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Songbook Review: Unraveling
Pam Asberry
Cover image of the songbook Unraveling by Pam Asberry
Pam Asberry
2022 / Optimistic Flamingo Music
41 pages / 11 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
Unraveling is the companion sheet music collection for Pam Asberry's 2022 solo piano album by the same name. All eleven pieces from the album are included in the songbook and were transcribed by Pam Asberry herself; I did the proof-reading and can guarantee that the sheet music is as close to the recordings as is possible. The music is an expression of Pam's "personal experience navigating through the coronavirus crisis," so most of the pieces are on the darker, more reflective side but are very expressive and interesting to play. Because none of the music is really fast, none of the pieces are difficult to play, but there is plenty of room for artistic expression and interpretation. I would place the music at an upper-intermediate/early advanced playing level, and many pianists who are more advanced will find much to enjoy in the expressive qualities in the music, too.

The Unraveling songbook is available as a spiral-bound printed book as well as a PDF download; individual pieces are also available from Pam's website. The printed books have enlargements of the album artwork on the front and back covers. Pam wrote a description of the inspiration for each piece, and that is also included in the both the songbook and the CD. There is also an "About Pam" page at the back of the book with a photo and short biography. The notation for the music is clear and crisp, and printed on a bright white paper that should hold up for many years of playing enjoyment. Metronome settings, pedal suggestions, phrasing, and colorful playing instructions make this a very pleasurable book to play. It is also an excellent choice for piano teachers who offer contemporary music that is pedagogically sound to their advancing students. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with Unraveling and highly recommend it!

The printed songbooks are available from Pam's website and Bandcamp; PDF downloads of the complete book and/or individual pieces are also available from Pam's website.

The titles of the songs, the key(s) they are in, and the number of pages are:

Storm Clouds Gather - Key of E minor (1 sharp) - 2 pages
Unraveling - Key of Db (5 flats)/ Gb (6 flats)/ G minor (2 flats)/ Ab minor (7 flats) - 4 pages
Bluebird - Key of E minor / G major (1 sharp) - 3 pages
Tattered Lace - Key of G (1 sharp) - 3 pages
Dark Places - Key A minor (0 sharps or flats) - 3 pages
Goodbye Again - Key of D (2 sharps)/ C minor/ Eb major (3 flats) - 3 pages
Labyrinth - Key of F minor (4 flats) - 3 pages
Saudade - Key of Db (5 flats) - 2 pages
Polaris - Key of G (1 sharp) - 5 pages
This Time With You - Key of F (1 flat) - 2 pages
Metamorphosis - Key of F minor (4 flats)/ Ab minor (7 flats)/ E (4 sharps) - 3 pages
April 14, 2022
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