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Nancy Shoop-Wu | Rainbow Road

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New Age: Neo-Classical World: Hawaiian Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Rainbow Road

by Nancy Shoop-Wu

Soulful and uplifting, these songs capture the beauty of Hawaii and transport the heart and imagination to another realm. Produced by Derek Nakamoto. Featuring violin, Hawaiian guitar, and piano.
Genre: New Age: Neo-Classical
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Rainbow Road
3:36 $0.99
2. Pulelehua
4:40 $0.99
3. Lei Hoku
4:17 $0.99
4. Sunrise over Haleiwa
3:54 $0.99
5. Always in My Heart
3:33 $0.99
6. Lullaby
4:26 $0.99
7. Waimanalo
4:07 $0.99
8. Carry Me Home
3:53 $0.99
9. Beautiful Mana'o
3:54 $0.99
10. In Your Eyes
4:16 $0.99
11. Ma'noa Rain
4:14 $0.99
12. Lele Noa
3:57 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Known for her soulful and expressive playing, New Age violinist and composer Nancy Shoop-Wu blends her classical training as a symphony violinist with the impressionistic magic of the Islands of Hawaii. From the moment she set foot in the Aloha State, Nancy found herself under the islands' magical spell. The result was a burst of creativity for the consummate musician as she blended her love of New Age and Classical music, combining them with the musical culture of her new home, to craft beautiful music with appeal across a variety of spectrums.

Born in Connecticut, Nancy Shoop-Wu began playing the violin at age 9, encouraged and bolstered by her music-loving father, a trumpet player himself, and her pianist mother. A fan of many styles of music, her father would whistle songs she was learning while the two bonded over cooking or doing chores. Tragedy struck three years later when he passed away when Nancy was only 12. However, the painful loss became the catalyst for Nancy to get serious about her goal of becoming a professional violinist.

Her musical studies took her first to Hartt School of Music followed by Yale School of Music, where she studied with renowned violin teachers Paul Kantor and Ida Kavafian. While still in conservatory, Nancy began auditioning for professional orchestras and received her first position with the Filarmonica de Caracas in Venezuela. After nine months, she returned to the U.S to finish her training. Within a year of graduating from Yale she had won positions in New Haven Symphony, Hartford Symphony and Orchestra of New England. It was her next stop, however, which would change her life in a much more drastic way, when she successfully auditioned for a chair with the Honolulu Symphony and moved to Hawaii.

Once rooted in her new home, Nancy quickly developed a love and affinity for Hawaiian music, even as she was equally beguiled by the natural beauty which surrounded her. As a member of the Honolulu Symphony she began to explore a broader musical world, sharing the stage with not only top Hawaiian musicians, but also classical and genre crossing superstars from Yo-Yo Ma to Bela Fleck. At the same time she also began to re-connect with her love for Celtic and New Age music, particularly the piano music of George Winston. Like a slow-cooking stew, these various influences and inspirations blended over time inside the talented musician.

Then, in 2009, the Honolulu Symphony went bankrupt. This circumstance, much like the death of her father, became motivational for Nancy. Without a creative outlet, she yearned to ignite her creative spark, to share the beautiful melodies that had been coalescing inside her and reveal her musical vision and talent to a larger world. After hearing the soundtrack to the film Departures (composed by Joe Hisaishi featuring cellist Nobuo Furukawa), she was inspired to compose her own songs featuring the violin. Calling forth her muse, she began to compose in earnest finally finding her unique voice as a composer by blending her love of New Age, Hawaiian and Classical music.

Results sprung forth with two albums, Beautiful Mana'o followed by Rainbow Road (both were produced by Derek Nakamoto and feature two of this era’s most-acclaimed Hawaiian slack-key guitarists, Jeff Peterson and Ian O’Sullivan). The latter album was a finalist for Hawaii's Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Best Instrumental Album in 2016. Nancy is re-releasing Rainbow Road in January 2017 with bonus tracks from her first release Beautiful Mana’o.

Nancy Shoop-Wu's life evolved in a life-altering and affirming way with her move to Hawaii. She states "I have had the privilege of living in Hawaii for half of my life and have found my home here on this 'Island of Rainbows.' I was raised in Connecticut, but it was in Hawaii that a new dimension of musical expression and spirituality opened up for me. I wrote these songs to uplift and transport the listener’s heart beyond their daily existence to a another world – the world of beauty and wonder that lies within us all."



to write a review

Lilly Ann

Magical Album
I SO love this album! The music is breathtakingly beautiful - a unique blend of New Age, Hawaiian sunshine and classical. And this woman’s violin playing is exquisite! Gorgeous tone and technique, and warm, heartfelt playing. Not surprising since I believe she is a classical concert violinist. This music just transports me. I can’t recommend it enough!

Jerry Little

Absolutely Beautiful
Every song on this CD moves me. Not only is she an amazing violinist and composer but she even sings on one of the tracks! I love the relaxed vibe and classical violin artistry combined with Hawaiian guitar. There aren’t many albums where I love every single song on the CD but this is one of them!

Al Eugene

I just want to listen to these songs over and over again. So soulful and uplifting...

Hannah Mende

I love love love this Music
I love love love this CD. It transports me instantly to the exquisite beauty of Hawaii and then even further beyond, to a whole other inner world in another time and place, like time has collapsed and I'm just experiencing pure love. The music melts away any stress in my body in a heartbeat!

Every time I have a friend in my car when I play it, they ask me what I'm playing and want their own so I've ended up getting a copy for many friends as gifts.

Helena Dee

One listen to the album RAINBOW ROAD by Nancy Shoop-Wu and you know she is an exceptional violinist. Here she is doing original material that will have great appeal to fans of both new age and contemporary-classical music. She has strong classical music credentials. She has her degree in violin performance from the University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Music conservatory. She auditioned and won positions with major orchestras including the Filarmonica de Caracas in Venezuela, the New Haven Symphony, Hartford Symphony, Orchestra of New England, and the Honolulu Symphony. This lady can really play!

This mostly instrumental new age music (there is one vocal song) features her violin playing, but also includes piano (by top producer and arranger Derek Nakamoto), acoustic slack-key guitars (by Jeff Peterson and Ian O’Sullivan), and occasional bass and drums. Shoop-Wu, who has spent half her life living in Hawaii, says much of the inspiration for her music comes from the beauty of the islands as well as the spirit of the people who live there.

Nancy Shoop-Wu composes extremely melodic music and then plays it with a very expressive and soulful style. This album is perfect for fans of excellent violin performance.


Soul Massage
There is something about this thay sooths the Soul.

Candice Michelle

Review from Journeyscapes Radio
Nancy Shoop-Wu is a composer and violinist originally from Connecticut who resides in Hawaii. As a member of the Honolulu Symphony she has shared the stage with many notable Hawaiian musicians, as well as superstars such as Yo-Yo Ma and Bela Fleck. Rainbow Road is Nancy’s second release and first full-length album, having previously released a debut EP titled Beautiful Mana’o. Comprised of twelve compositions spanning forty-nine minutes, Nancy combines both classical and contemporary musical styles while additionally drawing inspiration from the surrounding natural beauty and culture of the Hawaiian Islands. Joining her throughout are several guest musicians, of which include Derek Nakamoto on acoustic piano and keyboards, both Jan O’Sullivan and Jeff Peterson on Hawaiian slack key guitar, Dean Taba on acoustic bass, Garin Poliahu on drums, Satnam Ramgotra on frame drum, and Holo’ua Stender on Ipu drum.

The album opens with the title track, “Rainbow Road”, on which solo piano introduces a gentle ensemble of acoustic bass and Hawaiian slack key guitar led by Nancy’s beautiful violin. She plays a tenderly warm melody evocative of the soft radiance of a rising sun. “Pulelehua (Mountain Butterfly)” follows next, an especially lovely composition that conveys the tranquil essence of the Pacific Ocean along with surrounding greenery and colorful blossoms. Distinguished by graceful piano and violin, the piece flows along in a gently swaying motion, recalling that of a small boat sailing out at sea. The fourth track, “Sunrise Over Haleiwa”, is another notable highlight beginning with a repeating piano motif, as Nancy’s gently soulful violin soars above an earthy accompaniment of drums. The seventh track, “Walmanalo”, is likewise rhythmic and moderately-paced, boasting a joyfully spirited violin melody accompanied by an ensemble of piano, cymbals and drums. Nancy lends her own vocals to the eighth track, “Carry Me Home”, on which she sings a lyrically heartfelt and down-to-earth melody in a tone that’s sweet and simple.

Included on the album are three bonus tracks taken from Nancy’s previous debut EP. The first of these is the ninth track on the album, “Beautiful Mana’o”, which includes both Ipu and frame drums that add a subtle tribal touch. On the eleventh track, “Ma’Noa Rain”, acoustic guitar comes to the forefront in tandem with an impassioned violin melody that’s additionally graced by delicate brushes of piano.

Conveying a warmly heart-centric vibe, Nancy gently serenades her listeners throughout with her soothing yet passionate violin melodies, as she plays with an ease of grace and authenticity of spirit. The varying ensemble of instruments are nicely spaced and easy to individually discern from one another, mostly conveying a consistent mood without much stylistic divergence among the compositions. In fact, one could easily imagine hearing these elegantly uplifting pieces playing at a beautifully decorated, leisurely outdoor café or retreat. A delightfully positive, peaceful listening experience overall, Rainbow Road unfolds like a welcome invitation to embark along a pathway illuminated by dreams, hopes and promises!

