2020 / Myndstream
Review by Kathy Parsons
Within is a solo acoustic guitar album from classically-trained guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Michelle Qureshi. Her thirteenth album since 2012 (plus a number of singles and EPs), Qureshi has won and been nominated for a number of awards for her music, including nods from Zone Music Reporter and One Word Music. Believing in the power and inherent spirituality of music, Qureshi often shares her music in concerts, festivals, yoga studios, healing centers and special events. She describes Within in her own words: “With this album my process evolved from one of painting different timbres on a sound canvas to being more of a sculptor, shaping music with only my guitar. Carving some from marble, some from the ethers, the shape of each piece revealed something special I found from within. This was my journey for Within.”
Most of the twenty-four original guitar solos are at a slower, more relaxed tempo and are open, spacious, warm and very soothing. Seventeen of the tracks are less than three minutes, but are perfect gems and vignettes that flow easily from one to the next, making this an excellent album for meditation, relaxation, sleep, and background music. I also highly recommend it as beautiful guitar music to focus on for its own sake, allowing the gentle rhythms to caress the mind and provide a perfect respite during these crazy and stressful times.
I think it’s interesting that half of the pieces are titled with two words beginning with “With.” The second words include “Doubt,” “Joy,” “Courage,” “Langour,” “Resolve,” “Hope” and “Tenderness.” There are too many tracks to write about each one specifically, but I’ll tell you about a few favorites. “With Courage” weaves together several musical phrases that express resolve and determination. “Sweet Child” overflows with love as well as innocence and wonder. “With Anticipation” picks up the tempo a bit to give the impression of looking forward to something or someone. “With Hesitation” goes somewhat darker and more introspective - my favorite piece on the album. I also really like the warm, blissful feeling of “Content.” “Shores of Atlantis” is a somewhat more dramatic ballad that tells a story. “Afternoon in May” expresses the calming delight of a warm spring afternoon with flowers blooming and a gentle breeze blowing through your hair. “At Twilight” captures the pastel colors of twilight and the sense of peacefulness that seems to settle on the world as the sun disappears. “With Thoughtfulness” beautifully expresses the warmth and caring of a simple act of kindness - love it! The album comes to a tranquil close with “With Tenderness,” love set to music.
Within is one very special guitar album and is available from myndstream.com, Amazon, iTunes/Apple Music and Spotify, to name a few.
October 9, 2020