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Songbook Review: The Presence of Wonder
Pam Asberry
Cover image of the songbook The Presence of Wonder by Pam Asberry
The Presence of Wonder
Pam Asberry
2019 / Optimistic Flamingo Music
55 pages / 13 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Presence of Wonder songbook is the companion sheet music book to Pam Asberry’s 2019 album by the same name. All thirteen piano solos from the album were transcribed by the composer and are clear, well-spaced and easy to read. I really enjoyed my time playing this songbook and plan to return to several favorites. Most of the pieces are easy enough for upper-intermediate to early-advanced pianists, but the real magic comes from playing this music with the same (or similar) kind of heartfelt expression as Pam did on the recording. All of the pieces are 3-5 pages long, so they are perfect as teaching or supplemental pieces for advancing students. For more advanced pianists, it’s a perfect book for just spending some time playing for pleasure without having to work too hard. Again, it’s the expressive nature of the music that makes it such a joy to play. Pam included an “About the Music” page (that is also in the liner notes of the CD) that explains the inspiration for each piece or what it is about. There is also a short bio in the back of the book that gives some of Pam’s background.

The book itself is spiral-bound with a larger print of the beautiful album covers - both front and back. Expression marks are clear, phrasing is marked and metronome settings are included. There are only a couple of stretches of more than an octave and they are both the span of a ninth. The music is printed on a heavier paper stock that will keep the pages looking good even with heavy use. The songbook is currently available exclusively from www.PamAsberry.com and I highly recommend it!

The song titles, the keys they are in and the number of pages are:

The Presence of Wonder - Key of E minor (1sharp) - 3 pages
Nebula - Key of G minor (2 flats) - 5 pages
Lullaby for Mackenzie - Key of F (1 flat) - 3 pages
Nocturne - Key of Bb minor (5 flats) - 3 pages
Above the Clouds - Key of E minor/G major (1 sharp) - 5 pages
The Love of Thousands - Key of C (0 sharps or flats) - 3 pages
An Invisible Thread - Key of F major/D minor (1 flat), C major/A minor (0) - 4 pages
Surrender - Key of F minor (4 flats)/ F major (1 flat) - 5 pages
Something Found - Key of C(0)/ G (1 sharp) - 4 pages
Devotion - Key of A (3 sharps)/ C (0)/ Eb (3 flats) - 3 pages
The Kindness of Strangers - Key of C major/ A minor (0), Bb (2 flats) - 4 pages
Wishes in the Wind - Key of Ab (4 flats) - 3 pages
Now - Key of F# minor (3 sharps)/ C# minor (4 sharps) - 3 pages
April 27, 2019
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