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Album Review: Open Water
Janice Faber
Cover image of the album Open Water by Janice Faber
Open Water
Janice Faber
2020 / Janice Faber
50 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
I have been reviewing Janice Faber’s albums since her 2008 debut, Rest Assured, and I have to say that I think Open Water is her best album yet. Where most of her albums are a combination of original compositions and her own arrangements of hymns, this one features thirteen original piano solos. Recorded at Piano Haven Studio in Sedona, Arizona on Joe Bongiorno’s magnificent Shigeru Kawai grand piano, the piano sound is perfect. In this roller coaster ride of a year (2020), Faber’s music offers a soothing reminder of many of the important and uplifting things in life that are easy to overlook in the midst of a crisis (several crises, actually!). This is piano music that is easy to get lost in - a simple escape to a place of beauty and warmth. There are plenty of bittersweet moments as well, expressed with empathy and understanding. A classically-trained pianist from a young age, Faber brings a wealth of experience to her music and then plays it from her heart. Lucky us!

I really like all of the tracks on Open Water! It begins with “Closer to Home,” a graceful piece that seems to express a longing for that place we love best. Gentle and thoughtful, it’s a lovely start. “Midnight Intermezzo” is a favorite with its flowing, velvety melody and feelings of a contented solitude (my interpretation). The title track beautifully emulates the gentle, peaceful rhythms of a large body of water once you get beyond the movement of the waves. Blissfully calm and quiet, you can almost see light dancing on the surface of the water. “Where Dawn Meets Day” overflows with the colorful beauty of a sunrise and the hope and promise of a new day. “Along the Way” is another favorite and is a heartfelt and honest expression of feelings that come from deep within. “As Snow Falls” couldn’t be more peaceful or serene as it paints an aural picture of the ever-changing rhythms of snow as it falls to the ground - ethereal. I love the emotional intimacy of “From Within” and how it feels like a moment of true connection to someone. “Reflections in Rain” is much more ambient and impressionistic, perhaps expressing deep thoughts while walking in the rain or gazing out a window - gorgeous! “Song of the Night Sky” elegantly describes the wonder of really looking at a night sky - especially away from the city lights - and imagining what it might be like out there among the stars. What an amazing way to end this excellent album!

I really think Janice Faber has hit a career high (so far!) with Open Water and I very highly recommend it! It is available from JaniceFaberPiano.com, Amazon, iTunes and streaming sites including Spotify. Don’t miss this one!
June 28, 2020