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Album Review: Quiet My Heart
Victoria Salmon
Cover image of the album Quiet My Heart by Victoria Salmon
Quiet My Heart
Victoria Salmon
2011 / Victoria Salmon
51 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Sometimes it’s ironic how creativity is inspired. Such is the story of how Victoria Salmon’s Quiet My Heart came to be. A book containing all of the music Salmon has composed disappeared last spring. Thinking it had been misplaced in her travels, Salmon searched high and low for the book, ultimately returning to the village in the Arctic Circle where she had lived previously. She never found the book, but she did find an envelope in a storage box that had the back-up copies to most of her songs, several of which she had forgotten about. Salmon started to incorporate some of this music into her performance repertoire, revisiting the painful times when then music was composed. In doing so, she was able to accept those feelings and to move away from the sadness. During this process, she also decided to record the music at Joe Bongiorno’s Piano Haven Studio, and the results are a solo piano CD called Quiet My Heart. The sixteen tracks include fifteen original piano solos and Salmon’s arrangement of “Stille Nacht” (“Silent Night”). All of the pieces are on the quiet side, but not to the point of being placid. Feelings of melancholy and occasional agitation run through much of the music, giving it an edge.

Quiet My Heart begins with “Sing,” a piece that seems to be in constant motion, perhaps searching for something while working through emotional upheaval. “October Afternoon” is a bit calmer, but still feels restless and unsettled. “Old Man” is a short but beautiful character study full of warmth and grace. “On Eagle’s Wings” has an effortless flow that allows the listener to imagine the sensation of gliding through the air like a majestic bird - graceful and free. The title song is my favorite. Gentle and delicate like a prayer, it is a quiet plea from deep within. “Peace Came Back” is an interesting exploration of different musical themes woven together and flowing through each other. “Piercing the Darkness” conveys feelings of hope and cautious optimism. I really like “In the Stillness,” something of a meditation set to music. Reflective and tranquil, it seems to express an inner peace and calm. “Stille Nacht” is a very personal arrangement of the classic Christmas song, and I have to admit that even after listening to it several times, I didn’t realize what it was. Gentle and graceful, it’s a lovely interpretation. “Child of Jesus” closes the album with a sweetly innocent outlook on life.

If you are looking for a solo piano CD that is a bit different, Quiet My Heart provides introspective and exploratory music that comes from a very personal place. It is available from victoriasalmon.net.
November 14, 2011
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