Blue Ballerina Published Reviews:
From Whisperin & Hollerin in the U.K.:
Our Rating: TEN STARS
There is something about Randy Stahla's "Blue Ballerina" (http://www.desertsnow.org) CD that touches a part of ourselves deep inside.
New Age to many outsiders is cold and soulless, namely because of the lack of words and reliance on synthetic instrumentation. However, that cannot be said of Stahla's work, which is sincerely moving and poignant. And why is that? There are messages in "Blue Ballerina" that our minds cannot comprehend but our hearts grasp with enthusiasm. This is a peaceful, meditative work with invisible lyrics in the grooves.
Stahla is more like a snake charmer than a musician. His compositions soothe and hypnotize. The title track, which is actually the opening cut, weaves a spell immediately. We are dazzled and at peace as mesmerizing, cinematic keyboards fill the speakers with profound inner calm. It's actually a song about death yet Stahla seems to be providing a soundtrack for the afterlife. There's an angelic quality to the song that soars through the headphones.
On "Ocean Ballet," Stahla's synthesizers charm the ears with their radiance; one can imagine the sun's glowing reflection upon the waves. "Pretty Pretty Princess" has upbeat keyboard hooks and widescreen landscapes that are made for film while the aquatic "New Canvas" continues the seduction of our ears.
"Blue Ballerina" flows like water, and it cleanses us in the same way. But it's our souls - our losses, our disappointments, our pain - that is being washed away here. This is a one of a kind album, one that goes beyond entertainment, becoming an essential part of our everyday living.
author: Adam Harrington
From Ink19 Magazine:
If dreams had soundtracks, Randy Stahla would be among its best composers.
New Age music has received its share of critical slams since the genre entered the public consciousness in the '80s, and I certainly can't count myself as a fan. In fact, I received this album with tremendous skepticism. However, once the CD began playing, it quickly became apparent that Stahla is aiming for art, not audio wallpaper.
What distinguishes Stahla's work from his peers is its depth. These instrumentals have character and life; they are not emotionless constructions. There is a playfulness at work here, but more importantly Stahla is illustrating stories with these pieces. The protagonist in the title track is dead, and the music is paying tribute to her life. Stahla produces an incandescent mind trip, liberating our minds from our bodies, and allowing them to soar into the recesses of our subconscious. The sparkling, gentle rhythms warm the heart. You'd expect something closer to a funeral march, considering the subject matter; however, Stahla avoids gloom and doom. On the contrary, his purpose is to uplift, which he accomplishes with a majestic touch.
Author: Kyrby Raine
Available on Amazon
From Michael Sutton, Journalist from Tacoma, Washington:
----- "Randy Stahla is a poet but instruments are his pens.
His fingers tell stories through the dreamlike,
melodic sounds he creates; they are movies for the
mind, producing images of love and eternal peace. Blue
Ballerina is his latest masterstroke, a moving
collection of cinematic arrangements that warm the
heart while stimulating the imagination. The title
track is named after a poem on Stahla’s website, which
is like a graffiti-laden wall of heartfelt personal
messages and tributes to love lost. In the poem, the
Blue Ballerina dies after an act of violence. The
album itself is for people who have lost somebody
close to them, and the soft, spellbinding music
creates a cathartic effect that heals wounded souls."
From David Oldham, WQFS FM, North Carolina:
----- David Oldham, who does a NEW AGE MUSIC RADIO SHOW on WQFS FM on the campus of Guilford College in North Carolina, said, "I heard some of Randy Stahla's music on CDBaby and enjoyed it so much, that I want to include it in my program called 'Music To Heal The Heart.' I feel this music could make a tremendous contribution to the show's format."
The show can be heard every Sunday morning on WQFS 90.9 FM, on the campus of Guilford College in North Carolina. According to the Princeton Review, they are the sixth most listened to independent college radio station in the country, with a potential listening audience of about a million people in the area of central North Carolina.
----- A few comments about the Blue Ballerina CD from Brian Larson, award-winning journalist and announcer on KUNC FM, Greeley, Colorado:
A Message to You
"Simple and elegant, while being forceful and to the point. Nice tune."
All the summers
"This track was uplifting and full of release. Kind of a medieval summers tale."
"Intriguing title. This one had the most surprises in the melody. Parts of it reminded me of Chariots of Fire. I enjoyed this song."
"I like the channel separation on this one - melancholy and moody. It seemed to fit me very well. It was almost meditative at times."
Brian was asked, what were your favorite tunes on the CD? Here is what he said:
Ocean Ballet. "Having recently been to the ocean - this one appealed to me. The percussion gave me a sense of the power of the ocean - followed by the sweeping sounds of the keyboard which conjured up a picture of waves dancing upon the water."
Birthday Cake. "This song made me feel happy and sad at the same time. It made me think of the cakes my grandmother used to make for me on my birthdays as a child. (Chocolate Layer cake with whipped cream in the middle)".
You can read more about Brian Larson and the many awards he has won on the DesertSnow website.
Randy Stahla - BIOS
Randy Stahla has played drums since grade school years, and the piano and synthesizer for 19 years. He has played in several bands including rock, country, jazz, and folk. He has toured with various groups throughout the Northwest, Colorado, and Vancouver, Canada. He traveled with the Continental Singers (similar to "Up With People") across the southern U.S. and the Caribbean.
Since 1986, he has been writing Celtic New Age style music, and has released 2 CDs. He also has a web site to encourage people, especially those who have lost loved ones. His site gets visitors from over 30 countries every month, and some people have emailed him and said, "I come to your site to start each day."
Stahla says, "I am very concerned about long-term grief, when people need encouragement long after a tragedy - a divorce, or loss of a loved one. I wanted to make art and music that were so beautiful that they would be more powerful than the pain."
Stahla makes his home in Colorado, but loves the ocean, and his many visits to California and to the Mexican Baja shore was one of his inspirations.
Randy goes on to say, "I have always enjoyed watching ballet and its fluid and rhythmic movements inspired this CD. The songs on Blue Ballerina are full of melodies and counter-melodies. There are many layers of music that form a tapestry that will captivate you. After playing this music live, a woman came up to me and said, "You can come to my house and play this music night and day for me. I would never get tired of it."
Stahla loves the harp, the piano, guitar, and strings, and they all blend together to form what I am hoping is my own new sound - a unique blend based on many years of experience playing and listening to many styles of music.
This music also relates to his concern about violence against women. Stahla says, "If you read the poem and the other materials on my web site, you will see the vision I have for bringing peace to those who have lost loved ones. I have struggled to try and find all kinds of ways to do this. Blue Ballerina is the name of a fictional character that dies from an act of violence. The only crime she ever committed was trying to love someone. The stories, poems, and now this CD are my best efforts at trying to help those who are left after this happens, and to try and paint a picture of what I see happening after someone crosses through the doorway of death.
People have told me many times that this music is very calming. Pop it in the player during a stressful day driving in traffic or at home and you may find that it helps you relax."
Gabe Llanas, DesertSnow.org