Doug Morris, Founder, Indie Music Appreciation Group
Outstanding New Age music!!
Josiah's music has all the earmarks of truly great New Age music. Some of his compositions remind me very much of David Arkenstone's work, and if you are a frequent reader of my reviews, you will already know that I personally consider Arkenstone to be the epitome of New Age greatness! The beautiful piano melodies are fabulous! Josiah's music in this album shows us that he has copious amounts of talent, and that he is not limited in the styling of his music. It's not all soft blending and melding of warm tonal music such as you find in many albums of "relaxation" music that masquerade themselves as being "New Age."
"New Age" music is music which utilizes the fairly recent increased capability of expression through incorporation of electronic instrumentation and advanced recording methods which make extensive use of digital recording technologies. Although most New Age is "music without words", it does not lend itself readily to being identified into just one "type."
That is what Josiah has demonstrated so eloquently in this album. Yes, some of it is very soft and relaxing, but some of it is also very potent and emotional music that drives your senses into a whole range of feelings. The music combines some very powerful and moving piano/keyboard melodies and a lot of very fine orchestration work with synthesized strings, other synthesizer voices and percussion. It seems to represent life itself in that some of it is slow and dreamy and some quite urgent and fast paced. "Feelings", is what Josiah says his music is all about. He wants his audience to "feel the music", to be "touched" by his music, and I promise, you will be.
I've seen some writings about this young man being "special" because he is able to play such beautiful piano music even though he was born with a birth defect and has only three half-fingers on his left hand, and I agree that is very special. What impresses me the most however, is not that he was able to learn to play classical piano after being told he couldn't because of the deformity, but that he had the spirit to even try. So many people would have found it easy to sit and cry and wallow in self-pity, but this youngster, even at the tender age of 7 years, decided not to give in and he fought back against the odds, against the preconceived notions of others and found within himself, a reserve of "spirit" which enabled him to prove he could do it. I am in awe of such spirit, and yes, I am "Touched."
As for the music itself, I found the album to be an excellent mixture of styles. The very first track, "Love Touch Part I" is very classically New Age, with a beautiful, slow paced piano melody backed by softly soaring strings and a haunting choral-like passage which swells and fades to support the melody. It's truly a wonderful piece and reminds me some of the fantastic style that Enya used in her song "Watermark" (one of my favorite pieces of music!). This is music to be envied by better known artists like Yanni, John Tesh, Jim Brickman, David Lanz and the other pianists of their ilk.
The very next track, "Forbidden Desire", is an entirely different style, with a strong beat, and synth voices in the foreground and an almost choral synth theme in the background. Then the third track "Consolation" is again a beautiful piano melody similar to the first track in styling but totally different in it's melodic theme. The fourth track, "Together", is like a string orchestra with some instruments being played with bow and some being plucked, all done with synths of course.. The next track, "Breaking the Wave" is a very upbeat piano piece, kind of jazzy, with a strong percussion accompaniment.
The whole album is like that. Every track is different! That's what I meant above about Josiah using this album to demonstrate that "New Age" is a whole world of different styles and not something to be defined with any one word. Great job, young man! I hope it sells like ice cold sodas on the Fourth of July, so you'll be able to keep creating more fine music like this!