Michele McLaughlin | Life

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New Age: Solo Instrumental New Age: Contemporary Instrumental Moods: Featuring Piano
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by Michele McLaughlin

Life is beautiful and colorful and full of diversity, but it is also messy and chaotic and full of imperfection. That alone is what makes life so wonderful.
Genre: New Age: Solo Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Gift
3:30 $0.99
2. The Storm
3:17 $0.99
3. At Home
4:54 $0.99
4. Life
3:13 $0.99
5. Belonging
4:41 $0.99
6. A Deeper Understanding
3:38 $0.99
7. Drifting Through a Dream
3:23 $0.99
8. Heartbroken
4:34 $0.99
9. Stronger
3:53 $0.99
10. Precious Memories
4:07 $0.99
11. Crossroads
4:35 $0.99
12. Guilty Pleasures
3:50 $0.99
13. Give It Time
3:29 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
About This Album:
Life is beautiful and colorful and full of diversity, but it is also messy and chaotic and full of imperfection. That alone is what makes life so wonderful. This album is about life's dichotomies... balance and disorder, light and dark, ups and downs, joy and sorrow, peace and turbulence, hope and despair, and so on. The songs on this album are beautifully crafted solo piano pieces to musically express this common journey we all experience.

1. The Gift – Life is a gift, we are a gift, our experiences are a gift, the present moment is a gift. If you treat every person, and every moment as a gift, you begin to truly treasure and cherish everyone and everything.

2. The Storm – This song represents the forward progression in life… the ups and downs, the highs and lows, the calm and the turbulence… we are all going through at any given moment.

3. At Home – This is my love song and my happy place, dedicated to Matt. There is no greater comfort than that of being held by someone who loves you and makes you feel at home.

4. Life – Life is beautiful and colorful and full of diversity, but it is also messy and chaotic and full of imperfection. That alone is what makes life so wonderful.

5. Belonging – Humans are social creatures. We want to fit in, be accepted, have a place in the community, take part in the greater whole. We all just want to belong and feel included.

6. A Deeper Understanding – This song is about finding your place in the universe, being mindful and aware, and working to be truly present. It is about self-love, self-acceptance, and a deeper understanding of who you are. This song is dedicated to Rachel and Steve, for helping me to find and understand and love myself.

7. Drifting Through A Dream – When life is going well, and all the pieces seem to fit together, and everything is going your way, it feels as though life is a dream.

8. Heartbroken – This song represents what it feels like to have your heart shattered.

9. Stronger – No matter what battles I fight, no matter how many times I get knocked down, I always surprise myself with how resilient I am, and how I always seem to stand stronger in the end.

10. Precious Memories – This song is about the moments in life that make us smile… memories of good times passed, memories of loved ones, memories of times that we experienced pure joy and love. Those memories stay with us and continue to make us smile long after. This song is dedicated to Donna.

11. Crossroads – Life is a series of decisions and choices. We must constantly choose which direction to go and what path to take. Those choices lead us to new decisions and new directions. Life is a constant state of crossroads.

12. Guilty Pleasures – We all have guilty pleasures… little things that make us happy and brighten our day. For me, it’s chocolate, silly TV shows, inside jokes, good food with friends, etc.

13. Give It Time – This song represents the struggles we go through, the battles, the strife… and no matter how much it hurts, or causes discomfort, if you just give it time, it will get better or easier to handle. Everything gets better and easier with time. This song is dedicated to Brandon.

Special Thanks:
Joe Bongiorno, Matt Strieby, Rick Baldassin, Matt Sojourner, Liz McLaughlin, Steve Jones, Rachel Posner, Brandon McLaughlin, Mom & Dad, Clint Gray, Donna Coleman, Ute & Greg, Mike & Leslie, Ryan & Cindy, Frank & Cheryl, Tierney Swenson, Jennifer Thomas, Rebecca Oswald, Kathy Parsons, Jamey & Stacey Osborne, my Whisperings Solo Piano Radio family, 12 South Music for being the best marketing and web team ever, and mostly to my friends, fans, followers, and listeners who keep inspiring me to share my music. Thank you!

Technical Credits:
All songs composed, produced and performed by Michele McLaughlin michelemclaughlin.com
Recorded on Michele’s Fazioli F212 grand piano at her home in Salt Lake City, UT
Mastered and engineered by Joe Bongiorno at Piano Haven Studio in Sedona, Arizona pianohaven.com
Artwork and design by Matt Strieby at New Leaf Design newleafdesign.com
Piano maintained and tuned by Rick Baldassin at Baldassin Pianos baldassinpianos.com
Manufactured at Diskmakers www.diskmakers.com
Copyright © 2017 All Rights Reserved (ASCAP)



to write a review

Candice Michelle

Review from Journeyscapes Radio
Michele McLaughlin is a self-taught pianist and composer with a remarkably impressive recording catalog that includes both Billboard charting and multiple award-winning albums. Having recently had the pleasure of meeting Michele at a performance in my area, I found her demeanor to be warm and personal, as she shared inspiring personal stories behind various compositions, which were often laced with a good dose of humor and related via captivating storytelling. On her latest album, simply titled Life, Michele perfectly captures a compelling range of dynamic expression and quieter introspection throughout its thirteen beautiful compositions of contemporary solo piano arrangements, which often bear an intrinsically classical elegance throughout.

