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Lisa Downing | The Wisdom of My Shadow

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United States - Colorado

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New Age: Contemporary Instrumental New Age: Neo-Classical Moods: Featuring Piano
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The Wisdom of My Shadow

by Lisa Downing

A powerful collection of Lisa’s rare and intricately sophisticated musical reflections upon feminine power and the shadow-self within us all.
Genre: New Age: Contemporary Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Forbidden Dance
4:00 $0.99
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2. Tragic Dream
3:59 $0.99
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3. Black Wedding
3:52 $0.99
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4. Mischief
2:08 $0.99
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5. Mad World
3:28 $0.99
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6. Postludium
1:53 $0.99
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7. Cloudwalker
4:30 $0.99
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8. The Torii Gates
3:28 $0.99
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9. Harlem Nocturne
4:03 $0.99
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10. One More Day
4:29 $0.99
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11. Moonrise
4:55 $0.99
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12. Sad Lisa
5:02 $0.99
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13. The Dragon Within
4:46 $0.99
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14. Diaphanous Breeze
3:39 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Lisa Downing is a two-time EMMY® Award nominee. Her collection of original solo piano compositions are fiercely impassioned, while the meaning of each piece remains clear and accessible. Lisa’s works might be classified as New Age, but they more accurately belong in a yet unnamed genre that would be a fusion of multiple musical categories.

Lisa’s unique style could be compared with Liz Story, Peter Kater, David Lanz or George Winston, but experiencing her creations will certainly draw you into uncharted musical territories. Her musical creations paint a vastly imaginative landscape of powerful and mysterious energies drawn from her seemingly inexhaustible palate of musical creation.

Bill Binkelman of Zone Music Reporter writes, “…I have to admit to being won over by The Wisdom of My Shadow. Part of that is Downing's stunning display of technical artistry.” “The other factor that impressed me was how fearless she was from an emotional standpoint, willing to empty her veins onto the ivories…”

Candice Michele of Journeyscapes concurs that “Lisa seems to have poured her entire being into these compositions…Brilliant like the morning and evening star glowing in the distant horizon, The Wisdom of My Shadow is an ode to the feminine aspect of divinity.”

Dick Metcalf of Improvijazznation Magazine adds, The Wisdom of My Shadow “…cannot be lumped together with any particular style or genre…making it one of the most unique and satisfying albums you will ever purchase.”

Reviewer, Serge Kozlovsky explains, “Lisa Downing is a distinguished pianist. She undoubtedly has her unique style which goes beyond any particular genre and it incorporates many musical influences. I can call the music of Lisa Downing as boundless creativity of awakened soul.”

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Reviews


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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"The Wisdom of My Shadow" is the fourth album from pianist/composer Lisa Downing and I think it’s her best work to date. There is a fascinating variety of musical styles in the fourteen tracks, but they are unified by the common theme of self-discovery and taking a journey into those parts of ourselves that are mysterious, hidden and powerful. Seven of the tracks are new, original piano solos and there is a bonus track from Downing’s previous album, "A Delicate Balance"; four pieces are solo piano covers of pieces that have had a special meaning for Downing; and there are two collaborative multi-instrumental pieces with special guest artists Al Jewer and Andy Mitran, and Amethyste and Gunnar Spardel. All of the music is passionate, personal, accessible, and very beautiful. Downing’s exceptional playing technique and expressive touch come from the core of her being - as well as many years of practice! The CD version of this album has a number of “goodies” that include the stories behind each of the pieces, a full-color booklet that tells more about the guest artists, the artist whose painting graces the cover of the album, and more. I have little doubt that "The Wisdom of My Shadow" will be on my list of Favorites for the year!

