Shoshana Michel | Reflection

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New Age: Neo-Classical Classical: New Age Moods: Solo Instrumental
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Reflection

by Shoshana Michel

Contemporary solo piano music that is calming, soothing and inspiring. Ideal for relaxing, studying, sleeping and focusing.
Genre: New Age: Neo-Classical
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. A New Day Today
3:46 album only
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2. Shooting Stars
5:19 album only
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3. Finding Bliss
3:54 album only
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4. Soothing the Tempest Within
3:32 album only
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5. Bittersweet
4:36 album only
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6. Island in the Mist
4:47 album only
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7. The Moon's Lament
4:03 album only
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8. In a Time Lapse
4:52 album only
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9. Forever and a Day
4:35 album only
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10. Labyrinth
4:12 album only
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11. Through the Eyes of a Child
3:59 album only

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Reflection is Shoshana’s fourth piano solo album and her third as a composer. The music she writes is inspired by life experiences, people and emotions. Shoshana’s playing has been described as “graceful and flowing” and “refined and elegant”. Her music stirs the imagination and touches the soul.

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Reviews


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Candice Michelle

Among the year's best solo piano albums!
Shoshana Michel is an accomplished pianist and composer who’s been delightful to witness evolve as an artist over the past few years. Classically trained, she began piano lessons at age seven and has been playing professionally since she was seventeen. However, it wasn’t until many years later that she would release her debut solo piano album in 2015 titled Soul Whispers, which featured lovely arrangements of Chabad Nigunim (songs of Jewish Eastern European origin). Soon thereafter she would embark on the creation of her second album and first release of original compositions with her widely-acclaimed album Dancing on the Wind, easily proving herself not only as a skilled pianist and arranger but as a composer as well.

Aptly titled Reflection, Michel’s fourth album and third collection of original music is comprised of eleven solo pieces that interweave both classical and contemporary motifs. Like a gently flowing river softly shimmering in the moonlight, her pristinely elegant compositions delicately sparkle, as the soothing melodies often take unexpected yet subtle paths along tranquil currents.

Conveying an atmosphere of serenity and solitude, the album’s artwork perfectly depicts the mood of the music, which often paints pacifying images of the sky, the stars and the sea. Avoiding any frenetic tendencies, Michel opts for arrangements that are melodically intricate yet calmly introspective over a theatrical power-playing style. Fitting for a spa setting or as accompaniment to the healing arts, her compositions effectively promote and nurture an inexplicable inner calm.

Another notable characteristic of Michel’s music is that she infuses many of her compositions with a unique element of sacredness that has seemingly been transferred from her Chabad Nigunim arrangements. This beautiful idiosyncrasy is most detectable on personal favorites such as “Shooting Stars”, “Soothing the Tempest Within”, “The Moon’s Lament” and “Labyrinth”.

Sure to earn Shoshana Michel more well-deserved praise, Reflection is easily one of the year’s best solo piano albums!
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Pam Asberry

A delight from start to finish!
“Reflection” is Shoshana Michel’s fourth released piano solo album and her third as a composer. The positive response to the release of her first album, “Soul Whispers,” her solo piano arrangements of beautiful songs of Jewish Eastern European origin, led her to resume the challenge of composing; in 2016, a full
twenty-four years after she wrote her first solo piano piece for a student who shared her love of New Age Music, she released an album of original pieces, “Dancing on the Wind,” which was nominated for numerous awards. Her 2017 release, “Prelude to a Dream,” won One World Music Radio’s Solo Piano Album of the Year; her latest release, “Reflection,” was born out of the experience of finding herself as a composer and facing life’s challenges.

Recorded and engineered by Joe Bongiorno at Piano Haven Studios and featuring beautiful cover artwork by Matt Strieby, this is arguably Shoshana’s best work to date.

