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Shoshana Michel | Impressions

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United States - New York

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New Age: Neo-Classical Classical: Contemporary Moods: Featuring Piano
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Impressions

by Shoshana Michel

Impressions features contemporary solo piano, neo-classical and minimalistic piano 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. Imagination
4:24 album only
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2. Dancing in the Shadows
4:51 album only
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3. Quietly, Gently, Peacefully
4:29 album only
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4. Loneliness
5:03 album only
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5. Joyful Moments
3:13 album only
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6. Pierrot
3:17 album only
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7. Prelude in E Minor
3:11 album only
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8. In My Dreams
4:12 album only
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9. Nocturne in E Flat
4:24 album only
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10. Summer into Fall
3:49 album only
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11. Yearning
3:21 album only
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12. Elegy
4:43 album only
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13. Long Ago and Far Away
4:52 album only

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Shoshana Michel is an award-winning contemporary solo pianist. Classically trained, Shoshana started accordion lessons at the age of seven when a door-to-door salesman for a local music studio knocked on her front door. 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.

Shoshana recorded her first solo piano album, Soul Whispers in 2015, featuring her arrangements of Chabad Nigunim, songs of Eastern Europeon origin. In 2016, she released Dancing on the Wind, her debut album as a composer, followed by Prelude to a Dream in 2017, Reflection in 2019.and Impressions in 2020.

Shoshana’s music has been used in documentaries and has received accolades, nominations and awards. Her music can be heard on Sirus XM radio, Pandora, Calm Radio, Whisperings Solo Piano Radio, Sleep Radio, The River of Calm and many other stations worldwide.

Shoshana’s playing has been described as “graceful and flowing” and “refined and elegant”. Her music will inspire, stir the heart and touch the soul. The music she writes is inspired by life experiences, people and emotions. Shoshana feels that music is healing and is passionate about sharing her music with others. She currently resides with her human and avian family in Brooklyn, New York.

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Reviews


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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Impressions" is Shoshana Michel’s fifth solo piano album, and although I’ve reviewed and enjoyed all of her music, there is something very special about this album. The music feels exceptionally intimate and heartfelt and is expressed with a tangible openness and vulnerability - like a soul-opening conversation with a treasured and trusted friend. There are no flashy keyboard pyrotechnics to hide behind, just the beautiful essence of each piece. In the liner notes of the CD, Shoshana explains: “The music from Impressions was born out of reflection and inspiration. Some of the compositions from this album reflect the different emotions, thoughts and feelings that I have recently experienced, while others were inspired by music and those that composed it; the classical music that I listened to growing up, the New Age solo pianists that I discovered in the early 1990’s, and the contemporary solo, neo-classical and minimalistic pianists that motivate and inspire me today.” Recorded at Piano Haven Studio on Joe Bongiorno’s incredible Shigeru Kawai grand piano, the piano sound is flawless; the album was also engineered and mastered by Bongiorno. Even the cover artwork by Mark Briscoe is worth mentioning. Shoshana was looking for some Impressionistic piano paintings and found this one, which strongly resembles Van Gogh’s post-Impressionistic style - perfect!

"Impressions" begins with “Imagination,” a beautifully-flowing piece in a dreamy yet melancholy style. Gentle and very free, it’s a wonderful opener! “Dancing in the Shadows” was composed after a series of events that left Shoshana feeling excluded and alone. As she was composing the music, she envisioned herself in a flowing white dress, dancing in the shadows as she listened to the music, conversations and laughter coming from another room. The emotional intensity flows from the heart of the composer to the heart of the listener - an incredible piece of music! “Quietly, Gently, Peacefully” is a sweet and tender lullaby suitable for “children” of any age. “Loneliness” was inspired by some of the classical music Shoshana learned when she took piano lessons - poignant and deeply emotional. “Joyful Moments” breaks the somber mood with a lively and lighthearted dance for joy. About “Pierrot”: “After I wrote this composition, it brought to my mind a Pierrot, graceful with his sad white-painted face, loose white costume, and black hat.” Melancholy with just a touch of whimsy, I can see him, too. “Prelude in E Minor” is another favorite. Composed in a style similar to JS Bach’s, I hear some influence from Chopin, as well. Darkly stirring, it’s gorgeous! My favorite piece on the album is “Nocturne in E Flat,” which was inspired by both the Romantic and Minimalist genres. Graceful and deeply affecting, this is one of those pieces that makes my fingers itch to play it. In music, an elegy is a piece of music composed to honor someone’s death, and this one “is a somber piece reflecting losing a ‘family member’, whether human, furry or feathered.” The album closes with the lighter yet gently bittersweet “Long Ago and Far Away,” adding nostalgic to the variety of colorful emotions expressed on this great album.
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Dyan Garris

