THE LIGHTNESS OF DARK
Leonard Cohen once said, “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”
The Lightness of Dark by Fiona Joy Hawkins & Rebecca Daniel is an inspirational and collaborative journey into the depths of loss, mourning and recovery. Recorded in Australia for Piano, String Quartet (Kanimbla Quartet) and voice, the album focuses on the way forward and the exploration of lightness within the dark.
We all experience loss at some time in our lives, loss of health, friendship, a pet, lost youth or the loss of a loved one. When real life becomes art, experiences can be shared, learned from and resonate with others in similar situations. This album invites the listener to find the beauty in the sadness and move forward in a positive way.
The renowned Australian musicians present a powerful exploration of loss and beauty amidst life's sadness in an uplifting Classical Crossover style.
The Lightness of Dark explores the many facets of life and loss, the search for something positive in the crippling shadows; the resulting album is an example of the potential beauty that can emerge from mourning and sadness. Hawkins and Daniel will be supporting the Classical Crossoverstyle album with U.S.-based performances in Fall 2019, at Dizzy's in San Diego (https://bit.ly/2GHaa4E), and additional dates listed on Songkick: https://www.songkick.com/artists/74192-fiona-joy-hawkins/calendar
“We believe our album will connect with everyone because we all experience loss in varying forms,” Hawkins says. “It can be the loss of youth, a loved one, a pet, your health...life changing events where we are left to mourn because of loss. People only face their own issues when you lead them to a safe place to do this.”
Both Hawkins and Daniel know that when real life becomes art, experiences can be shared, learned from and resonate with others who are going through similar challenging situations in their lives. Both were channeling the effects of difficult personal experiences into the music they were creating on their own, and soon realised their intent, ideas and visions for what this project could ultimately be melded perfectly.
Music critic Jonathan Widran observes, "While The Lightness of Dark is most-richly experienced in its entirety as the duo converse and ultimately merge their expressions into a singular statement of grace, several pieces stand out thematically" on the 11-track album, including "Interwoven Threads of Chance" and "Ghosts, Insanity, Angels."
The Lightness of Dark weaves its lush, cathartic narrative via music with varying instrumentation depending on the emotions the two are expressing. The opening track “Heavenly Voices” blends string quartet (featuring The Kanimbla Quartet) with organ, piano and vocals. Other tracks, feature solo piano (“Ghosts, