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Marshall Barnhouse | Awakened

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United States - West Virginia

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New Age: Contemporary Instrumental Classical: Film Music Moods: Solo Instrumental
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Awakened

by Marshall Barnhouse

Solo piano music with classical, new age, and cinematic qualities.
Genre: New Age: Contemporary Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Awakened
5:14 album only
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2. Invocation
4:00 album only
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3. Searching for Home
5:01 album only
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4. Another Chance
4:09 album only
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5. The Promise
4:19 album only
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6. Light of the World
3:54 album only
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7. For Eternity
4:11 album only
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8. The Pierced Heart
5:17 album only
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9. Land of Rest
3:10 album only
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10. Eternal Spring
4:31 album only
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11. The Breath Prayer
3:49 album only
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12. Longing Heart
5:02 album only
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13. Under the Stars
3:43 album only
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14. All Is Well
5:39 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Marshall Barnhouse is an American pianist from the state of West Virginia whose style contains elements of classical, new age, and cinematic qualities. His experience and training does not get in the way of his heart. Marshall is available for both small and large venue concerts and can be reached through his website: www.MarshallBarnhouse.com

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Reviews


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Candice Michelle

Review from Journeyscapes Radio
Marshall Barnhouse is a pianist, composer and teacher who began his musical pursuits at the age of eight. By ten years of age he was already serving as a church pianist and has since performed at many venues covering all different genres of music. Comprised of fourteen solo piano compositions spanning sixty-two minutes in length, Awakened is Marshall’s sophomore album, which seemingly showcases a humble passion that is so eloquently expressed through his instrument.

The title piece, “Awakened”, opens in the higher registers with a brightly crystal-clear sound. A gently uplifting and rejuvenating piece, its sparkling quality can be likened to awakening in the morning to the sun’s rays softly pouring in through a window. One particular quality I immediately noticed about this composition, as well as throughout much of the album, is that the music generally treads along a somewhat unpredictable path, often boasting many subtle twists and turns within the same composition. “Invocation” follows next, likewise opening in the higher registers before gently moving into the lower registers. Marshall initially lends a soft, velvety touch to the keys, before extending a bit more force and dynamism at about the hallway mark. Conveying a somewhat hymnal feel within a more contemporary framework, “Searching for Home” ensues with a hint of nostalgia and tender touch of reverence, which brings to mind that of an old chapel in the countryside. Many of the compositions have an inspirational underpinning, which is further conveyed by some of the song titles. Among them is “The Promise”, the fifth track on the album, as well as one of my favorites. Hovering around the middle and lower registers throughout, Marshall delivers a perfectly understated melody that moves along in a seemingly mindful, unhurried manner. Other compositions that feel distinctly inspired by Marshall’s extensive background of performing in the church include “Light of the World” and “The Breath of Prayer”. Perhaps the most beautifully moving piece of all is the more classically-nuanced, aptly-titled thirteenth track, “Under the Stars”. Beginning in a delicately twirling, ballet-like fashion that floats among the higher registers, the composition bears a whimsical quality with a perfect touch of mystery throughout. Concluding the album is “All Is Well”, a slower-paced number that begins more brightly and airily, increasingly tending towards bolder strokes as it moves along its course.

Upon listening to this album in full and taking notes throughout, I then decided to read the liner notes to hopefully glean more details about the recording. The opening paragraph inside begins with “When I was five years old I felt a strong attraction to the piano after hearing good gospel pianists at the little country church my family attended.” Certainly, the timeless essence of, and connection to, that childhood experience has stayed with Marshall throughout his life and continues to imbue the compositions he creates today. Soulfully inspired and warmly heartfelt, these lovely arrangements are sure to soothe the listener with their gentle comfort and joy!
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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Awakened" is the second album from pianist/composer Marshall (Mike) Barnhouse, following his 2012 debut, "Meditations of My Heart." Barnhouse became fascinated with the piano at the age of five while watching musicians playing gospel music in his country church. He started lessons at the age of eight and by the time he was ten, he had already started serving as the pianist in his church as well as performing in recitals and at community and school events. A piano major in college, Barnhouse had planned to attend a major music conservatory to earn his Master’s degree, but life and his growing family had to take priority so he had to shelve that plan. Instead, he became a music teacher and a church musician, and continues in those roles today. With his children grown, he is now freer to pursue his dreams as a composer/pianist - lucky us! Barnhouse’s first album showcased his piano and string arrangements of hymns and other favorites, but Awakened features eleven original compositions and his arrangements of three early American hymns, all solo piano. The fourteen tracks are melodic and masterful, reflecting a wide range of emotions and life experiences. There are very strong classical influences, but the music is always accessible and heartfelt. The album was recorded at Piano Haven in Sedona, AZ on Joe Bongiorno’s wonderful Shigeru Kawai grand piano.

"Awakened" begins with the title track, an expressive and flowing piece that immediately clues you in that Mike Barnhouse is a pianist who really knows what he’s doing and plays from the heart. “Invocation” is very dramatic - sometimes quiet and gentle and sometimes much bigger and more cinematic. I really like “Searching For Home,” a gorgeous piece that expresses deep emotions with power and grace. “Another Chance” becomes lighter and more optimistic and the tender “For Eternity” is an expression of love and promise. “Land of Rest” is an American folk tune that dates back to the early 1800’s and Barnhouse’s arrangement is contemporary while respecting the simplicity of the original. “Longing Heart” is another favorite. It is Barnhouse’s arrangement of the hymn tune originally called “Jefferson.” The simple truth of the poignant melody touches deeply, telling its story while gradually building in emotional intensity. “Under the Stars” casts a magical spell with the right hand often at the upper end of the piano, emulating the beauty of the sparkling stars in a night sky. The deep bass notes and minor key give this impressive piece the feeling of darkness and vast open space - also a favorite.

"Awakened" is a wonderful second album and should bring Marshall Barnhouse to the attention of a lot more ears and hearts. Recommended!
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