Michele McLaughlin | Dedication

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New Age: New Age New Age: Healing Moods: Featuring Piano
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Dedication

by Michele McLaughlin

Beautiful, relaxing solo piano music.
Genre: New Age: New Age
Release Date: 

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1. When You Were Still Around
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3:15 $0.99
2. La Mia Famiglia Bella
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2:25 $0.99
3. Drifting Through Antiquity
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4:03 $0.99
4. The Music Box Angel
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4:11 $0.99
5. Just You & Me
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2:46 $0.99
6. The Eternal City
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2:56 $0.99
7. Brandon's Song
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2:08 $0.99
8. Learning To Fly
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4:53 $0.99
9. My Little Darcy Lou
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2:14 $0.99
10. Palamidi Fortress
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3:14 $0.99
11. A Sad & Sorrowful Goodbye
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4:48 $0.99
12. Dedication
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4:09 $0.99
13. Venezia
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2:19 $0.99
14. Dream Come True
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2:20 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Michele McLaughlin is a New Age Pianist & Composer. Her solo piano music is haunting and contagious, relaxing and beautiful, peaceful and touching. Her music is enjoyed worldwide and can be heard on several online radio stations, including the #1 internet broadcast: Whisperings Solo Piano Radio. In addition, she can also be heard on Music Choice Soundscapes, the digital music station via local digital cable and satellite providers as well as several local, national and international radio stations. Enjoy!

For more information on Michele McLaughlin and her music, please visit http://www.michelemclaughlin.com

ALBUM:
Ever since I started producing albums and sharing my music with the world, I have dreamed of being able to make music my career, my full time job, and really be a professional musician. Earlier this year I was able to make that dream come true and in April 2007 I quit my 8am-5pm "day job" in order to dedicate myself to my music. As an added bonus, I have the opportunity to spend more time with my family and in particular, my son Brandon, who is now at the precious age of 10. I have always been a working mother and in being so, have never really had the opportunity to be there for him on a full time basis. Making the decision to dedicate myself to my music has also allowed me the opportunity to dedicate myself to being the very best mother I can be. In addition, all of the songs on this album are dedicated to people, places and ideas that I hold dear. I am very pleased to share with you my ninth album, Dedication. Enjoy!

SONGS:
When You Were Still Around - In December 2005 my grandfather, Papa, passed away. His passing was the first real loss of a close family member I had experienced. Shortly afterward, in May 2006, my biological mother passed away. Her death was unexpected and was a very significant and painful loss for me. It was then that I decided to write a song in memory of my mom and grandfather and spent some time working on a composition which would tell the story about the loss of a loved one and the effects that loss has on our soul. Then, in March 2007, my grandmother, Nana, passed away and when I was asked to play a song at her funeral, I decided to finish this song and dedicate it to all three of my lost family members. This song tells the story of loss, love and the memories we cherish when the people we hold dear are no longer around.

La Mia Famiglia Bella - La Mia Famiglia Bella is Italian for My Beautiful Family. I wanted to write a song that tells the story about my family and how important they are to me. Not only do I have an amazing family that I am very close with, I recently married my true love and started another family of my own which has been a wonderful addition to my life. I find the Italian language to be one of the most beautiful languages in the world and I wanted to title my song about my beautiful family in a beautiful language.

Drifting Through Antiquity - My husband and I spent our honeymoon traveling around Italy & Greece. While we were there I fell in love with the ancient architecture, the cathedrals, castles, basicillas, duomos, churches, ancient ruins and just the general beauty of such an amazing, ancient world. This song is about our travels and the beauty we found along the way.

The Music Box Angel - When I was a little girl, my godmother would give me a new music box every year. These music boxes were elaborate and intricate, from Germany and Switzerland, with beautiful songs and I loved them. I would listen to them all the time and had them arranged neatly all throughout my room when I was growing up. Music boxes have always held a special place in my hear because of this and I think that a lot of my music has a sound that is influenced by my love of music boxes. Several of my songs from previous albums incorporate that distinct music box feel into them (Russian Music Box, Moonrise, The Lonely Ballerina, Tommy's New Toy, etc.). As I was writing this song, it reminded me of my godmother and the music boxes she used to give me, so I have dedicated this song to her, my music box angel.

Just You & Me - This song is dedicated to my husband, Stanley. It is about our travels and road trips together, driving in the car talking about this and that and watching the scenery pass us by. It is about exploring the world with someone you love, just you and them, together.

The Eternal City - This song is about Ancient Rome. Rome is a magical city with such amazing history and beauty. We were only in Rome for one day but we were able to see the Vatican City, the Pantheon, the Colosseum, and Palatine Hill. I loved everything we saw there and long to go back so that I can explore Rome further. This song is dedicated to Rome and the magic The Eternal City holds.

Brandon's Song - My son Brandon loves piano music and asked me one day if I would teach him to play. I made up a little tune just for the right hand and showed him how to play it. While I was writing this album I decided that I wanted to include that melody in a song dedicated to him.

