Fiona Joy Hawkins | Christmas Joy

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Holiday: Easy Listening New Age: Contemporary Instrumental Moods: Mood: Christmas
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Christmas Joy

by Fiona Joy Hawkins

Experience Christmas as never before. An intoxicating mix of Gaelic, Didgeridoo, Paraguayan Harp, Soprano Sax, String Orchestra and a World of Rhythm that will free your spirit as it calms your senses.
Genre: Holiday: Easy Listening
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Walking in the Air
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6:09 $1.15
2. Still Still Still
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5:33 $1.15
3. Silent Night
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6:05 $1.15
4. Jingle Bells
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4:48 $1.15
5. Gliding on a Sleigh
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6:03 $1.15
6. Christmas Wedding
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3:24 $1.15
7. O Come O Come Emmanuel
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5:20 $1.15
8. Flight of the Snowbird
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4:42 $1.15
9. The Holly and the Ivy
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4:13 $1.15
10. Christmas Joy
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5:50 $1.15
11. Away in a Manger
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3:57 $1.15
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
"Fiona Joy Hawkins breathes life into a traditional repertoire deeply in need of a new perspective and new energy. The recording offers an inventive and joyful approach to the music which has been taken for granted for decades. Both in her unique slant on traditional music and in her wonderful original compositions, Christmas Joy is an utterly brilliant creation and a recording of stellar beauty for the season."

Will Ackerman - Founder Windham Hill Records.

Fiona achieved the highest ranking in the history of the New Age Reporter International Radio Charts for her previous album Blue Dream and has been a finalist in over 43 Indie Artist Awards across 9 countries. She has won ZMR Lifestyle Music Awards for Album of the Year, Best Piano Album (twice) and Best Instrumental Album. In 2008 she won a MusicOZ Award for Best Classical/Jazz Artist and went on to become an Australian ARIA Award Finalist in 2008 for Blue Dream.

Christmas joy will allow you to experience Christmas as you never have. An Intoxicating mix of Gaelic, Didgeridoo, Paraguayan Harp, Soprano Sax, String Orchestra and a world of Rhythm that will free your spirit as it calms your senses.




Reviews


to write a review

jo camp

Pure Joy
Listening to Fiona Joy Hawkins’ Christmas Joy is just that – pure joy! I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and it did not disappoint. This album will enthusiastically fill my Christmas giving needs, and will delight the recipients. Fiona’s treatment of the old standards is fresh, mellow, uplifting and evocative. It is Christmas brand new, but so much more. We are treated to a mixture of Fiona’s own compositions as well as the exquisite sounds of Christmas carols ala Fiona Joy Hawkins. Honestly, I’m listening day after day and it’s only September.

I would not be in the least surprised to hear “Gliding on a Sleigh” as accompaniment to Olympic skaters in future competitions. I close my eyes and visualize dancers whirling and twirling, skirts flowing. The introduction of ancient instruments and Gaelic voices makes this album so unique it defies description. It is a must-listen. “Jingle Bells” like you’ve never heard it. Rhythm supplied by the didgeridoo gives this old favorite new spice. “Still, Still, Still” is one track I play time and again in a row because once is not enough to get my fill. It’s light and airy – a really fun piece. All the songs on the album are unique and joyful listening.

P.S. I’m not being paid to write this – I’m just blown away by the music and variety of instruments and sounds and want to share.

Jo Camp

REVIEWS NEW AGE

Christmas Joy es la superproducción de navidad para este año!.
Philip Aaberg, Charlie Bisharat, Eugene Friesen, Jeff Haynes... son grandes nombres ya habituales en las producciones de William Ackerman. La pianista australiana Fiona Joy Hawkins ha querido que su quinto álbum sea más que extraordinario y para ello, se ha rodeado de lo mejor para dar vida a Christmas Joy. Entre los artistas nombrados anteriormente, se incluyen también: el propio Will Ackerman, Rebecca Daniel, Dave Ellis, Michael Jackson, Tony Levin, Heather Rankin, Alfredo Rolando Ortiz, Marc Shulman y Premik Russell Tubbs, un grandísimo elenco de músicos que prestan sus instrumentos a cada villancico del álbum, lo que constituye un contexto dinámico y cambiante; el secreto de Christmas Joy para el deleite de los sentidos.

Un perfil nuevo para "Walking in the Air", la pieza que presenta el álbum. Con Fiona al piano, Aaberg a la orquestación y el conjunto de cuerdas de Rebecca, Friesen y Ellis, acompañan a la voz gaélica de Heather Hankin, el instrumento dominante, el que deja perplejo al oyente. Esta versión cantada con tintes celtas es una verdadera maravilla. Una de las piezas a destacar en Christmas Joy.