“A New Day Today” is a cheerful and buoyant opening to the album, a beautiful expression of the hope that each new day brings. “Shooting Stars” is more solemn and almost hypnotic and seems to express the childlike wonder at the astral phenomenon and the belief that making a wish on a shooting star can make it come true. “Finding Bliss” sparkles with a quiet joy, and articulates a sense of contentment and wellbeing. “Soothing the Tempest Within” is a luscious romantic piece reminiscent of the music of Chopin and communicates the grappling with inner demons that is a part of the human experience. “Bittersweet” is poignant and soul stirring, with a melody that is both melancholy and achingly beautiful; “Island in the Mist” is an impressionistic sound painting. The haunting “The Moon’s Lament” personifies the moon, imagining it looking down at the earth with sorrow at the sight of all the natural disasters, pain and suffering happening on the planet. “In a Time Lapse” presents alternating musical ideas – sometimes calm and soothing, sometimes dissonant and jarring, sometimes dark and brooding. “Forever and a Day” breathlessly anticipates a special event; “Labyrinth” features a sinuous melody with surprising twists and turns. “Through the Eyes of a Child” brings the album to a cheerful conclusion.

The combination of evocative composition and artistic execution make this album a delight from start to finish. Very highly recommended!
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Dyan Garris, Zone Music Reporter & New Age CD

Luminous Solo Piano
“Reflection” by Shoshana Michel
Album review by Dyan Garris, New Age CD, Zone Music Reporter

“Reflection,” the fourth album by composer and solo pianist, Shoshana Michel, is introspective and thoughtful as the title may imply. But the inner reflection is one of the outer world as well. So, this is not only a simple, shiny mirror, but a pause for reflection on life itself.

One of Shoshana’s great talents is to give us, the listener, the musical gift of being able to “hear a painting.” An illustrative example of this is found in “Soothing the Tempest Within,” where through not only the melody, but through its impeccable cadence and timing, we can actually feel that brewing storm both inside and out. We also have the same in the intriguing and wonderfully composed, “Shooting Stars,” where we can actually see those awesome beams of light streaking magically across the mysterious evening sky.

This talent Shoshana possesses to be able to paint such vivid soundscapes with her instrument, is evident throughout the album and is present in every song. But another track in which this evocation is so stirring is “Time Lapse,” where – even though this is not added as an actual sound element – we can truly hear a clock ticking. It’s an amazing gift, and it’s one of the elements that makes Shoshana’s solo piano music so enticing overall.

Now, let’s look deeper into this interesting mirror where there is so much to see and discover. Here we have 11 tracks and 47 minutes of tuneful reflection. The album opens with the fun and bright, neo-classical, “A New Day.” This is joyful and light, as one might expect. Shining through the song beginning to end is the feeling of happy hope and limitless possibilities. What shall we do with our gift of life today?

“Finding Bliss” is a flowy favorite. This is like a soul-soothing lullaby composed and played directly from the heart. Infinitely joyful. “Bittersweet” is gentle and emotionally moving. A more serious-feeling piece, it is soft and subdued, yet not melancholy in any way. Very likeable.

Two personal favorites on “Reflection” are “Island in the Mist” and “Forever and a Day.” Traveling through the mist we get glimmers and shimmers of a sparkling gem slowly being revealed. Love this one. I want to go there. “Forever and a Day” is uplifting and melodious. This is romantic, flowing, and tender. Let’s go there too.

“The Moon’s Lament” is brilliant. Lightly sprinkled, like sweet sugar, with a “mini” glissando here and there, we have pause through the textures to reflect upon dark and light and a host of other paradoxes if we so choose. Even though we know it’s a lament, there is great beauty here within. This is smooth and lustrous like a creamy pearl. Truly luminous.

The song, “Labyrinth,” is also masterfully composed. Have you ever walked a labyrinth? Doing so, and how you feel being in one, is indeed a matter of perspective. In essence, walking a labyrinth is a spiritual journey, with the labyrinth being a geometric pattern representing wholeness. And it is a representation of a journey that takes us deep into our own center of “beingness” and then back out into the world again. Inside a labyrinth, one might easily feel lost or stuck. But did you know there are no dead ends inside a labyrinth? That’s right. It is not a maze. There is simply one way in to the center and one way out.

The labyrinth is a great tool for reflection, so it’s not a surprise to find this particular song title on the album, “Reflection.” While inside a labyrinth how you approach it is up to you. There’s a choice to bustle hurriedly on through or to reflect reverently upon every step on the path. The song, “Labyrinth,” perfectly conveys how one might feel walking through their “labyrinth of life.” It’s quite interesting.