Learning To Fly - While I was writing this song it reminded me of a little baby bird learning to fly. I imagined its parents sending it out of the nest on its final test of flight before making a life of its own. The weather is rough, it is raining, the wind is blowing fiercely and there is lightening all around. The baby bird is struggling to fly and fears it will not make it up above the clouds, but it is driven by the desire to make its parents proud, so it flies and flies and finally breaks through the storm and with a great sense of accomplishment and pride it soars in the sunshine above the clouds. This song is about accomplishment and facing our fears in order to reach our goals no matter how impossible they may seem. It is also about parenthood and helping our children to become the best people they can be.

My Little Darcy Lou - I have a cat, her name is Darcy. I adopted her from my aunt when she moved and couldn't take her to the new home. She is a beautiful cat with long grey hair and beautiful blue eyes. I call her my piano cat because she loves when I play. She sits on the bench with me while I'm playing, she sits beneath my feet while I'm playing, she lies on her back and exposes her belly to the ceiling with her arms and legs stretched out while I'm playing. We call it "Darcy's piano time". Just after I adopted her I started calling her Darcy Lou, and I sing to her sometimes as well. She loves music and while I was writing this song, my son and I would sing a little song to her in the melody I was writing. This song is dedicated to my sweet little piano cat... Darcy Lou.

Palamidi Fortress - While we were exploring the Peloponnese in Greece, we came upon this lovely little port town called Nafplio. This town was beautiful and there was a large hill with an amazing castle on top. We explored this castle, Palamidi Fortress, for several hours and I just fell in love with it. I learned that this fortress was built by the Venetians which made me love it even more. This castle was particularly awesome because it was one giant fortress made up of 5 smaller fortresses, each self-sufficient. If one area of the fortress was overtaken, the other areas could independently battle against it in order to save the whole of the castle. This song is about the ferocity of this amazing fortress and the beauty that surrounds it.

A Sad & Sorrowful Goodbye - The last couple of years have been laden with loss for me. I lost several family members, I changed careers a couple of times and felt an overwhelming loss of identity and friendship during the transition, I lost relationships that were of the utmost importance to me, and in a way I lost pieces of my heart during all these difficult times. This song is about saying goodbye, which for me can sometimes be the hardest thing to do.

Dedication - This is the title track for the album. The song is very rhythmic and concise and to me feels very much the way dedication feels when you put your mind to something and see it through. I made several decisions this year to dedicate myself to my music, my family, and my dreams. This song is about that dedication and the rewarding sense of accomplishment I've gained from it.

Venezia - There were three places in Italy that I truly loved... Rome, Tuscany and Venice. Venice was the first place we visited when we got to Italy and I fell in love with it. I loved the canals, the gondolas, the narrow stone streets, the people, the music, the gorgeous buildings, the vendors selling this and that, the food, the smells, everything. Venice is quite possibly my favorite place I've ever visited in my life and I long to go back there. This song, Venezia, is dedicated to her.

Dream Come True - This song is about following our dreams and reaching for stars. Being able to work on my music and be home with my family has been a dream come true for me and I think this song reflects the happiness that I have experienced because of it.


Reviews


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Kathy Parsons

Biographical Piano Solos!
“Dedication” is pianist/composer Michele McLaughlin’s ninth album to date and contains an assortment of fourteen original piano solos that were inspired by major events and the special people of everyday life. A mostly self-taught pianist who quit piano lessons when they took the fun out of playing, McLaughlin has an energetic and often dramatic style that indicates how personal this music is to her. Her melodies are always interesting and engaging and range in mood from quiet calm to rather turbulent.

“Dedication” begins with “When You Were Still Around,” a piece begun as a memorial for McLaughlin’s recently-deceased grandfather and mother. When her grandmother passed away this past spring, McLaughlin was asked to play for her funeral and decided to finish this piece. Along with a sense of loss, the piece also conveys hope and the comfort of happy memories. “Drifting Through Antiquity” has a melodramatic, old-world charm, and was inspired by McLaughlin’s honeymoon in Greece and Italy. “Music Box Angel” has a hauntingly beautiful melody, but the left hand plays the same three notes for the whole piece. It can probably be argued that the bass part in a music box is very repetitious, which it is, but I’ve never seen or heard a music box that can play at the exact same speed for more than four minutes. To me, the left hand is too mechanical and detracts from the lovely, flowing melody on the right hand. “The Eternal City” was composed after a short visit to Rome. One of my favorites on the CD, this piece has a strong energy and sense of movement - almost a dance. The right hand has several cross-overs into the deep bass that heighten the drama. “Brandon’s Song” is a sweet love song to a beloved son. “Learning To Fly” is another favorite. Visualizing the struggles of a young bird being coaxed to leave the nest during a nasty storm and its struggles to succeed in order to please its parents, McLaughlin has set to music the challenges of overcoming our own fears and also of parenthood. I like the energy and passion of this piece a lot. “Palamidi Fortress” is a bold, dramatic piece inspired by a castle on a hill in Greece that was made up of five smaller fortresses so that if one was attacked the others could defend the castle as a whole. Conveying strength as well as vulnerability and beauty, this is a powerful piece. “A Sad and Sorrowful Goodbye” is about loss and the difficulty of saying “goodbye” to someone you love. Graceful and expressive, it’s a very touching piece. “Dream Come True” is about the happiness gained by following our dreams and reaching for the stars.

“Dedication” is a charming collection of biographical piano solos.