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Songbook Review: Wandering Soul
Rachel LaFond
Cover image of the songbook Wandering Soul by Rachel LaFond
Wandering Soul
Rachel LaFond
2018 / Rachel LaFond
58 pages / 11 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Wandering Soul songbook is the companion sheet music book to Rachel LaFond’s 2017 debut album by the same name. All eleven piano solos are included in the book and were transcribed by Rachel and John Zechiel, with editing done by Rachel. The book is beautiful inside and out, with full-color covers front and back printed on a glossy heavy-weight paper stock. The front cover is a reproduction of the cover artwork for the album, and the back cover features a photo of Rachel and a description of the inspiration for the music. The book is in the traditional 9”x12” format and the scores are printed on a heavier-than-normal paper stock that still allows for easy page turns. The notation is bright, clear, well-spaced and easy to read. The binding is stapled.

The music itself is varied and reflects on the year Rachel and her husband wandered the world, eventually settling in New Zealand. These are some of her first original compositions, but her many years of classical training are apparent in the rich quality of the music. The music is not simple by any means, bit it is not intimidating, either. Most pianists at an early-advanced playing level should be able to master these pieces with some practice. There are a few reaches of more than an octave, but not many. Metronome settings are included, as is phrasing. The playing instructions are descriptive and colorful and there are plentiful dynamics. I thoroughly enjoyed my time playing through this book and look forward to going back and learning some of my favorites. Although Rachel LaFond is fairly new to the solo piano music scene, she is excellent and her music will bring many happy hours to pianists of all ages. Rachel was a piano teacher for more than twenty years and this music is very suitable for teaching. The book is available exclusively from www.RachelLaFond.com as either a printed book or a download. Very highly recommended!

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

Wandering Soul - Key of C (0 sharps or flats) - 6 pages
Spinning in the Sun - Key of A (3 sharps) - 6 pages
Finding Home - Key of C / E minor (1 sharp) - 3 pages
Ember Warmth - Twin Peaks - Key of C/ A minor (0 sharps or flats) - 5 pages
Mystery of the Moor - Key of C# minor (4 sharps)/ Eb minor (6 flats)/ Bb minor (5 flats) - 5 pages
Why We Wander - Key of B minor (2 sharps)/ E minor (1 sharp) - 7 pages
Kingfisher - Key of Eb minor (6 flats) - 5 pages
Loving In the Rain - Key of C/ D (2 sharps) - 4 pages
Nikko River - Key of F# minor (3 sharps)/ D# minor (6 sharps)/ E (4 sharps) - 7 pages
Whisper in the Mist - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats)/ F# minor - 4 pages
Redemption - Key of F minor (4 flats)/ C minor (3 flats) - 5 pages
July 25, 2018
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