2006 / SMC Records
Review by Kathy Parsons
Soul Journey is a gorgeous collection of nine solo piano improvisations by Shoshannah, a composer, pianist, educator, and therapist. Classically-trained from a young age, Shoshannah won a variety of major piano competitions in her youth, and appeared to have a very promising career as a concert pianist ahead of her. However, she had never stopped composing or improvising her own music, and her creativity and interest in diverse musical forms lead her in other directions. When she moved to Jerusalem, Shoshannah experienced a profound spiritual transformation that changed her life and music, making her a vessel through which divine love flowed as music. Shoshannah’s playing is effortless and fluid, and the music on this CD is versatile in mood, style, and ethnicity. Each track depicts a different aspect of a soul’s journey, and the album as a whole creates a warm invitation to look inward and experience life’s many joys and gifts. Soul Journey 2 will be released very soon, and will included cellist David Darling’s improvisations to Shoshannah’s piano music - should be a real treat!
“Emunah,” is graceful and pensive opening track that conveys a gentle sense of urgency. “Aliyah” is a thirteen-minute exploration. The title refers to Jewish immigration to Israel and the law that permits any Jew the right to settle in Israel and be granted automatic Israeli citizenship. The piece conveys many emotions, but there are feelings of peace, freedom, and movement throughout. Jazz influences can be heard, as can a series of harplike glissandos - a fascinating piece! “Eternal Love” is dedicated to the artist’s mother and is much simpler in style. Full of love and grace, this piece is truly an outpouring from the heart and soul, and is a highlight of the album. The title track is serene and tranquil - a perfect peace flows from its elegant simplicity. “Into the Light” is a carefree and playful little dance that bubbles over with childlike enthusiasm. “Immersion” sparkles like light dancing on water, constantly moving and changing, yet deeply relaxing - another favorite. “Gratitude” has a warm, elegant flow and deep sincerity that touches the heart. “Gathering Sparks” is more energetic and complex. At almost eleven minutes, it has plenty of time to explore a variety of themes, some of which have a strong Middle Eastern influence. Shoshannah’s virtuosity allows you to get so deep into the music that you forget that she is playing the piano - an amazing piece! “Sweet Return” closes the album with gentle innocence and sweetness.
Soul Journey is truly a journey for the mind as well as the soul that leaves you feeling spiritually refreshed and inspired. It is available from cdbaby.com. Recommended!
September 25, 2006