Steve Sheppard

Review by One World Music Radio
Sometimes I wonder, I ponder an almighty question that perhaps can never be answered, just how much good music is in our world that really should get far more exposure than it does? From my experience in the industry, it’s almost incalculable and the very album I am listening to right now is another example a true hidden gem that I am going to reveal to you right now and allow it to bask in the sunshine of our global musical community.
The album in question, this veritable gem is Rainbow Road by Nancy Shoop-Wu. It’s a release that is beautifully produced, it’s an album that glows with a vast array of musical colour and the performances within this collection of melodic tunes are simply sublime.
The title track, Rainbow Road, is the very first pathway we must tread and is a glorious way to begin the journey, the delicate texture and weave of Shoop-Wu’s violin matched with an ever loving piano, is akin to floating on summer breeze and arriving at a musical blue lagoon of crystal clarity, simply a perfect way to start any album.
Listen to Pulelehua (Mountain Butterfly), Shoop-Wu’s violin softly embraces the moment and brings to us, the ever eager listener, the perfect opening piece, listening to this composition is like arriving at a beautiful holiday destination and contains that wonderful essence called the wow factor.
Our next offering is called Lei Hoku (Star of Love) and what ushers forth is like touching the night velvet of the cosmos itself, the added instrumentation only adds depth and charm to the track. The piano and guitar dance with Shoop-Wu’s violin, with a pristine majesty of the brightest star, in the dark realms of the never ending universe. This has to be one of the most heartfelt and loving pieces off the album.
Sunrise Over Haleiwa is up next, and one can really feel the classical over tones of the artists past coming to her aid here. The creation of such a pictorial piece is masterful, and through its construction you can actually watch the sunrise peak and bustle with the start of a brand new day.
Like the musician, I too live on an Island, however many thousands of miles away in Cyprus, but as I listen to the next piece entitled Always in My Heart, one cannot fail to be impressed with the artists wonderful skill on violin, and with each stroke of the bow, we are drawn in further and further. There is a delightful interplay on this composition between piano, guitar and violin that is very appealing, and thoroughly enjoyable, and from that, a very sweet and emotive rhythm is also created for us to enjoy.
Dear reader, we now arrive at the half way juncture of the album, and come across a self-explanatory track called Lullaby, perfectly performed and played. It would be very easy to go to sleep under the stars on the beach to this one.
The piano serves as the gateway to the next song called Waimanalo and with a very stylish performance on percussion by Garin Poliahu, the artists gifts us a delightful upbeat melody that manifests real warmth through its performance, this is also a composition that builds with a delightful sense of power and descriptive poise too.
One can feel the end of a very long day on this song; it’s called Carry Me Home. This time the musician puts her voice side by side with her violin, as she brings us a track that has some heart felt lyrics and, a soft and sensitive performance on the strings. The very gentle and loving vocal textures will ease us into the darkness of another night, beautifully sung and with a lush Celtic motif in the mix as well.
We now move deeper into the release and come across an offering called Beautiful Mana’o. The soft and calming rhythm here is really stunning, the gentle but very pertinent percussion is sublime, it creates great flow to the piece and partners Shoop-Wu’s violin to perfection. This is one of the most exciting tracks off the album without doubt.
Shoop-Wu excels on this next piece called In Your Eyes, her performance here is so deeply moving, one can almost feel the heart beating within her violin. The artist reaches a wonderful crescendo that pours its loving musical caress’s all over our senses; it would be easy to visualize Nancy Shoop-Wu performing this under the summer stars, on her beautiful island of Hawaii.
Our penultimate composition is entitled Ma’nao Rain, this sensitive but picturesque offering will take us to the last doorway of the album. The flow of this piece is almost waltz-like at times, and as such, it has a delightful sense of warmth about its construction. I guess that sometimes even rain can be a cleansing moment to embrace.
We are indeed about to leave the realm of Nancy Shoop-Wu called Rainbow Road, but before we do, lets receive this last musical gift from the musician, it is called Lele Noa (Flying Free). Now as a guitarist myself, I loved the efforts of Jeff Peterson, who performs on guitar within the last three pieces off the album, the bonus tracks so to speak. Lele Noa is a really fun track and I personally enjoyed it immensely, its lightness and vibrancy was the perfect ending to a fantastic album.
Rainbow Road by Nancy Shoop-Wu is an album that is as fresh as a mountain stream; from time to time the industry needs albums like this to give it a kick in its complacency. She has manifested something very special and very unique and it works wonderfully.
Shoop-Wu’s originality is mixed with a little Celtic and new age ethic, balanced with a hint of classical charm, it is an absolute winner in my eyes, so with that being said, I have no qualms of recommending this very classy new release to you, this is one album you really won’t want to miss out on.