The first three tracks on the album comprise a musical fantasy called “The Shadow Trilogy.” The first piece, “Forbidden Dance,” is very dark, passionate, and mysterious. It comes from those things (or people) in our lives that we feel we must have but that are always just out of reach. “Tragic Dream” reflects on how we sometimes let words of discouragement keep us from pursuing our dreams. Also very dark and passionate, there is a strong element of despair and feelings of deep loss in this piece. Part three of the trilogy is “Black Wedding,” one of the scariest piano solos I’ve ever heard. (I recently proofed the sheet music, and it’s a blast to play!!!) Inspired by the children and grandchildren in her life, “Mischief” is much lighter and more playful. I’ve always loved the Tears for Fears classic, “Mad World,” and Downing’s solo piano arrangement is perfect. Even if you aren’t familiar with the lyrics, the emotional impact of this song comes through. Downing’s performance of Dohnanyi’s “Postludium” probably best demonstrates her exceptional playing skills on this album - wow! “Cloudwalker” is a gorgeous collaboration with Al Jewer and Andy Mitran that also appears on their "Transmigration" album. “Harlem Nocturne” is a jazz classic and was also the theme song for Downing’s father’s radio show in the1960’s. Slow and bluesy, it shows a different side of Downing that I really like. The mournful “One More Day” is about the experience of Downing’s last days with her father - difficult emotions expressed honestly and with grace. “Moonrise” is a collaboration with Amethyste and Gunnar Spardel that features Amethyste’s vocalizations and theremin and Gunnar’s instrumental mixes as well as Downing’s piano - hauntingly beautiful! “The Dragon Within” began as a theme for bedtime stories Downing used to tell her son. As the piece developed, she recognized that the power and energy of the dragon is actually a dynamic power that lives inside of herself as well as all women. Strong, powerful and passionate, it’s an amazing piece.

"The Wisdom of My Shadow" is very highly recommended!
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Candice Michelle

Review from Journeyscapesradio.com
Gifted pianist and composer Lisa Downing’s fourth release is aptly titled “The Wisdom of My Shadow”, which alludes to the shadow-self of Jungian psychology. Additionally, a feminine theme of mystery and receptivity is further illustrated by the cover artwork of Susan Seddon-Boulet, which depicts the ancient Babylonian creator goddess “Ishtar”. Comprised of ten original compositions including two collaborative pieces, plus four cover songs, a short background story is included for each of the tracks detailing their deeply personal and interpretive meanings for Lisa, from which greater depth and insight can be gleaned.

“Forbidden Dance” begins slowly in a high register, tip-toeing about gracefully before moving through dramatic shifts between the lower and higher registers, providing contrasting light and shadow. The delicately forceful and flowing quality of this piece is characteristic of much of the album, which transverses a wide-range of themes and emotions. One especially intriguing original composition is “Black Wedding”, which opens with the toll of a church bell and fluttering piano notes that convey a feeling of trepidation, before leading into an emotionally intense yet dedicatedly somber motif. Another highlight is Lisa’s solo piano interpretation of the Tears for Fears song, “Mad World”. Brushed by gentle, diligent strokes, she renders the popular tune into a peaceful and contemplative number that’s fittingly appropriate within the overall context of the album. “Postludium” is characterized by a distinctly classical flair, a beautifully brief tune written by Hungarian composer Ernö Dohnányi. Nearly two minutes in length, this interlude-like piece sparkles throughout with elegant enchantment. “Cloudwalker” is one of two collaborative compositions on the album, which was co-written with the amazingly talented mutli-instrumentalists Al Jewer and Andy Mitran. Here Lisa’s piano is resplendent in the exotic admixture of native flutes, singing bowls and gentle tribal percussion of this gently rhythmic track. Lisa also presents her signature-style rendition of “Harlem Nocturne”, an iconic jazz piece written by Earle Hagen and Dick Rogers, which bears the appeal of a late-night piano lounge and moves at a rhythmic pace. Perhaps most intriguing is “Moonrise”, a piece co-written with Améthyste and Gunnar Spardel (who also records as Tigerforest). Lisa’s piano glistens throughout amidst Gunnar’s ambient soundscape, as Améthyste lends her blissfully ethereal wordless vocals and equally haunting Theremin instrument to this astonishingly gorgeous piece, conveying a sense of longing and mystery. “Sad Lisa” is another heartfelt solo piano rendition of a piece written by Cat Stevens that has always resonated with her. Although devoid of the original composition’s melancholic lyrics, its forlorn essence is perfectly illustrated here. Rounding things out is the bonus re-release of “Diaphanous Breeze” from the album “A Delicate Balance”. Like sunlight softly pouring through the clouds, this gently faster-paced tune delicately dances about, concluding the album on a dreamy, peaceful note.