The album opens with “The Gift”, a briskly flowing and positively upbeat composition that boasts a brightly colorful melody along a lightly galloping stanza. This expressive and lively mood is somewhat contrasted by “The Storm”, a slightly darker piece with a brooding undercurrent, perhaps dually representing both a literal and metaphorical storm of inner struggle and turmoil. “At Home” is a comparatively tenderer, leisurely-paced number which seemingly speaks of the comfort that a safe and secure home brings, even recalling that of being gently tucked into bed at night as a child. I’m also especially fond of the title track, “Life”, in which a cascading, hurried stanza alternates with a boldly expressive melody in a constantly forward motion. “Drifting Through A Dream” is perhaps my favorite piece on the album that beautifully drifts upon a mesmeric, repeating signature throughout. Gently understated with a touch of nostalgia and wistfulness, it aptly conveys the notion of being in a dreamlike haze as recollected memories gently fade in and out. “Heartbroken” is a delicately melancholic piece that perfectly captures the fragility of the emotional heart itself. The mournful overtone of this piece is aptly followed by the more affirmative “Stronger”, which gradually unfolds like a butterfly slowly emerging from its cocoon that will go on to experience life from an entirely new perspective. Another personal favorite is “Crossroads”, a somewhat pensive number that seems to suggest that of arriving at a fork in the road while contemplating which path to follow. Wrapping up the album is “Give It Time”, a dramatically bolder piece of starker contrasts that conveys an affirming message of patience and resolve.

Described as an album “about life’s dichotomies… balance and disorder, light and dark, ups and downs, joys and sorrow, peace and turbulence, hope and despair, and so on”, Life is a remarkable aural painting of an artist’s personal journey and finding one’s place in this often chaotic world. Ranging from dynamic and highly expressive to softer, subtler nuances, Michele’s hands are in constant, flowing movement across the keys, as she seemingly shifts through the registers with remarkable ease and effortlessness. Unquestionably born a natural pianist-composer, there’s an inherent emotional depth to her compositions, as she imprints each one with a signature sound that is distinctive and individualistic to her spirit. It’s certainly no wonder this amazing artist has built up a loyal following of listeners, and the beautiful complexity that is Life is sure to further affirm her place as one of today’s premier and outstanding contemporary solo pianists!

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Life" is made up of highs and lows, joys and sorrows, memories, discoveries, choices, growth and even some crazy weather. Michele McLaughlin’s new album, Life, expresses it all beautifully with her inspiring positivity, resilience - AND her phenomenal piano! "Life" is her seventeenth solo piano album (not counting compilations), and I think it’s one of her best. To quote the liner notes of the CD, “Life is beautiful and colorful and full of diversity, but it is also messy and chaotic and full of imperfection.” The thirteen pieces on the album reflect on a broad range of experiences and moods, but even the darkest pieces carry a message of hope. McLaughlin always composes with honesty and a depth of emotion that make the music easily accessible to a broad range of listeners. The CD also contains a four-page booklet with the stories behind all of the pieces as well as credits. Life was recorded in McLaughlin’s home studio on her Fazioli grand piano, and was recorded and mastered by Joe Bongiorno from Piano Haven. A companion sheet music book is also available.

"Life" begins with “The Gift,” a gently energetic piece that suggests that if we see life and everything in it as gifts, we will begin to appreciate and cherish everyone and everything. Fingers dance on the piano keyboard expressing joy and a lightness of being. “The Storm” is one of my favorites. It begins in the upper half of the piano with a poignant, melancholy melody front and center. As the piece evolves, it moves around the piano, becoming more dramatic and then subsides. “At Home” is a love song paying homage to the feeling of being held by someone who loves you and makes you feel at home. Very relaxed and often very tender, it is an excellent example of what I was referring to about the emotional content of the music and how personal yet universal it is. The title track is very lively and in constant motion - another favorite. “Belonging” is very open and spare, with a simple, heartfelt melody and an even simpler accompaniment - a great example of “less is more” and how effective it can be. “Drifting Through a Dream” is also very minimalist and another favorite. The quietly rolling left hand pattern is hypnotic while the melody draws you in. “Stronger” is about getting knocked down, bouncing back and emerging stronger than ever. The piece starts out slowly, feeling very sad, and gradually lightens as it develops, expressing hope and healing. I also really like “Crossroads,” which makes the point that life is a series of decisions and choices and that we are in a constant state of crossroads. A variety of themes are woven together to depict life’s ups and downs as well as the choices we make. “Give It Time” is the closing track and it’s my favorite on the album. The piece is about the healing power of time. Very dark and passionate at the beginning, it picks up energy as it evolves and ends with a powerful bang.

