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Songbook Review: Out of the Darkness
Michele McLaughlin
Cover image of the songbook Out of the Darkness by Michele McLaughlin
Out of the Darkness
Michele McLaughlin
2010 / Michele McLaughlin
12 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
Michele McLaughlin’s Out of the Darkness is one of my favorite CDs of 2010, so having the complete album (except the “remix” of “So Long Mr. Selfish”) in sheet music is a treat! I was surprised to find that the pieces are easier to play than I expected and are faithfully transcribed by the incredibly accurate Rebecca Oswald. All of the notation is clear and roomy, making for easier reading and playing. Pianists from intermediate through advanced playing levels will find a lot of pleasure in playing this collection. The majority of pieces are slow and all of them are full of emotional expression, making them a passionate experience for the player as well as the composer. There are not a lot of long reaches (more than an octave), and very few complex chords. I highly recommend this book! It is available from michelemclaughlin.com.

Below is a list of the songs in the book, listed in the order they appear on the CD. I have included the key signatures and how many sharps and flats are in those keys, the level of difficulty on a scale of 1-5 compared to Michele’s other pieces (with 1 being the easiest and 5 the most advanced), and the number of pages.

Forsaken - Key of D Minor (1 flat) - level 4 - 8 pages
The Descent - Key of C Minor (3 flats) - level 3 - 5 pages
Indignation - Key of A Minor (no sharps or flats) - level 3 - 5 pages
Forbearance - Key of C Minor - level 3 - 4 pages
Out of the Darkness - Key of C (no sharps or flats) - level 4 - 5 pages
So Long, Mr. Selfish - Key of C Minor - level 4 - 4 pages
Transformation - Key of D Minor - level 3 - 4 pages
Perseverance - Key of C Minor - level 2 - 2 pages
Finding Solace in Friends - Key of C - level 4 - 4 pages
New Light - Key of C Minor - level 4 - 4 pages
In the Stillness of Peace - Key of C - level 3 - 4 pages
Rejoice - Key of C - level 3 - 3 pages
December 18, 2010
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