“Voyager” is the 2018 album release by composer and New Age solo pianist, Lisa Swerdlow. It’s her 2nd release on the Heart Dance Records label. She is well placed there, as she says, “I hope my music serves as a vehicle for healing the heart.”
Hailing from a musical family, Lisa has a colorful musical history, including playing piano in a rock and roll band in San Francisco in the 1970s, as well as touring with an all-female salsa band. In 2017, she released her debut solo piano album, “Equus Rising.” It was nominated for “Best Solo Piano Album, 2017,” on One World Music Radio.
The album, “Voyager,” is inspired by a story she heard about the NASA twin spacecraft, Voyager 1 and 2. These are, surprisingly, still sending imagery back to Earth 40 years later instead of their originally expected 15 years.
Perhaps like a voyage through space might be, or a journey through life, the album, “Voyager,” 12 tracks, is exciting, expressive, and expansive. Each composition on “Voyager” has definitive highs and lows, engaging tempo changes, and all are brimming with verve, vitality, and vivacity. These are like little travel vignettes that speak to directly to the soul.
The “voyage” begins with the title track, “Voyager,” which is pleasantly melodic, tightly composed and played. This is a great song, with its peaks and valleys; passionate crescendos expertly interwoven with quieter moments that give us pause for reflection upon life as a journey.
Following is “Edge of Tranquility.” This is flowing and fervent, starting off quite gently and then masterfully building in its intricacies. Here is where you start to get a really good sense not only of Lisa’s absolutely phenomenal keyboarding skills, but also of her sophisticated art of composition.
“Mindful Moments” is thoughtful and emotive. “Autumn Speaks to Me” is so expertly “transportive” we can almost literally feel ourselves as leaves being tumbled by the breeze.
A few of my personal favorites on “Voyager,” are “Sunday in Paris,” which is deeply beautiful and romantic, and “Gone Too Soon,” which as the title may imply, is soulful, wistful, and nostalgic. “Winter Solstice,” track 7, is deep and luxurious, with a catchy, memorable melody, and is played in both upper and lower registers quite adroitly. Track 8, “Into the Center,” is wide, expansive, and supremely expressive. Lush and abundant, with a dreamy feel, it’s definitely not boring on any level, and showcases her impressive piano playing skills.
Most prodigious is the effervescent, “I Saw You Dancing with the Stars.” This is twinkling and sparkling, overflowing with the rich, expressive emotion we enjoy all through “Voyager,” in every composition. Lisa employs the entire piano keyboard here in an exquisite dance and celebration of life itself. Truly exhilarating, this is solo piano the way a piano is meant to be played.
The album winds up with “Yuba River Journey,” which perfectly captures the crystal clear ambiance of this body of water, known for its pristine swimming holes surrounded by smooth granite rocks.
“Voyager” is a dazzling, ever-changing soundscape that leaves you in breathless amazement. It is a true virtuoso that can paint us such lush and eloquent landscapes with an instrument. So whether from space or from Earth, or some other planet, this album is a “must have” for true solo piano lovers everywhere.
Get “Voyager” at the artist’s official website: https://www.LisaSwerdlowPiano.com or wherever music is sold.