Fans of Michele McLaughlin have a good reason to rejoice with the release of "Life"! If you are new to her music, this is a great place to start! Highly recommended!

Steve Sheppard

Review by One World Music Radio
I have been following the musical pathway of Michele McLaughlin ever since the release of her album Breathing In The Moment back in 2012, she has such a beautiful way of storytelling through music and this new release called Life is no exception to that rule, in fact over the years that have passed, that process and has been greatly enhanced.
With the opening piece one can see that this album is another forward step in the musical life path of McLaughlin, and as we go through the project we will wander through a veritable wonderland of classy compositions. The Gift, our gentle opener, is a fine example, it is our gift and this light filled piece glistens in the dark to lighten our way as it ushers us into the gateway of the album.
I was only talking the other week to David Lanz about his track The Approaching Storm and how to create that build up and suspense and manifest that crackling tension, he has done it well on his release and here McLaughlin builds something that may not just be a storm of the weather variety, each and every one of us have to walk through a personal life storm at some stage, and that sense of trepidation and passion can be felt right here on this very emotive arrangement, The Storm.
I have many favourites on this quite breath-taking release and this one is one of them and called At Home. McLaughlin creates for me a warm homely feel whilst watching the world drift past outside, but there is much more within the weave of this track, perhaps this is a little oasis, a musical sanctuary being portrayed here. Once more the artist hits the emotional heart strings with a really delicate and resonating composition.
The title track is up next, a moment to flourish perhaps for the musician? Life is a piece that has a great colour about its construction. I adore the motif in this track, it’s always evolving and recreating itself and the outcome is both confident and grand. There is also a layer of sensitivity about its build too, and here we see the narrative driven style of McLaughlin in full effect, what an incredible and very memorable composition this was.
That reflection continues in a more gentle way now with the song Belonging. There is something very familiar about this track that I cannot at this moment put my finger on, but it is most pleasing. McLaughlin allows this piece to grow naturally and in doing so she has created something quite charming.
Another one of my personal favourites now, with the piece A Deeper Understanding: it’s quite clear that Michele McLaughlin has created with this release something deeply special and this track at the half way juncture emphasises that raising of the musical bar, there is a smooth level of confidence and creativity here that can not only be heard, it can be felt too.
As we now slip into the loving arms of the latter half of the album we come across a real gem called Drifting Through A Dream. I awoke with the craziness of dreams in my head in the early hours today, and this music would have been a perfect soundtrack for that moment. The performance here is sublime, the clever changes and patterns McLaughlin weaves here creates a really mist filled but beautifully layered composition.
One of the darker tracks off the album is Heartbroken: it pulls at the emotions that many of us have gone through. As the artist plays, one can almost feel the memories and emotions flooding forward, in a cinematic rolling style of musical images and then as the credits roll, all that is left is emptiness, until the very last note, if a note had a word, it would be called hope.
I must say I am thoroughly enjoying this journey through Life, the release created for us by Michele McLaughlin, and I hope you are as well dear reader and listener. The narrative continues with a piece called Stronger, which is perfectly placed after the last offering and within the tale told and the performance played, we can indeed feel that confidence about life coming back, as we get Stronger.
The delicacy on this next composition is delightful, it’s called Precious Memories. There is real warmth to the style here that is greatly appreciated. McLaughlin’s performance here is stunning, she manifests a confident and flowing track that has such a powerful, yet restrained arrangement, which changes and alters with a growing sense of personal triumph of a special moment; note both the gentle, yet assured mix in this piece.
Crossroads is a popular theme at the moment, and of course somewhere we all have been at some stage. This is one of those pieces that will sit in your mind and you may even find yourself whistling or humming it. The performance has a little classical mixed in, with an almost movie styled arrangement. The minor nature of the piece, mixed with the driving narrative on notes, is simply brilliant. In my view one of the cleverest and insightful tracks on the album, so now you’re at the Crossroads, which way are you going to go?
I love this title, I have many, and if you’re honest too so do you dear reader, and it’s called Guilty Pleasures, our penultimate track off this quite brilliant album. A simple piece that has a real element of happiness built within it, and also a little sense of guilt too, which seems to play back and forth. The tempo and pace here alternates with a wonderful sense of energy, each moment of construction on this album has been created with such care and attention, that goes for this piece as well.
Our very last port of call is called Give it Time. In life one thing is certain, change, here on this album and with this track McLaughlin confronts that and once more the narrative flows back and forth, almost as if it is questioning itself, then reaffirming the answer. We have to also say that the artist leaves the album with a flourish on this piece, this is one very stylish and empowering way to leave what has been a fantastic journey of musical magic from the hands, heart and mind of Michele McLaughlin.
Life is an ever changing sphere, and on this album, the artist has not only created something deeply moving and special, McLaughlin has re-written the book on musical storytelling and narration and raised her own personal bar higher than ever expected, a truly stunning release that is utterly recommended.