Lisa seems to have poured her entire being into these compositions, often employing a uniquely appealing way of bending the compositions with bold, minor accents. Brilliant like the morning and evening star glowing in the distant horizon, “The Wisdom of My Shadow” is an ode to the feminine aspect of divinity. This album is truly a gift on many levels, and especially to all women, with a portion of the album’s proceeds appropriately going to The National Women’s Hall of Fame.
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Shoshana M

Simply Beyond Words!
Lisa Downing's new album, The Wisdom of my Shadow is simply beyond words. Her skills as a composer and pianist come shining through. Her compositions took me to places that I needed to go to. They touched and healed my heart. Ms. Downing’s album is a wonderful mix of heartfelt original compositions, standards and classical. Although I thoroughly loved the entire album, there are a few that stood out as my favorites. "Sad Lisa" by Cat Stevens is beautiful and haunting. “Black Wedding" is majestic and speaks to you with the call of the church bell. "Mischief" is exactly that, highly spirited and energizing. “Harlem Nocturne", a jazz standard from the 1930's, has an air of mystery and intrigue to it and is artfully played. "One More Day" is haunting and heartfelt. Ms. Downing was inspired to write this piece about the passing of her beloved father and you can hear an array of emotions coming through as well as the love that she has for her father. “Postludium” is an impressionist piece composed by Ernst Von Dohnanyi that is played superbly. "Diaphanous Breeze" is flowing, light and lifts you and takes you to other places. Lisa Downing and her album The Wisdom of My Shadow has become one of my favorite artists and favorite albums. I can’t recommend this album enough!!
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Michael Diamond (www.michaeldiamondmusic.com)

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus
The new instrumental release by pianist/composer Lisa Downing is a concept album that reveals the Heroine’s Journey into the mysterious, hidden and powerful realms of her shadow self. The music, which is mostly original, as well as a few interestingly chosen cover tunes, draws from a deep well of emotion and Spirit bringing the listener along on Lisa’s personal journey, not as an observer, but in a way that resonates with our shared humanity.

The first three tracks of the album comprise what Lisa calls “The Shadow Trilogy,” featuring a theme that is relatable to anyone who has desired or lusted after something that is beyond his or her reach. Lisa’s piano work is stunning, and I was inspired by her masterful sense of dynamics, phrasing, timing, and space which were used to great dramatic effect, setting the stage for the unfolding of her musical story.

After the more arcane energy of the trilogy, the mood brightens with an upbeat playful piece called “Mischief.” I loved Lisa’s deeply sentimental cover of the classic “Harlem Nocturne,” and hearing it in a solo piano version revealed twists and turns in the melody I hadn’t been aware of before. It is quite complex and evokes a number of different moods from wistful and dreamy to a mysterious film noir feel, and even a touch of ragtime. Perhaps the most powerful piece on the album is the last one, “The Dragon Within.” Starting from a gentle glow, the song builds in intensity to a roaring blaze.

While most of the compositions are solo piano, a few feature special guest artists who add another dimension to the music. I am beyond impressed with the power and passion that flows from Lisa’s fingers to the piano keyboard. While Lisa has formidable technical ability to dazzle the listener, she also knows when to pull back and let simplicity speak with measured eloquence in her elegant and evocative music.

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