"Still Still Still" es suave, es una caricia. El conjunto de cuerdas y el arpa de Rolando Ortiz crean el fondo perfecto para el pacífico piano de Hawkins, que con delicadeza y al tempo marcado por Haynes, varía sutilmente las notas para hacer suyo este villancico.

La omnipresente "Silent Night" no podía faltar en un álbum como este. En esta bellísima y conmovedora adaptación, Hawkins no sólo reproduce la melodía al piano, también presta su dulce voz, que unidas a las cuerdas dan vida, posiblemente, a una de las versiones más bellas de "Silent Night".

"Jingle Bells" es la pieza más alegre del álbum. Con un ritmo que no rompe el encanto Haynes le ofrece la base perfecta a los instrumentos, así como al piano de Fiona y al instrumento que marca la diferencia en el tema, el didgeridoo de Michael Jackson, un sonido interesante y movido.

"Gliding on a Sleigh" es relajada, donde piano y saxo se entienden a la perfección en una música íntima y envuelta en ternura. Una melodía perfecta para dejar que suene de fondo y soñar. Qué preciosidad!.

"Christmas Wedding" comienza con entrañables notas, semejándose a una nana, para después tornarse en una amable música que roza el toque clásico. Apasionada y profunda, la música deja ver emoción, algo tan fuerte que es posible sentir las notas rozando nuestra piel.

La producción de "O Come O Come Emmanuel" es sencillamente perfecta. El piano y el violín se intercambian los papeles para reproducir la melodía, mientras, un continuo redoble de percusión mantiene al oyente inmerso en un estado de preocupación al tiempo que suena la popular melodía. Otra de mis favoritas!.

"Flight of the Snowbird" es una música relajante y nostálgica con un carácter muy íntimo que sigue un continuo vaivén, altibajos donde predominan la preocupación y la esperanza en una melodía rica en emociones.

La versión de "The Holly and the Ivy" es tan serena que invita a la quietud, inundando de paz al oyente y estableciendo un eficaz ambiente de bienestar. Cuerdas y piano son la conjunción perfecta para este villancico.

Con la pieza que da nombre al álbum regresa la dicha. El piano marca con sus acordes el tempo de la música, mientras, alegres notas de didgeridoo, voces y guitarras acompañan a Fiona en su alegre viaje. "Christmas Joy" es otra gran producción de Ackerman, esta pieza tiene vida!.

La última pieza es otra de mis favoritas. "Away in a Manger" es uno de esos villancicos, al igual que "Silent Night", que aparecen en cualquier recopilatorio de navidad, pero en este CD, el villancico es muy diferente, reconocible en algunos instantes por que surge la conocida melodía, pero Hawkins a dado un cambio radical a la pieza, algo sumamente interesante y hermoso. Genial!.


El primer álbum navideño de la pianista australiana Fiona Joy Hawkins es hechizante, irradiante de toda la magia de la Navidad en once magníficas piezas. Christmas Joy es un CD que captura al espectador, impaciente por conocer el nuevo camino que tomará la melodía, impaciente por saber que le deparará la próxima pieza. Hawkins ha conseguido su objetivo, sorprender y a lo grande, gracias a unas adaptaciones perfectas y a un trabajo de producción que es un verdadero prodigio. Christmas Joy es la superproducción de navidad para este año!. Un álbum muy recomendable!.

reviewsnewage.com
09/12/11

Raj Manoharan (www.rajmanreviews.blogspot.com)

The RajMan Review
A trend in the Christmas albums I’ve reviewed so far seems to be subtlety, and Fiona Joy Hawkins continues that mood with her latest yuletide offering, a humble piano offering that in its quiet amplitude and tranquil peace truly captures the spirit of the season.

Perhaps artists are realizing that calmness best exemplifies what the holidays are all about, especially as an antithesis to the loud overbearing commercialism of this time, which sometimes also comes through in some overbearing, over-the-top Christmas music.

And yet Hawkins’ musical effort is no dispirited or disinterested downer. Rather, it is full of hope and celebration. After all, Joy literally is her middle name.

Hawkins’ gentle piano is augmented by equally softly tendered instrumentation by other musicians on didgeridoo, Paraguayan harp, soprano saxophone, and electric guitar. The result is an ensemble that provides solid support and adds to the palpable therapeutic effect of the music.

In addition to Hawkins’ own engaging compositions, the traditional tunes on the CD are given new life with interesting arrangements that make them seem almost original. Two in particular that come to mind are the beautiful “O Come O Come Emmanuel” and a very unique take on “Jingle Bells.” It is also interesting to hear Hawkins’ interpretation of “The Holly and the Ivy” in light of fellow pianist Bill Leslie’s recent version of the classic.

