Mary Martin Stockdale | Timeless

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Jazz: Smooth Jazz New Age: New Age Moods: Solo Female Artist
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Timeless

by Mary Martin Stockdale

Powerful, engaging & compelling solo piano -- Classical technique coupled with strong themes, vivid imagery & improvisational form
Genre: Jazz: Smooth Jazz
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Timeless
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2:45 $0.99
2. Willows by the Stream
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3:00 $0.99
3. The Calling
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4:10 $0.99
4. Spider's Web
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3:16 $0.99
5. Henry's Song
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4:15 $0.99
6. Catch & Release
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4:16 $0.99
7. Raindance
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3:53 $0.99
8. Healing
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4:08 $0.99
9. Appearances
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3:57 $0.99
10. Bluebird Waltz
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1:43 $0.99
11. Smoke in the Valley
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5:21 $0.99
12. Runnin' Fence
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4:09 $0.99
13. Falling Snow
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2:42 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Solo acoustic pianist and composer Mary Martin Stockdale combines three themes into her instrumental music -- nature, The West and philosophies of life.
Her just-released third album, TIMELESS, like its predecessors, can be enjoyed simply for its beautiful melodies, or also appreciated for the deeper emotional resonances beneath the surface.

Stockdale's CDs can be purchased or ordered in many stores nationwide. For more information or to purchase her albums online, go to marymartinstockdale.com, Amazon.com or CDbaby.com; or to buy digital downloads, go to musicmatch.com, emusic.com or buymusic.com. All three albums -- TIMELESS, TROUT CREEK LULLABY (2001) and PORTRAITS ON THE PIANO (1999) -- have each climbed to one of the top three positions on the international new age airplay charts.

Having lived most of her life outside of cities in Michigan, Arizona and Colorado, Stockdale creates music that captures the essence of the Western way of
life and the beauty of the natural world. Currently residing in the countryside near Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Mary lives by a stream with horses grazing nearby, a setting she has treasured since childhood.

"I get much of my inspiration from nature," explains Mary, "and then I attempt to find the deeper meaning in it and how that piece of nature can relate to
each of our lives and the relationships we have with others. When I meld those feelings into my art, I feel they give the music more emotional depth and
more power to affect the listener on both a conscious and subconscious level."

An example on TIMELESS is the tune "Willows by the Stream" which was inspired by trees near her house, but they also symbolize the characteristic of being
strong, but flexible. The melody for "The Calling" actually came from the song of a meadowlark, but the music also reflects "that voice inside that tells
us to accomplish the most we can with our lives." The origins of "Spider's Web" are obvious, but it also serves as a metaphor for "our life's work which is the web we create from birth to death." "Catch & Release" is a fisherman's term, but "in the bigger picture, every moment of our lives is caught for an instant and then we have to let it go, but we also need to treasure it as it
happens." Mary saw bluebirds playing in the snow and the contrasting colors led her to write "Bluebird Waltz" which has the underlying message "it's important to enjoy being alive and take some time to dance and frolic." Massive
forest-fires in the forests of Colorado a few years ago triggered the composing of "Smoke in the Valley" with its twin themes of initial death and destruction followed by rebirth and new life. "Runnin' Fence" got its start when Mary watched her husband and brother build a fence for the horse pasture, and then she realized it was an apt symbol for the boundaries that we set in every relationship we have.

Stockdale's view of life extends beyond those scenes of nature right before her. For the title tune she was picturing all the celestial bodies throughout the infinite cosmos and their endless spinning which also relates back to the movement within even the tiniest bit of matter in the universe. "The song 'Healing' is dedicated to that miracle of life, how our cells can renew themselves and how our minds can mend too." The composition "Appearances" has several levels of meaning beginning with what something looks like on the surface and moving deeper to unexpected circumstances that appear in our lives.

Stockdale's musical style is noteworthy for her active and melodic left hand, her full use of all the keys of the keyboard from highest to lowest, her forceful and assured playing, and her ability to musically capture visual images with emotional undercurrents. Her style developed out of her strong classical training tempered with an affection for folk and acoustic-oriented pop music.

"When I was a little girl some friends down the street gave us a piano and from the first moment I heard it, I fell in love with it," remembers Mary. "There is something about the sound of those vibrating strings that connects
directly to my brain and still gives me thrills and chills. That's why I play an acoustic piano and not an electric or synthesized one. I'm simply addicted to
the acoustic sound."

The first 18 years of her life Mary lived in the country near the town of Romeo, Michigan, north of Detroit. "We lived down a country road and had a creek in the front yard. We also had horses. I started taking piano lessons when I was five-years-old and wrote my first song when I was 11. It was about my horse, Clipper. My horse and my piano were the main things in my life when I was growing up," Mary recalls fondly.

