From the Best New Age Artists

Deborah Offenhauser Soundscapes Album Review

Deborah Offenhauser SoundscapesDeborah Offenhauser ~ “Soundscapes”

Album review by Dyan Garris for New Age CD.com

Deborah Offenhauser’s album, “Soundscapes,” is a masterful blend of a variety of sounds and superb ensemble instrumentation, combining elements of smooth jazz, neo-classical piano, World music, and New Age.

This contemporary instrumental album is an enticing cornucopia of thirteen compelling, original compositions from Offenhauser, a multi-instrumentalist, who has an impressive musical career spanning thirty years. “Soundscapes,” which is an exciting and deliciously different album, seems a natural segue for both us as listeners and for this artist. The album is over one full hour of intriguing compositions sure to hold your attention and captivate both your imagination and your heart.

Deborah’s career milestones include piano performances for Broadway tours of West Side Story, Beauty and the Beast, A Chorus Line, Oliver, Sound of Music, Peter Pan, Nutcracker, Miss Saigon, The King and I, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Producers, Mama Mia, Hairspray, and The Full Monty,

The album has the kind of vibe and verve that is well suited to music licensing, TV, and film soundtracks.  So it is not entirely surprising that Deborah’s music has been heard on many hit TV shows as well as The Weather Channel. 

That she can play the piano and play it very well, is obvious. This album, however, is an intriguing piece of artistry that’s a little out of the box, and showcases her growth, range, and immense talent as an artist and composer.

“Soundscapes” was recorded with renowned, Los Angeles based sound engineer, artist, and producer, James Linahon, whose work has included several well-known and major award-winning projects.

The album begins with “Decidedly Joyful,” which is as might be expected, decidedly joyful. Smoothly flowing, with incorporated jazz elements, percussion, and other instrumentation, mixed expertly with piano, it’s one of my favorites on this album.

Following on track 2 is the tantalizing “Free Radical.”  It’s a lush landscape, infused with nature sounds, piquant piano melodies, strings, and various other interesting electronica and instrumentation along the way. There is nothing boring about this composition which is constantly changing, holding our interest all the way through. In fact, the whole album is that way.

“Nothing Can Touch You Now” is one of my favorite songs on this album. Again, there is nothing remotely mundane here, and this is truly brilliant in every way.  The track begins with soothing nature sounds, which evoke initial feelings of a rainforest. Strings, and other pleasant aural elements are introduced, before the whole thing opens magnificently onto a lush, and richly textured expanse of completely gorgeous piano and more.  Gently flowing and moving, one could listen to this song over and over again and never tire of it in this lifetime.

Aptly named is “Irrational Exuberance” on track 4 with its playful, percolating, plucky strings, flute, and piano.  The subsequent “Tanz” is mysterious and worldly, with an awesome atmosphere of the exotic East. In continuance of the World music style, is “Spatial Palace,” which initially transports us to what could be a busy outdoor marketplace. The piece is Asian in flavor, tantalizing and enticing us with what comes next.

Starting off softly and gently and then becoming quite big and grand is “Through a Glass Darkly” on track 7.  This is a richly layered, fascinating composition full of passion and emotion.

Dreamy, twinkling piano along with otherworldly, atmospheric percussion, introduce the piece “Rosemont Theme,” which one might possibly construe as being kind of eerie. However, just when you may be thinking or feeling that, the composition evolves into a stunningly beautiful piano melody. Warm strings and more soon accompany. This is a diverse, breathlessly outstanding piece, and one to get completely immersed in.

“Air” is a delightful and melodic tune.  This begins with guitar, airy and light, and capturing the emotions of what it might feel like to be light as air. As the song progresses and takes shape, we are led to imagine air perhaps evolving into a body of sorts. Ultimately, then, air returns to its natural state of being, fanciful and free. Another truly interesting composition.

Next up is “The Gloaming” with its somber, but still sparkly evocations of mystery and suspense. How you perceive this piece depends upon how you view twilight in general.  It would make an excellent soundtrack to a movie thriller or horror film as would the song “Tanninim” (meaning “sea monsters” or “creatures of the sea), on track 12.

As far as I know, any kind of darkness is always followed by the dawn, and “It Is Written” is very well-placed here after “The Gloaming,” as track 11. “It Is Written” is one of the most exquisitely beautiful songs on “Soundscapes,” and my absolute favorite in all aspects.  Supremely relaxing, its movement is graceful and flowing.  As rich and as multi-textured as the rest of the compositions on the album, and possibly written with film in mind, this one speaks directly to the heart in a poignant, tender, and powerful way.  Just gorgeous through and through.

“The Wonderful Unfoldment of Blue” winds up Deborah Offenhauser’s thoroughly enjoyable “Soundscapes.” Somewhat somber, yet also peaceful at the same time, it’s a good way to exit this notable and refreshing album.

Buy “Soundscapes” on CDBaby now: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/deborahoffenhauser15

Official artist website: http://debspianoweb.com/

Similar posts
  • David Wahler Mosaic Album ReviewMOSAIC ~ David Wahler Album Review by Dyan Garris for New Age CD.com “Mosaic” is the sixth album release from award winning recording artist and composer, David Wahler.   Wahler, a former interior designer, is undeniably skilled at fitting various pieces together into cohesive, fluent form, whether it be in a room, house, a musical composition, [...]
  • Cory Lavine – Out of the Blue A...“Out of the Blue” by Cory Lavine Album review by Dyan Garris for New Age CD.com “Out of the Blue” is the debut album by solo pianist and composer, Cory Lavine.  Cory, a former hotel employee, experienced a series of interesting, synchronistic events that led him to create this album and to his life’s passion [...]
  • Nathan Speir ~ Quiet Wonder Album Rev...Quiet Wonder by Nathan Speir Album Review by Dyan Garris, New Age CD.com In an overly noisy world where others are clamoring mightily to be heard over a continually increasing din, “Quiet Wonder” by Nathan Speir is a refreshing return to “pristine simplicity.” A pianist, multi-instrumentalist, and composer, “Quiet Wonder” is Speir’s eleventh independent album [...]
  • Loren Evarts ~ Home Again Album Revie...“Home Again” by Loren Evarts Album Review by Dyan Garris, New Age CD.com Loren Evarts is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, composer, and arranger. His most recent release, ‘Home Again,” is a collection of contemporary solo piano compositions produced by Will Ackerman and engineered by Tom Eaton. Loren holds a Master’s degree in music education, taught for [...]
  • Rhonda Mackert ~ Time Not Forgotten A...“Time Not Forgotten” by Rhonda Mackert Album Review by Dyan Garris, New Age CD.com Rhonda Mackert’s fifth album release, “Time Not Forgotten,” is an absolutely exquisite collection of twelve original solo piano pieces inspired by some of her various lifetime memories. Feeling yourself completely relax from the very first notes, this is solo piano to [...]

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

1 Hour Relaxation Playlist

Music Video – IMA Award POP VOX Winner – New Age Song Category – “Mystic Sea”

Buying links below: Mystic's Nine album (and for the song Mystic Sea) available here:
  • Amazon
  • iTunes
  • Spotify
  • CDBaby
  • Bandcamp

  • Follow Dyan Garris here:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Official Artist Site
  • Listen and Buy: Terry Lee Nichols

    Music Video – “Floating” from Blue Landscapes II: Discoveries (Robert Thies & Damjan Krajacic)

    Music Video – LOGICAL DRIFT – The Americas: Angels of the Altiplano

    The short story behind the music and creators of Blue Landscapes. Featuring Blue Landscapes II: Discoveries