This album is definitely worth picking up if you want Christmas music that’s different yet familiar, providing for a refreshingly unique experience.

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano

"Christmas Joy" is Fiona Joy Hawkins’ beautiful contribution to the world of Christmas and holiday music. She co-produced the album with Grammy Award winner Corin Nelsen, with Will Ackerman acting as production advisor. Hawkins appears on piano and some of the vocals, backed by a very impressive list of musicians and singers that include Philip Aaberg, Will Ackerman, Heather Rankin, Charlie Bisharat, and Eugene Friesen. The eleven tracks include four originals and seven familiar and traditional Christmas pieces, but even the traditional songs are given a brand new feel with improvisation and original interpretations. Until you’ve heard “Jingle Bells” with didgeridoo in the background, you haven’t really heard it! It is interesting to note that Fiona recorded this album on a Stuart and Son’s piano, a relatively new Australian piano that is hand-made and getting rave reviews all over the world. This really isn’t just another Christmas album - it is more of a musical event that follows up Hawkins’ multi-award winning 2008 album "Blue Dream." 


"Christmas Joy" opens with one of my favorite songs - “Walking In the Air” from "The Snowman." It begins as a piano solo with light string washes in the background, emphasizing the haunting melody. On the second verse, Heather Rankin sings a counter-melody with Gaelic lyrics. This piece is so beautiful that it takes your breath away. I will probably have that track worn out before Christmas! “Still Still Still” is light, playful, and completely charming. Paraguayan harp adds some unusual touches and gives this arrangement a world music feeling. “Silent Night” is very slow and conveys a sense of deep peace and calm. “Gliding On a Sleigh” brings in Charlie Bisharat on violin and Premik Russell Tubbs on soprano sax. Also very slow and serene, it paints a gorgeous portrait of a peaceful winter scene. “Christmas Wedding” shimmers and sparkles with bright white bliss. “O Come O Come Emmanuel” is another favorite song of mine and is one of the earliest carols. This arrangement is unusual in that Friesen adds “God Rest Ye Gentlemen” as a counter-melody for one of the verses - and it works incredibly well. “Flight of the Snowbird” is a lovely new arrangement of one of Hawkins’ signature pieces, “Flight of the Albatross.” A string trio joins the piano, adding a richness and fullness to the already gorgeous piece. Love it! Piano, cello, and violin perform an elegant and graceful “The Holly and the Ivy” that is somewhat slower than you usually hear it, but is perfect at this leisurely pace. “Christmas Joy” picks up the tempo and dances for - you guessed it! A full ensemble joins in on this one, conveying unbridled happiness and warm contentment. “Away In a Manger” brings us back to “the reason for the season” with a sweet and tender lullaby for piano, violin, and cello - a touching and fitting conclusion to a fantastic album. 


"Christmas Joy" is an album I’ve been looking forward to, and it was well-worth the wait. I highly recommend it!

Michael Diamond

Review excerpt from Music & Media Focus
Tis the season… when some of the genre’s finest recording artists apply their creative talents to craft innovative versions of holiday classics. One such songsmith is Fiona Joy Hawkins, whose award-winning “Blue Dream” CD I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing in Music and Media Focus. Grammy winning producer Corin Nelsen and Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman who served as production advisor (as well as playing acoustic guitar) have brought together one of the finest collections of studio musicians to be found anywhere in support of Fiona’s music.

While Fiona’s piano is always front and center in the arrangements, a number of novel accompaniments make this album stand out from the crowd of holiday releases, not the least of which is the inclusion of a didgeridoo on “Jingle Bells,” bringing a bit of her Australian heritage to the party. Another taste of international flavor is provided by Alfredo Rolando Ortiz who plays some lovely Paraguayan Harp on “Still Still Still.” On the tune “Walking In The Air” (from “The Snowman”) vocalist Heather Rankin sings the lyrics in Gaelic.

Within the fresh take Fiona provides on these renditions, listeners will find a great deal of familiarity, intimacy, and hominess in their heartwarming presentation. Perennial favorites such as “Silent Night,” “O Come O Come Emanuel,” “Silent Night,” “Away In A Manger,” and others unfold with such grace and beauty as to give chills and stir memories of Christmas past while evoking the true spirit of the holidays. She has also included some original songs that fit in beautifully and round out the collection. A music video of “Flight Of The Snowbird” from the CD can be found at Fiona’s website which also showcases her artistry as a photographer. “Christmas Joy” is a perfect blend of Fiona’s masterful musical talents, virtuoso accompaniment, and world-class production, mixed with a generous helping of heart and soul to create a sumptuous seasonal songfest.

For a full length review of this CD as well as others, please visit: www.michaeldiamondmusic.com