Mary performed at annual recitals, accompanied both school and church choirs (including the Dominican nuns) and composed more songs in high school. "Classical music was my biggest early influence, but my parents introduced me to a lot of Broadway soundtracks such as 'Oklahoma' and 'South Pacific.' I also couldn't help but absorb the vibrations from the whole Sixties revolution which
was reflected in the music of that time -- The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Simon & Garfunkel." After high school, her family moved to the desert country
outside of Tucson, Arizona, once again with horses on the property.

Mary went to the University of Arizona and graduated with a B.A. degree in education with a minor in music. During those four years she began giving piano lessons. She went to numerous concerts and listened to a lot of music. "I
opened up to world music from Ravi Shankar to Santana, and also to the folk-rock that was happening like Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Judy Collins, Carly Simon and Joan Baez. I was still studying classical repertoire, but suddenly I discovered the world of improvisation. It was exciting to take the musical tools I had learned in the classical world and use
them to create my own style."

After graduation Stockdale taught a sixth grade class near Phoenix for a year, but realized she really wanted to specialize in music education. She moved to Colorado, where she has lived ever since, and began to teach piano. She has taught music to hundreds of Colorado students over the years. She also gives voice lessons. Since moving to Steamboat Springs, she has given musical instruction (as a private teacher) at the renowned Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School, the oldest performing arts institution in the nation. Initially hired to perform improvisational music for ballet and modern dance classes there, those sessions fed her creativity and led her to begin composing contemporary instrumental music.

Mary's first album, PORTRAITS ON THE PIANO, was heavily influenced by the energy and creativity found at Perry-Mansfield. The first tune on that CD is dedicated to one of the school's founders and several early photos from the
school are in the package. The album -- which began showcasing her love of nature and The West with tunes such as "Flight of the Redtail Hawk" and "Cowboy Tango" -- went to #3 on the international New Age Voice airplay chart. Stockdale's second recording was TROUT CREEK LULLABY (the cover painting shows the stream by her house) and it continued to focus on her favorite themes with the
compositions "Wetlands," "White Water" and "Storm Peak." TROUT CREEK LULLABY soared to #1 on the NAV chart. Immediately upon release, the new TIMELESS recording rose to #2 on the international New Age Reporter chart. Mary also is currently touring nationwide.

"The big picture is that we all need to protect the planet and the people on it," Stockdale states. "With so much violence and destruction going on in the world, I hope that my songs can give some peace and healing to those who
listen. I want it to be nurturing music."


Reviews


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Chris Lastuka


I first heard "Falling Snow" on "Whisperings" piano solos and fell in love with it instantly and knew I had to buy the cd. I immediately fell in love with "Willows by the Stream", "Henry's Song" and "Raindance". One Saturday afternoon it was snowing in Alberta, those large, lazy snowflakes, and I had "Falling Snow" on repeat on my player. Absolutely delightful watching the snow, sitting by the fire and listening to this cd. Buy it, you will love it.

Kathy Parsons

Beautiful Solo Piano!
“Timeless” is pianist/composer Mary Martin Stockdale’s third album, and is the first for me. Incorporating the three themes of nature, The West, and philosophies of life into her music, Stockdale’s style is strong and assured without being brash or overbearing. Her music has a freshness that suggests some improvisation, but it also has strong classical roots. Residing in Colorado, Stockdale has inspirational beauty all around her, and her impeccable playing allows her to convey whatever message she chooses or feels. Both tender and percussive, this is an artist in total control of her instrument.

“Timeless” includes thirteen piano solos, and all are strong and beautiful in their own right. “Willows By the Stream” is a favorite with its lazy grace and elegant melody - gorgeous! “The Calling” is also wonderful. Inspired by the call of a meadowlark, it also reflects those inner voices that tell us to accomplish as much as we can in life. “Catch and Release” is a fishing term, but also symbolizes moments of our lives, caught for an instant before we have to let them go. Darker and pensive, this piece really reaches the heart. “Raindance” reminds me of some of Robin Spielberg’s lighter pieces, joyfully dancing among the upper registers of the piano. “Bluebird Waltz” has this same playful spirit, and is delightful. “Smoke In the Valley” is darker and moodier, and is another favorite. Inspired by forest fires in Colorado a few years ago, it carries a dual theme of death and destruction followed by rebirth and new life. “Falling Snow” finishes the collection on a light, carefree note.

“Timeless” is an excellent collection of personal and expressive piano solos. Recommended!

Stella Blue

A white light in a black time
After recently going through a bitter divorce, I was at the lowest point in my life. I felt all of the good in the world had been replaced by turmoil and anger. I was almost at the point of giving up when a friend sent me a package containing flowers, candy, a card, and the cd Timeless. While the card and flowers were a beautiful sentiment, it was the music from Mary Martin Stockdale that gave me hope and shown a light into my black world that helped me see again. Her piano seemed to set me a drift on a sea of tranquility and bring hope back into a life that seemed empty. The song Healing especially made me realize that like music life is a melody that must be played out taking in all of the highs and lows as they come. Thank you Mary.

Collected Sounds

dream music
Stockdale's prowess on the piano is apparent, even to non-composers like myself. The music is lovely. It's like the soundtrack to a dream.