The album closes out with the amiable and graceful, “Through the Eyes of a Child.” This is playful, as one might expect, as well as being as joyful and as fun as when we first entered into this reflection. So, here we’ve come full circle and are ready to go back into a “new day,” which you may easily find yourself wanting to do if you get the whole album. “Reflection” is truly luminous. Excellent solo piano.
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BT Fasmer

A fantastic solo piano release!
A much-used technique in literature is to make the readers keep guessing what is going to happen next. Listening to “Reflection” by Shoshana Michel, I think the same goes for her music. It makes you listen and think. As with any good author thought, there are many interesting and surprising twists and turns along the way. You’ll never guess it all. This makes the album into a very satisfying listen. “Reflection” is the best release so far in Shoshana Michel’s already strong discography.

Shoshana Michel is a classically trained pianist. Throughout the years, she has played different genres of music at different venues from ragtime at Knott’s Berry Farm to contemporary solo piano at The Galleria at South Bay in Redondo Beach, California. She recorded her first solo piano album, “Soul Whispers” in 2015. In 2016, she released “Dancing on the Wind”, her debut album as a composer followed by “Prelude to a Dream” in 2017.

A New Day Today
The album opener is called “A New Day Today”. The song is as fresh as a spring morning. Its gentle melody instantly connects with the listener. I love how it seems so light and uncomplicated, yet right under the surface is a surprising complexity. Notice how the melody rises and falls effortlessly. We should thank Michel for reminding us that today is a new day. It is easy to forget that in a world where change is something reserved for tomorrow, next month or a year from now.

There’s a lovely ambiguity to the title. Reflection is both “the throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it” and “serious thought or consideration”. These two elements are both present in the song “Shooting Stars”. You can see the glimpses of the stars before your inner eye and feel how the melody starts a process of thought. This truly is music for the imagination.

Soothing the Tempest Within
One of the finest pieces on the album is “Finding Bliss”. I’m always impressed with songs that balance a feeling of melancholy with happy feelings. I guess that there’s always a certain element of sadness to all feelings of bliss. Such euphoric feelings cannot last. To me, “Finding Bliss” is a small masterpiece.

At this stage the album shifts gear. “Soothing the Tempest Within” is a fascinating psychological portrait. If you listen carefully, you can almost hear the inner storm raging. Just like “Finding Bliss”, the next song, “Bittersweet”, balances two emotions splendidly. Here Michel shows her classical inspirations, such as Debussy and Ravel.

Island in the Mist
“Island in the Mist” paints a picture before your inner eye. Michel’s music is very visual. The island is almost covered in white, invisible. Each note is like a ray of light – slowly dissipating the mist. How wonderful it is! Nature also plays a vital role in the next piece, “The Moon’s Lament”. Michel shows how the Moon is looking down on Earth, seeing much pain and suffering. Listening to the song, you can’t help feeling sorry for it up there on the night sky. Seeing so much misery can’t be easy. It is a powerful piece with an important message.

Shoshana has saved some of the best songs for the last part of the album. The songs “In a Time Lapse”, “Forever and a Day” and “Labyrinth” all deal with different aspects of reflections and our perception of time. Sometimes you feel like you are “In a Time Lapse”, or totally stuck “Forever and a Day”. Both songs capture these feelings brilliantly. As a contrast to this, “Labyrinth” is about running without knowing the way or what lies ahead. There’s so much life wisdom here, each song could fill a book with stories.

The album-closer “Through the Eyes of a Child” is something entirely different. The song is light, happy and carefree. It is a much-needed reminder that we all from time to time should try to live in the presence and leave all worries behind – at least for the 3 minutes and 58 seconds of this song.

In conclusion: “Reflection” by Shoshana Michel is, simply put, a fantastic solo piano release! It is great both for active listening and as background music. “Reflection” makes you listen and think, it is offering a perfect combination of easy listening and serious pieces. As mentioned above, a reflection can be either a process of the mind or how light or sound are reflected by a surface. Michel’s album describes both splendidly. That is a major accomplishment!
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