Stephen Wallack | Chapters

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United States - Minnesota

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New Age: Solo Instrumental Easy Listening: Nostalgia Moods: Instrumental
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Chapters

by Stephen Wallack

Featuring ten original compositions, Chapters is forceful, energetic, confident and passionate. The songs capture moments in Wallack’s life that were important and impactful, stories from his experiences as a son, friend, husband and father. His debut alb
Genre: New Age: Solo Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Virginia
6:49 album only
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2. Oceans
6:30 album only
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3. Cooper's Song
4:48 album only
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4. Trains
5:20 album only
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5. Dad
5:24 album only
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6. Chicago
4:57 album only
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7. The Traveler
5:34 album only
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8. Wedding Song
4:42 album only
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9. Holiday
4:57 album only
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10. Archer
5:45 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Pianist Stephen Wallack explodes onto the new age music scene with his debut album, Chapters, which spotlights his powerful, energetic, cinematic style of composing and performing music that is full of passion, strong rhythms and heartfelt melodies.

A Minnesota native, Wallack was inspired by his life’s journey through a complex range of emotional moments: happiness, traveling, his family, the passing of friends and favorite places. “Each of the songs that I write are like chapters of my life,” explains Wallack. “If there was a movie about me, this album could serve as the soundtrack underscoring what I was going through and what I was feeling during various stages of my life. I describe my music as cinematic and emotional. I really enjoy when music tells a story, connects with you on a deeper level, and takes you on a journey.”

Instrumental music especially connected with him from a young age. He began taking piano lessons at the age of five, and quickly learned that he had a unique ear for music. When he was 12, his best friend played him the album December by pianist George Winston. “That moment changed my life forever. I felt such a connection to his music, that for months I would sit at my little orange piano with a small tape player and just hit play/rewind over and over again until I figured out his songs. I essentially taught myself how to play piano listening to his music.”

When he was 14-years-old he stopped playing other people’s music and started writing his own songs. The music on his new album, Chapters is a collection of his life’s compositions - the album is forceful, energetic, confident and passionate. Wallack uses his music to connect with his emotions and tell those stories: “These songs have a very personal connection to me, but I want listeners to be able to make their own connections and see their own stories.”

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Reviews


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Helena Dee

STEPHEN WALLACK USES PIANO TO MIX RHYTHM AND MELODY INTO A HEADY BREW
There are all types of solo pianists, but very, very few like STEPHEN WALLACK, as you will hear when you listen to his debut album, CHAPTERS. His style is rhythmic, energetic, vibrant, often fast-paced and forceful. However, about half the tunes have tempo changes so they do have some slower sections in them. His passion for his music is obvious. He pours his heart and soul into every piece. While many solo piano recordings are soft and gentle and slow, Wallack takes a different tack as he makes his rhythmic patterns equal to his melodies and at a pace so that they take on a life of their own and propel the music into a special dimension of movement, force and emotional resonance not often heard using a single instrument. For piano lovers, this is a must-hear recording.
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Dyan Garris

Chapters Album Review
“CHAPTERS” by Stephen Wallack - Album Review by Dyan Garris

“Chapters” is the debut album for composer and solo pianist, Stephen Wallack. Stephen started playing piano when he was five years of age on the very same orange piano pictured on the album cover. He started composing his own music at the age of fourteen. All the compositions on “Chapters,” were composed and played by Stephen and recorded on a Steinway S Grand piano.
The album is a “journey;” the songs, like “chapters” from his life. But it’s not just his journey. The listener is able to connect with and identify their own “chapters” and make their own story come alive through the music.

“Chapters” is ten tracks and almost one hour of solo piano. However, this is not your typical New Age relaxation or meditation music. This music is energetic and fast paced, passionate and vibrant throughout. His impressive keyboarding skills evident, the songs are played confidently and with conviction.

The album opens with the quite energetic “Virginia.” This is almost seven minutes of well-executed exuberance. Following is the very pretty, “Oceans,” which starts out a little quieter and then moves into painting us an expressive soundscape of how the ocean really is; sometimes gentle, sometimes more vigorous, but always immensely beautiful. Tempo changes within the song perfectly capture these movements of ebb and flow. Very nicely done.

“Cooper’s Song,” a tribute to a departed friend, also incorporates interesting and effective tempo changes. The song is passionate and heartfelt. “Trains” is a five-minute track which makes good use of both upper and lower registers of the piano. It’s balanced, melodic, and flowing. Very pretty, moving, it’s a favorite on this album.

“Dad” is a piece he wrote after his father passed away. This is quite emotional, as one might expect, soft and gentle and playful in places, grateful as well, and then more fervent, impassioned, and intense in others. You can really feel this song in right in your heart, even if you didn’t know what it is about. Very powerful.

Capturing the energy of that metropolis perfectly, “Chicago” is brilliant. The tempo changes are perfectly employed and effective, as is the use of both upper and lower registers. The city is alive even when it sleeps. We can hear it and feel it. There is a lot going on here. This is like its own vignette inside a larger vignette.

Fast-paced and energetic, with a catchy melody that conveys the excitement and anticipation we usually feel when embarking upon a journey, “The Traveler,” is another one to like. The pace gets slower toward the end as “the traveler” takes a little break from all the traveling. Very enjoyable and well-done.

The extremely beautiful “Weddings” was written as music for Stephen’s wife to walk down the aisle at their wedding. What a loving tribute to love. It’s gorgeous. “Holiday” starts off with a kind of gentle anticipation and becomes even more engaging as it moves along, particularly toward the end. Passionate and heartfelt, it’s another emotionally stirring tune.

The album rounds out with the dynamic and booming, “Archer,” which is another tribute to a friend who has passed on. This is jam-packed full of life, perhaps much like Archer. Toward the middle-end, things quiet down considerably. But then the lower registers come to life, again, perhaps much like Archer. . .

“Chapters” is a bold, spirited, wildly passionate, emotionally stirring solo piano album. Well-composed and well-played, it left me breathless. We all look forward to hearing more from this talented artist. Bravo.
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Candice Michelle

From AuralAwakenings.com
Stephen Wallack exudes supreme poise and professionalism on the piano, with his exquisite album Chapters seemingly playing out like a sonic diary of nostalgic life experiences and scenic rural travels. Artfully intricate yet accessibly down-to-earth, his expressive compositions flow with continuity like an endless, winding river. If there’s one recent album I’d mostly highly recommend to fans of George Winston, it would be this one!
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