hymn to Cliff Shelf Breeze, the wind gave Jill inspiration to create these pieces. Other amazing features of this Park also influenced her writing such as the rock formations and wildlife. This album is a tribute to this wild, amazing place and to the National Park Service folks who oversee its protection.



to write a review

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"The Winds of Badlands" is the seventh album from composer/oboist/English horn player/ pianist Jill Haley and is the sixth in her National Park series. Her 2015 release, "Mesa Verde Soundscapes," received the “Best Piano With Instrumentation” award from Zone Music Reporter for that year, and Haley regularly appears as a guest artist on albums produced by Will Ackerman at his Imaginary Road Studio. Several of the twelve original compositions on this album include Haley’s husband, David Cullen on guitar and bass, and her son, Graham Cullen, on cello. Haley performs on piano, oboe and English horn, and wrote all of the music.

I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the albums in the National Parks Series, but there is something about this one that I especially like. From the title, I thought the music might be more turbulent and stormy, and while there is a very pleasant energy running throughout the music, it is mostly calm and expansive. Badlands National Park is located in South Dakota, and the constant winds range from gentle breezes to swirling whirlwinds, affecting the wildlife as well as the beautiful yet desolate landscape. The CD package includes a 15-page booklet with photos Jill took while she was an Artist In Residence in the park - a beautiful and inspiring addition to the music!

"The Winds of Badlands" begins with “Whirlwind,” an exhilarating yet soothing piece for guitar, bass and oboe and a wonderful opener! “Wind Hymn” features cello, English horn and piano and reflects on the calm of the evening breezes after the winds settle down for the night. Cello and piano is always one of my favorite duos, and this piece is both soulful and gorgeous. “Cliff Shelf Breeze” (try saying that three times!), a duet for piano and oboe, has a smooth, graceful flow that relaxes the mind and spirit. The beginning of “Western Meadowlark Call” is a delightful dialogue between oboe and acoustic guitar as they mimic the call of these beautiful birds. Bright and lighthearted, it’s a favorite. “Sculpted by Water” is the only piano solo, and it demonstrates once again how effective the piano is in describing water in any form. A series of cascading broken chords could be a rippling stream or a waterfall or rain, all of which leave their marks on the landscape over time. “Rustles of Green and Gold” for piano, guitar and oboe perfectly describes the movement of long grasses in the wind. Sometimes quickly moving yet always graceful and yielding, it’s another favorite. I love “Moon Over Badlands,” for cello, piano and English horn. Majestic yet peaceful and still, it paints a vivid picture in deep musical tones. “Prairie Grass Dance” for guitar, oboe and bass depicts the movement of grasses in vast open prairie spaces that are still wild and free.

"The Winds of Badlands" is another stellar album from Jill Haley (and family!) and a great addition to her National Parks series.

Dyan Garris

Album Review from New Age CD
The Winds of Badlands by Jill Haley. Album review by Dyan Garris, Zone Music Reporter, New Age CD
"Jill Haley has more than perfectly captured the timeless wonder of Badlands National Park with her brilliant album, 'The Winds of Badlands.' Through her musical mastery she paints us a breathtaking soundscape; a panoramic vista that is unforgettable. We are there. And we don’t want to leave." — Dyan Garris

Multi-instrumentalist, Jill Haley, shares with us the music she wrote while she was an Artist in Residence at Badlands National Park in South Dakota. “The Winds of Badlands” is part of her National Park Series and is her sixth album of music inspired by the beauty and majesty of various National Parks throughout the United States. Jill plays piano/keyboard, English horn, and oboe. She is joined on this album by her husband, Grammy® award-winning David Cullen on guitar and bass, and her son, Graham Cullen on cello.

If I have it right, due to erosion caused by wind and water, the beautiful, colorful, rugged formations of the Badlands are always changing. Jill Haley has more than perfectly captured the timeless wonder of Badlands National Park with her brilliant album. Through her musical mastery she paints us a breathtaking soundscape; a panoramic vista that is unforgettable. We are there. And we don’t want to leave.

When Jill gets invited to a National Park for a residency program, she spends a few weeks exploring the Park and writing music on a portable keyboard. She then spends time finalizing the compositions for a concert she gives at the Park near the end of her residency. When she returns home, she releases the music as an album. Be sure to visit her YouTube channel, because she also makes YouTube videos from the stunning photographs she has taken and the music she has written during her time in residency at various Parks.

Here on “The Winds of Badlands,” we have twelve truly lovely tracks. Opening the album is the lively, vibrant, “Whirlwind,” which brings us right into alignment with the feeling of the ever-present wind Jill encountered in the Park. “Wind Hymn,” is aptly “reverent” in feel, quieter, and almost feels like being in a place of worship. Beautiful cello performance here by Graham Cullen and overall quite calming to the spirit. “Cliff Shelf Breeze” is light and flowing, just exactly like a soft breeze caressing the face.

“Silhouettes at Dusk” evokes soundscapes of the grand buttes and stately spires of the Badlands against a soft twilight sky. “Western Meadowlark Call” was inspired by the perpetual calls of the birds to each other. Timeless and captivating, we are so there. David Cullen’s guitar adds another amiable layer to this warm, happy, and perfectly nuanced song.

“Sculpted by Water” is essentially a piano solo, inspired by the water erosion in the Badlands that creates the ever-changing rock formations found there. Very nicely done and through the composition we can clearly visualize the flowing water dancing its eternal dance.

“Floor of the Sky” is a standout on this album. This is mellow, sinuous, and gracefully elegant. Love it. Again, we have David’s guitar performance wrapping around Jill’s melodic performance, both blending perfectly into each other, just as perhaps the floor of the prairie might look like it’s merging with the sky. This is such a beautiful, dreamy song.

This is followed by “Rustles of Green and Gold.” Fast-paced and fun, this tune speaks again to the ubiquitous wind in the Park. “Moon Over Badlands” incorporates another wonderful cello performance by Graham Cullen, along with passionate piano and Jill’s soul-soothing wind instruments. We can envisage just how magnificent the moon must look there in the Badlands.

Have you ever seen a soaring hawk? “Uplift” feels exactly like watching birds gliding along effortlessly with the air currents. Very relaxing.

One of the most popular places in Badlands National Park is Sage Creek Basin. It’s teeming with wildlife such as buffalo, prairie dogs, coyotes, deer, and eagles. The song “Sage Creek Basin” is another favorite of mine on this album. Melodic and free, it perfectly conveys the energy of the environment. We can feel the freedom of movement flowing through our hearts.

One thing I really love about this album is that it is multi-textured; reflective of what we actually do find in this particular National Park and therefore, effectively transportive. Being able to translate the particular intricacies of a place through music is true and gifted artistry.

The album rounds out with the feel-good song, “Prairie Grass Dance,” which was inspired by the deer and elk running through the grasses. So joyful, melodic, and authentic. As I mentioned, we are there. And we don’t want to leave. But. . .we can always return. “The Winds of Badlands” is a glorious, rich, full vacation for the soul from whatever ails you.