A Woman's Journey
2003 / Yiling Huang
Review by Kathy Parsons
A Woman's Journey is the recording debut of Yiling Huang. Classically trained in Taiwan, Austria, and the US, Huang’s music is very structured and finely-crafted. The album was produced by Paul Speer (formerly with David Lanz), and performed on a Bosendorfer piano. Most of the sixteen pieces are quite short and very classical in feeling, and each tells a slightly different story. Some of these are about events in Ms Huang’s life, experiences in nature, and a very deep spiritual relationship with a soul mate or loved one. Several stories are set in the 19th century, and the influence of that period of music is very apparent. All of the selections are solo piano, and a few have nature sounds woven into the music (water, birds, rain).
The title track opens the CD. Realizing that we all have a different journey through life, there are also many common emotions we all experience. This piece is a musical reflection of many of these emotions, from tender to turbulent. “Riversong” is very interesting in that it makes a lot of harmonic changes that really aren’t expected, much as a river can be unpredictable - a lovely piece! “Interlude 1” is a bittersweet piece that has a lovely melody flowing over an arpeggiated left hand. Reflective and emotional, I like this one a lot, too. “Freedom” tells the story of a 19th century woman who is determined to leave her unhappy life behind. Energetic and moving, you can sense the determination as this woman packs her bags, mounts her horse, and rides off to follow her dreams. “New Horizon” is my favorite track. Strong and hopeful, there is the feeling of elation that comes with a new beginning and a fresh start. I also really like “Rain Song,” a lively but gentle appreciation for the beauty and melody raindrops create.
A Woman's Journey is a very promising debut! It is available from amazon.com, and cdbaby.com.
August 6, 2004