Impressions by Shoshana Michel, Album Review by Dyan Garris
“Intimate and straight from the heart, ‘Impressions’ makes an indelible impression.” – Dyan Garris
_____
“Impressions” is Shoshana Michel’s 5th solo piano album and is almost 54 minutes of total relaxation. Satin-smooth and ultra-calming, this is 13 original piano solos “born out of reflection and inspiration” (“Reflection” is also the title of her last album, by the way).
The gorgeous impressionistic style CD cover art is a painting, “In Tune,” by artist Mark Briscoe. So very beautiful, inviting us to eagerly explore the treasures that lie beneath.

Shoshana says that some of the compositions from this album reflect the various emotions, thoughts and feelings that she had recently experienced, while others were inspired by music and those that composed it; the classical music that she listened to growing up, the New Age solo pianists that she discovered in the early 1990s, and the contemporary solo, neo-classical and minimalistic pianists that motivate and continue to inspire her today.

The album opens with the dreamy, “Imagination.” We can easily flow along with this and let our imaginations run freely as well. That’s the point, of course, and this is very enjoyable and a perfect beginning.

Have you ever felt left out or excluded from anything? Of course. We all have at one time or another. The piece, “Dancing in the Shadows” was composed during a time when a series of events left Shoshana feeling exactly that way. She envisioned herself in a flowing white dress, dancing alone in a dimly lit room, while others in an adjacent, bright, and colorful room engaged together in merriment. Such a stunningly beautiful piece, this one speaks directly to the heart. Love it.

“Quietly. Gently. Peacefully,” is a sweet lullaby for all to enjoy. This piece truly is quiet, gentle, and extremely peaceful. Wonderful.
Somber, serious, but not morose or dreary, “Loneliness,” is actually uplifting in a tender and engaging kind of way. And then, as is the way of life, we go from an emotion like loneliness right into “Joyful Moments.” This is one of my favorites on the album. Happy, and very flowing, it’s aglow with joy and light. Great use of both the upper and lower registers. This is gorgeous.

Originating from a 17th century Italian troupe of stage actors/players, performing in France, “Pierrot” is a kind of “sad clown” character. With his painted white face and flowing white costume, he is most often portrayed as trusting and naïve. The song, “Pierrot” perfectly conveys this graceful, innocent feeling.

“Prelude in E Minor” is done in the style of John Sebastian Bach. This composition perfectly showcases Shoshana’s flawless neo-classical piano playing talents. The cadence is wonderful, and Shoshana’s touch is pure velvet. Beautiful.
Inspired by dreams Shoshana had of her late mother, and missing her as well, “In My Dreams,” is both calming and sentimental. The melodic composition captures that space between worlds. Very enjoyable, perfectly composed and played.

“Nocturne in E Flat,” is a romantic, elegant piece. Dreamy and pensive, it’s just the way it should be. Delightful. Originally written a few years ago and set aside, then rediscovered at the perfect time to find its place on this album, “Summer into Fall,” is my ultimate favorite on “Impressions.” Melodic, flowing, sweeping, smooth, graceful . . . I can’t say enough good things about this piece. This is definitely one for the playlist. And, if you play the piano, be sure to get the sheet music as well.

“Yearning” was inspired by the music of several minimalistic composers whose music Shoshana admires. One characteristic of minimalist music includes the use of repetitive musical phrases or patterns. She has done a great job of such with this song, which is elegant and memorable.

A somber, contemplative song, “Elegy,” was inspired by the passing of family members, whether they be human or animal. This is soft, gentle, and reflective. Not depressing, this is quite peaceful and reverent.

The album closes out with the very fluid piece, “Long Ago and Far Away.” Wistful and nostalgic, this is emotionally stirring and straight from the heart. Again, this is one for the relaxation playlist, plus get the sheet music if you play. This is just beautiful, as is the whole album. “Impressions” makes an indelible impression. Well done!
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