BAY AREA REPORTER
I'm hooked. Elise Lebec may categorize her impressions for solo piano as new age, but I'm content to call them beautiful. Inspired by nature, love, and hope for the future, Lebec's 14 original compositions mix familiar harmonies with occasionally surprising tempo and dynamic changes. Wonderfully recorded, with the natural deep resonance and ringing top that befit a former Steinway Piano-sponsored artist, Lebec's music benefits from an unpretentious harmonic sophistication that distinguishes it from the heap… gratifying compositions that stimulate the mind while soothing the spirit. - Jason Victor Serinus
THE CELEBRITY CAFE****
Elise Lebec’s new solo piano album offers a new look at piano music as a genre. Lebec’s music is both inspired by peace and meant to bring about peaceful emotions. The album is incredibly relaxing with its subtle tempo changes and uplifting spirit. This CD is perfect ambiance music for dinner with that certain someone or for relaxing alone after a hard day. The power of Lebec’s beautiful melodies will take you to a more relaxed state of mind, and that is i mport for today’s on-the-go world.- Drew Mulkins
Music Reviews of World, Adult Contemporary, Jazz, Blues, Country
Pianist Elise Lebec hopes to be there the next time that you need to drift off into slumber and want to enter the cloudy world of Dreamland. While that might sound as if her music isn’t enjoyable and makes you want to yawn, it shouldn’t. It’s not often that an artist can write an album that will invigorate you and relax you all at once in a singular fashion. Her compositions are rich and haunting with perfectly played piano that weeps of emotion.- J-Sin
Pianist Elise Lebec hopes that when people hear her music, it helps them to dream about a better world and then encourages them to make those dreams come true. Her third album, POSSIBLE DREAMS, is a solo piano recording filled with 14 original compositions inspired by nature, love and hope for the future.
“Dreaming is one of the best of all human traits,” Elise says, “because it is much easier to attain a goal if you have already visualized it. What do you want your life to be like? What type of world do you want to live in? After you answer those questions, it’s logical to try to figure out how to make it happen. I hope that while people are listening to my music, they will think of new ideas and new ways of doing things. They might work toward large goals like peace for our planet or simply try to make their own life happier. Anything positive we add to this world makes it a better place for all of us.”
Elise began her musical career under the name Tabitha. Her first album, TABITHA LEBEC PLAYS BILLICH, was instrumental piano music composed to be enjoyed in conjunction with paintings by world-renowned artist Charles Billich. Her second CD using the name Tabitha Lebec was a vocal album, BACK TO INNOCENCE, of all original material. Elise spent time in Sydney, Australia, where she became a popular performer at both charity events and her own performance-art concerts. Elise also spent five years in England where she formed the band Post Pop Federation with Mike Lindup (Level 42) and also performed with Nigel Kennedy, Imogen Heap (Frou Frou), Kiki Dee (Elton John) and Colin Preston (Samantha Mumba). Elise also has worked with Chris Boardman, a top arranger for Barbra Streisand, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Celine Dion and more than 200 films. In addition, Elise’s song and vocals are appearing in the movie “Americanizing Shelly.”
Elise moved to New Zealand where she lived on the ocean for two years and developed her songwriting and piano playing. Her next move was to Australia where she became in-demand as a musician to perform at charity functions. She organized a piano marathon at a mall to raise money for children who hope to study at the Royal School of Music. Elise’s own concerts in Sydney featured her playing original music on piano while other performers, including jugglers and fire-eaters, also entertained the audiences. Elise, who was a Steinway Piano-sponsored artist in Australia, walked into painter Charles Billich’s gallery one day, sat down at a piano there, and began playing. This led to a collaboration with Billich who was the official artist for the 1996 Olympics and who has a painting hanging in the Vatican. The TABITHA PLAYS BILLICH recording features Elise’s original piano pieces written specifically for various Billich paintings which are shown inside the CD booklet.
Elise expanded her musical ambitions when she moved to England where she began to sing professionally. She studied with top vocal coach Glenn Jones (who also has worked with Annie Lennox). Elise co-founded the band Post Pop Federation with Level 42 keyboardist Mike Lindup and Roland Chadwick, and they performed concerts and released (through Warner Bros.) a CD titled PPF. As a solo artist, Elise played at top clubs including The Kashmir Klub (with Paul McCartney, Chrissie Hynde and Richard Thompson in the audience), The Troubadour, Floyd’s and the Bartok Café. Elise sang onstage with Kiki Dee(Elton John). In addition, Elise wrote and recorded the song “Rainbow” with Colin Preston (producer for Samantha Mumba), and Elise performed it on BBC-TV as the opening for the first British Kickboxing Championship. Elise also performed several times with best-selling alternative-classical violinist Nigel Kennedy.
After returning to the United States, Elise worked with Peter Bernstein (Elmer Bernstein’s son), who arranged and produced two tunes that tested at the top of the Music Research website. Then Elise teamed with Pat Robinson, who has written songs for Joe Cocker, Glen Campbell, Laura Branigan and Percy Sledge; and who has sung with The Textones, Dwight Twilley and Gene Clark. Lebec and Robinson co-wrote and demo-recorded several songs that are now being placed in forthcoming films including “You Could Be Next,” “Somebody Stole My Baby,” “A Chance in a Million,” “The Perfect Son,” “Voodoo Can Kill You” and “Wireless.” While being managed by Joe Boyland (who managed Lynyrd Skynyrd for a decade and produced a Black Crowes DVD), Elise went to Nashville to compose with songwriter Robert Johnson (who wrote “Where Does My Heart Beat Now” for Celine Dion). Using her alternate stage name, Tabitha, Elise recorded and released her second album, BACK TO INNOCENCE, on which she sang her original songs in a simple, acoustic setting. She went on to record additional vocal material in conjunction with hot string arranger Chris Boardman. Currently Elise is spreading her artistic wings even further by writing a novel about a young woman’s journey through the music business.
On her new album, POSSIBLE DREAMS, Elise has compositions that deal with hopes and dreams (“Possible Dreams” and “The First Time”), sleep dreaming (“Before Awakening” and “Imaginary Kisses”), nature (“Behold,” “A Drive Through Sunflowers” and “Cloudless Sky”), love (“Meeting You Again” and “Colors of the Heart”), and nighttime imagery (“Dark Before Light” and “Moonlight Dance”). Her original piano style mixes hauntingly-beautiful melody lines with tempo changes and stunning dynamics to create an absolutely unique sound.
“I have a strong hope for the future,” states Elise. “I want people to care more about taking care of children, cleaning up and protecting our environment, and expressing their artistic instincts. I believe in more female involvement in running our world so the nurturing energy will balance what men contribute. When I was a little girl, I was certain that anything and everything was possible. We must make sure that humankind never loses that yearning.”