Heather Pierson | The Open Road

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New Age: Solo Instrumental Easy Listening: Mood Music Moods: Featuring Piano
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The Open Road

by Heather Pierson

Contemplative and intimate solo piano. Fourteen pieces that showcase both Heather's passionate and deeply personal neo-classical stylings and her exquisite, feathery touch.
Genre: New Age: Solo Instrumental
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. The Open Road
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3:02 $0.99
2. Bittersweet
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3:57 $0.99
3. Doc Bradley's Waltz
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4:09 $0.99
4. Edith
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5:09 $0.99
5. Flight of Fancy
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4:26 $0.99
6. Marble in My Pocket
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3:14 $0.99
7. Late October
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6:42 $0.99
8. Lullaby
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2:48 $0.99
9. Jasper County
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3:34 $0.99
10. Skipping Rocks At Shoal Creek
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3:57 $0.99
11. Sunflowers
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1:55 $0.99
12. The Storm's Promise
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5:38 $0.99
13. Wheat
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3:24 $0.99
14. Prairie Sunset
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3:51 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Reviews


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Donovan Johnson

Review of "The Open Road" from Enlightened Piano Radio
After spending a substantial amount of time with this recording, I can say I have a connection to it that I don't have with any other disk in my collection. I'm not sure if it has anything to do with Heather Pierson's roots in the Midwest (which is where I'm from), but the sounds that she creates in her compositions are familiar to me in a way that I can't quite describe. From a purely mechanical perspective, I can tell you that some of her right hand "licks" are influenced by the country music genre, and I use many of the same types of ornaments in my own playing. Regional similarities? Very possibly. But "The Open Road" has a sound that stands alone, somewhere between the inspiration of Jim Brickman and the down-home flavors of old-time pianists like Floyd Cramer. It's really a brilliant combination. Favorites on the album would be tracks one, five, ten and eleven.

The opening track, "The Open Road," has a very old world and rustic sort of a feel. The chord changes are not traditional ones, which create an unpredictable and interesting ambiance throughout the piece. When I listen to it, I'm reminded of my own childhood and long walks I used to take to a graveyard that I lived next to. In the graveyard was an apple tree, and I'd pick the apples for my grandmother to cook with. For that reason, this piece has a very special place with me.

"Flight Of Fancy" begins very gently and melodically, and has the grace of a dove flying high in the sky. What makes this piece stand out however, is that it becomes gradually more intense as it unfolds. Heather changes the feel of the piece by moving from 3/4 time to 5/4 and really goes to town! Soon, a "groove" is established that really "rocks!" The piece then moves to an even time signature (4/4) and Heather belts out some powerful compound chords before returning to the original theme. Simply awesome.

Track ten, "Skipping Rocks at Shoal Creek," begins with a melody before sitting comfortably in a nice "pocket" of sound. That pocket is consistent enough to keep you engaged throughout the piece, even with some of the dissonant chords and chord progressions that happen later. About two thirds of the way through there's a really lovely I-VII-IV-III pattern that occurs, and to my ear, sounds reminiscent of some of the Vince Guaraldi progressions. The piece ends by making its way up the piano to the final "E," a very satisfying completion. This is a truly "groovy" composition.

"Sunflowers" is perhaps the warmest of the tracks on the album. At a nice mid-tempo and with a "feel good" sort of quality, this track will take you into a field of bright sunflowers on a sunny summer day. The balance between major and minor progressions works extremely well here. The sprinkling of minor chords in the center of the primarily major progressions accentuates the joyful quality of the tune. The bridge of the song is also comprised of minor chords, which only serve to bring out the major sections even more. It's a short, sweet, carefree song that will warm you from your inner core. I just loved this one.

"The Open Road" really does have a little something for everyone. There are a lot of catchy "hooks" interspersed throughout the album, and there's absolutely nothing depressing about the recording. I'm sure that's another reason I love it so--it resonates on a higher frequency than many of today's albums, which insist on dwelling in the world of minor. Without a doubt, this one stays at the top of my collection. I'd recommend it very highly to any audience, regardless of the taste or the background of the listener. Heather, extremely well done!

You can find Heather Pierson's "The Open Road" on Amazon, ITunes, and CDBaby, among many other popular websites. Visit Heather's website at www.heatherpierson.com for more information!

REVIEWS NEW AGE

Un álbum a tener muy en cuenta!
Desde Rebecca Oswald no escuchábamos un piano tan expresivo, tan lleno de vida. El nuevo trabajo de la inagotable pianista Heather Pierson es un conjunto de emociones que se encierran en las catorce mejores piezas de la artista bajo el título The Open Road. Con un estilo que roza el género clásico, Pierson es capaz de cambiar nuestro estado de ánimo con cada melodía, obras muy elaboradas en cuanto a composición; el objetivo principal de Heather, conectar con el público a través de su música, pues cada pista de este álbum llega con fuerza a los oídos del oyente.

“The Open Road” es una de las mejores composiciones del álbum, incluso me atrevería a decir que la mejor. “The Open Road” tiene la intensidad exacta, el misterio justo, la melodía más interesante. Todo esto unido, hace que esta primera pieza “enganche” al oyente, lo seduce.

La segunda pieza es bellísima. “Bittersweet” no hace honor a su nombre, o puede depender del estado de ánimo del oyente. “Bittersweet” es dulce y cálida, nada de amargura se desprende de sus notas, nada de dolor difunde su melodía, más bien es una oda a la ternura, al afecto.

