Jeff Bjorck | Pure Piano Panoramas

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Pure Piano Panoramas

by Jeff Bjorck

This second "Pure Piano" CD features one of Bjorck's top-selling pieces for over a decade, "Desert Cloudburst." Kathy Parsons of Mainlypiano.com lists this CD as one of her favorites of all time.
Genre: New Age: New Age
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  Song Share Time Download
1. O, The Deep, Deep Love Of Jesus
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4:44 $0.99
2. Joshua Trees
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5:45 $0.99
3. Soaring Mesa Cliffs
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5:47 $0.99
4. Sculptor Of The Sky
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6:41 $0.99
5. Day Without A Sun
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4:07 $0.99
6. Desert Cloudburst
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6:14 $0.99
7. Remembering Grandma
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3:18 $0.99
8. Porch Swing Summer Night
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2:54 $0.99
9. Your Love Has Made Me Fly
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4:35 $0.99
10. The Homestead
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5:06 $0.99
11. Holy, Holy, Holy
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6:53 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
THE MUSIC

Jeff Bjorck's second CD, PURE PIANO PANORAMAS begins where his debut project PURE PIANO PORTRAITS ends. Many pieces on Jeff Bjorck's first CD reflect his love for the Appalachian woods and Catskill Mountains of his youth. In 2000, having lived the last decade in Southern California, he turned to the desert and chaparral for inspiration. From the Joshua Trees of the Mojave Desert (portrayed on the CD cover) to towering thunderclouds hovering above parched earth, Jeff's new songs take the listener on a panoramic tour.

These pieces were all recorded in 2000. Most were composed over the previous four years, with two exceptions: Day Without A Sun was created in 1977, the year that Jeff lost his only uncle to cancer; Your Love Has Made Me Fly is a 1986 tribute to Sharon, Jeff's wife (and best friend) of ten years. Their first joint effort at songwriting, Sculptor of the Sky, reflects their shared amazement with the beauty of clouds. Several other pieces also convey personal themes. Jeff honors his grandmother, who almost lived to see her hundredth birthday and a new millennium, with Remembering Gramma. An avid hang glider pilot, Jeff's love of flight is manifested in Soaring Mesa Cliffs, which beckons the listener to rise high above the mundane into clear, stark, silent skies.

As he does on his first CD, here Jeff surrounds his own compositions with original arrangements of two traditional hymns. He explains, Holy, Holy, Holy has long been a favorite, and it served as Sharon's and my wedding processional, so it is particularly special. As for O, The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus, I am continually overwhelmed by God's love, and this hymn expresses my sentiments well."

Jeff's first CD has provided reassuring focus for mothers in delivery, peaceful rest when insomnia comes knocking, and elegant ambiance at intimate wedding receptions and dinner parties. He remarks, "It is my hope that PURE PIANO PANORAMAS will bring my listeners more of what they enjoy, emotional music with a classical feel that lifts them from the rat race and gently sets them down in a restful place, as far away from everyday chaos as possible."

THE ARTIST

As an artist, Jeff Bjorck believes music in its purest form is sometimes the closest thing to art. Not surprisingly, his solo acoustic piano compositions paint a gallery of musical images suitable for framing. These original works interweave delicacy with intensity, combine musical notes with the space between them, and create moving pictures that move the emotions. Dr. Bjorck is somewhat of an expert on emotions. As a clinical psychologist, researcher, and professor at Fuller Seminary's Graduate School of Psychology, his multifaceted vocation typifies his ongoing passion for a Renaissance man's approach to life.

Jeff's nontraditional method of composition has remained basically the same during the past thirty-five years. He sits at the piano, plays spontaneously from the heart, and stops to develop any musical themes that surprise him. He confesses, "Sometimes I feel like a third party, listening to the whole process as an interested observer!"

To Jeff, nature embodies God's ultimate artistic creativity, and it is frequently the subject of his portraits. Born to two artists, he began creating music when he was ten years old. He also loves composing through the media of photography, illustration, painting, and poetry.

In addition to original compositions, Jeff includes original arrangements of traditional hymns on his CDs. He remarks, "My faith and relationship with Jesus Christ provide vision and give my life its meaning. My creativity merely imitates the Creator." He describes his compositions as "quiet music to calm the heart in a noisy world." Listeners apparently agree.

When not working or enjoying time with his wife, Sharon, Jeff occasionally likes scaring their two cats with his clarinet renditions of '30s and '40s big band tunes. He also loves to seek creative inspiration for new music by hang gliding high above the mountains of Southern California.


Reviews


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Kathy Parsons

Stunning!
Jeff Bjorck’s follow-up to his debut, “Pure Piano Portraits”, is stunning. The first night I listened to it, I had to keep stopping what I was doing to listen with more focus, and I found myself repeatedly saying “Wow!”. The earlier “Portraits” is an excellent album, but the artistic growth and emotional depth in “Panoramas” are amazing! A clinical psychologist, researcher, and professor at a theological seminary in southern California, Jeff’s understanding of the human psyche as well as his own deeply spiritual nature come through with a bold confidence and assurance that is lacking in a lot of so-called new age piano recordings. Many artists claim that their compositions are emotional and soothing, but one can sometimes feel an intentional manipulation - the sense that a piece was composed with the idea of being “emotional and soothing”, as it were. When the real thing comes through, as it does with “Panoramas”, it is a profound and compelling listening experience. These eleven compositions come from such a deeply personal place that you know that Bjorck is opening and sharing his soul with us.
As he did on his first album, Bjorck frames his original compositions between his own arrangements of two of his favorite hymns. I was not familiar with the opening hymn, “Oh, The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus” - what a powerhouse! There is such an emotional charge to this piece that I was amazed that it was not an original. The hymn obviously holds a very profound attachment for Bjorck, and I am very moved each time I hear it. “Holy, Holy, Holy” closes the album, and is also deeply personal, having served as the processional at Bjorck’s wedding. Several of the original pieces were inspired by experiences in the southern California desert - “Joshua Trees” describes the majesty of these strange trees with an almost hymn-like reverence; “Soaring Mesa Cliffs” gives a breathtaking feeling of what it is like to fly over the desert as a hang-glider; and “Desert Cloudburst” is a gorgeous depiction of how quickly the weather can change in the desert from quiet and peaceful to a drenching downpour. “Sculptor of the Sky” is Jeff’s first musical collaboration with his wife, Sharon; the piece lovingly describes their shared amazement with the beauty of clouds. The remaining pieces are tributes to very special relationships in Bjorck’s life. “Day Without Sun” was composed in 1977, after losing his only uncle to cancer - sad and poignant, but very loving. “Remembering Gramma” is a sweet waltz. “Porch Swing Summer Night” is a lazy, peaceful, homey kind of piece. “Your Love Has Made Me Fly” is a joyful and exuberant love song to a beloved wife and best friend. “The Homestead” is cozy, warm and very content.
As a piano teacher who listens to solo piano for a living, it takes something very special to knock me out, and this is it! One of my favorite albums for the year 2000, it will continue to be a favorite for years to come. I give “Panoramas” my highest recommendation!