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Album Review: Embodiment
Sharon Freedman
Cover image of the album Embodiment by Sharon Freedman
Sharon Freedman
2017 / Sharon Freedman
48 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Embodiment: Awakening to Essence Through Sound is a collection of eleven original piano solos by Sharon Freedman, an East Coast clinical psychologist as well as a pianist and composer. The pieces are grouped into three parts, “Awakening,” “Alchemy,” and “Heaven On Earth,” and each piece has the word “essence” or “essences” in its title. I think Dr. Freedman’s explanation of the source as well as of the purpose of this music is important: “These musical notes and movements often came to me with their corresponding energies as gentle visitors from another dimension. They have embraced me, taught me, and inspired me, and continue to do so. Their awakened consciousness has fully collaborated in the development of this music that intensely calls to be a felt experience and foster a new consciousness on the earth.” (quoted from the liner notes of the CD and Dr. Freedman’s website) A guided meditation is also included in the liner notes with the suggestion that the listener read it before listening to the music “in order to create an inner sacred space.” All of the pieces are interesting, but there seems to be very little dynamic change from loud to soft in the recording. This could be intentional, or it could be that the piano itself is not as expressive as it could be.

The six “essences” in Part 1 are “Creation,” “Earth,” “Water,” “Fire,” “Air” and “Ether.” “Essence of Creation” is one of my favorites. The rolling broken chords on the left hand support a melody that is beautiful and bittersweet. “Essence of Earth” is a bit on the dark, mysterious side - I like this one, too! “Essence of Water” has a gently flowing quality that sometimes sparkles like light dancing on a creek or river. The tempo of the piece varies from very slow and sparse to fairly lively, much like the changes in the rhythmic movement of water. “Essence of Ether” gently soothes and relaxes as it gracefully tells its segment of the story. Part 2 has two pieces: “Essences Merging,” which reminds me of David Lanz in a few places, and “Essence of Magic,” which is quite lively and dramatic. Part 3 features three shorter pieces: “Essence of Being,” “Essence of Joy,” and “Essence of Love.” “Being” is moderately lively with a strong melody while “Joy” is leisurely and relaxed. “Essence of Love” is slow, peaceful and easy-going, ending the album with a tender sigh.

There are additional suggestions on Dr. Freedman’s website for focus while listening to Embodiment: http://www.drsharonfreedman.com/MyMusic.en.html. The album is available from Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Check it out!
April 6, 2017