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Album Review: Carried Away
Janice Faber
Cover image of the album Carried Away by Janice Faber
Carried Away
Janice Faber
2011 / Janice Faber
56 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Carried Away is Janice Faber’s third release and her first recording of original compositions (Measures of Grace and Rest Assured were collections of Faber’s solo piano arrangements of traditional hymns). Some of the sixteen pieces began their evolution as far back as when Faber was eleven years old and have gone through many changes. Others sprang to life relatively quickly as improvisations. Faber brings a wealth of experience to her music that includes eight years of intensive classical music training (including a college degree) and three decades of performing regularly at church services. Her style is graceful and fluid, infused with feelings of optimism, hope, and a deep religious faith. She explains the title of her album: “To be carried away by music... what a gift. Music can take us to a different place in our mind or create a feeling we didn’t have just moments before. Music can bring us peace, and touch our spirits like nothing else can. That’s the beauty of music; it can simply carry us away.”

Carried Away begins with “Looking Forward,” a piece with a quiet, steady left hand and a more effervescent right, conveying warm optimism and feelings of moving ahead. “Gift of Joy” continues in a similar vein, enveloping the listener in peaceful sounds that soothe like a long hug. “Morning Prayer” turns inward with gentle thoughts expressed as a musical prayer - a favorite. I also really like “Imagining,” a piece that demonstrates how Faber uses her imagination when creating music, allowing it to come into being in a natural, improvisational way. The title track floats on an ambient cloud of utter peacefulness. “Nocturne” is a bit more classical and describes the feelings of quiet aloneness that often come when it seems the rest of the world is asleep - gorgeous! “Passing Through” is another favorite and reminds me of some of David Nevue’s simple but soul-stirring pieces with its uncomplicated elegance and heartfelt emotion. “Peace Be Still” is a comforting massage for the mind that soothes as only music can. “Neverending” is a tune Faber wrote when she was eleven-years-old, and she says that “Variations of it have been played in every key imaginable, and it was beautifully named by my parents that many years ago.” “Night Music” begins with a teasing intro that could have come from Chopin but quickly goes in a different direction. I love this piece and its feelings of stillness, peace, and gentle introspection. It also treats us to Faber’s agile fingers dancing effortlessly on the keys, concluding a wonderful album!

Carried Away is a real gift for the ears, mind and the spirit, and is available from janicefaberpiano.com, Amazon, CD Baby, and iTunes. Highly recommended!
July 30, 2011