A golpe de Waltz, se presenta “Doc Bradley’s Waltz”, un tema en el que la mano izquierda va marcando el tempo, mientras la diestra juega con las notas, aportando sentimiento, cuidado.

Otra de las piezas a destacar es “Edith”. Luminosa y de ostentoso ímpetu, “Edith” mantiene al oyente ajeno a todo, sobrevolando pensamientos, aislando su mundo. Esta pieza es poseedora de una de las melodías más hermosas de todo el álbum.

“Flight Of Fancy” podría ser la continuación de “Edith”, la puerta hacia la libertad que tanto se hizo esperar en el track anterior. “Flight Of Fancy” es rápida, vertiginosa, la mano derecha realiza un baile increíble sobre el teclado. Otra de mis preferidas!.

Más relajada y marcada por una melodía brillante y de toque romántico, “Marble In My Pocket” es otra de las bellezas que podemos encontrar en The Open Road. Posiblemente una de las composiciones más emotivas de todo el álbum, sus notas respiran afecto y su melodía es muy difícil de olvidar.

Aunque es apasionada y contundente, encuentro poco que destacar en esta pieza. “Late October” posee un comienzo relajado, pesado, que posteriormente se torna poderoso. Técnicamente grandiosa.

Con “Lullaby” finalizamos la primera parte del álbum. Como cabe esperar, nos encontramos ante una pieza lenta, donde las notas son acariciadas y la melodía nace con sumo cuidado.

“Jasper County” es una composición descriptiva, perfecta para dejar volar la imaginación. “Jasper County” muestra una paz sorprendente, dibujante de un paisaje otoñal alentador.

Como era de esperar, el título “Skipping Rocks At Shoal Creek” mostraría una de las piezas más intensas y alegres del álbum. Rápidas notas y una mano izquierda vertiginosa dan vida a esta pieza, un tema con una fuerza asombrosa y una energía sobrenatural.

En “Sunflowers” podemos apreciar la vena de compositora/cantautora de Pierson, y no es que la artista se arranque a cantar, este solo de piano es tan completo que parece que nos cantase, como si la compositora hubiese estado buscando una canción en vez de una melodía.

Bella y oscura a la vez es “The Storm’s Promise”, una pieza que exige a su compositora el toque más amargo, la pasión más dolorosa. Esta pieza es destacable por su melodía, por su sentimiento.

“Wheat” son de esas composiciones que invitan a respaldarse bien en el sillón y disfrutar de cada segundo, de cada nota. “Wheat” no tendrá una melodía pegadiza ni una técnica atroz, pero goza de las notas más perfectas para soñar.

El álbum lo cierra “Prairie Sunset”, otra de las grandes composiciones de The Open Road, fácil de imaginar tras el sonido de las primeras notas. Una música reservada en el comienzo pero que va abriendo un camino emocionante al paso del tiempo. Un final acertado y radiante para este excepcional álbum.


The Open Road ha sido una grata sorpresa. Encontrar un toque técnico y melódico al mismo tiempo no es tarea fácil. La técnica se gana con el tiempo, el don de la composición no todo el mundo lo posee, y la pianista y compositora Heather Pierson conserva estos dos preciados dones. The Open Road nos regala buenos momentos musicales, buenos momentos en los que disfrutar de una gran técnica, mientras ésta se acompaña de notas inolvidables. The Open Road es un álbum a tener muy en cuenta!.

reviewsnewage.com
20/05/13

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"The Open Road" is the sixth release from pianist/composer/singer/songwriter Heather Pierson, an artist who embraces a multitude of musical genres from blues, jazz, and soul to narrative story-songs to gentle piano solos to Native American chants. "The Open Road" is a collection of fourteen original piano solos that includes six pieces from the “The Heartland Songs” series, an homage to Pierson’s childhood hometown of Joplin, MO. The album was recorded on a fully restored 1930 Model A Mason & Hamlin piano that must have an impressive array of stories of its own to tell! Most of the songs are flowing, melodic, and easily accessible - no heavy drama, but lots of heart. Warm and engaging from start to finish, Heather Pierson’s musical voice is fresh, original, and a delight to behold.

"The Open Road" begins with the title song, a lively piece that suggests the freedom and excitement of setting out on a new adventure - perhaps one without a specific destination. “Bittersweet” has an easy flow tinged with just enough melancholy to merit the title. “Doc Bradley’s Waltz” is a graceful minor key waltz with a poignant lilt and a sweet melody; I especially like the darker, more turbulent middle section. “Edith” is one of my favorites. Coincidentally, “Edith” is my grandmother’s name (and my middle name, but don’t tell anyone!), and this piece seems to suit her well - somewhat complex and always moving forward with strength and determination. One of the more dramatic pieces, it tells a wonderful story about another great lady named Edith. “Flight of Fancy” is as light and carefree as the title implies. “Late October” has the feeling of an improvisation - free and in the moment, expressed from the heart without reservations; very effective! “The Heartland Songs” begin with “Jasper County,” a gentle, nostalgic piece that tells of a simpler time with fond memories and bittersweet longing. “Skipping Rocks at Shoal Creek” is full of innocence and playful energy. “Sunflowers” suggests graceful movement with just a touch of funk for fun. One might expect “The Storm’s Promise” to be turbulent and dark, but it’s actually a very peaceful, serene piece - a beauty and another favorite. “Wheat” elegantly conveys the rippling motion of a breeze moving through a field. The Open Road ends with “Prairie Sunset,” peaceful, warm, and very content. What a great introduction to this very impressive artist! Very highly recommended!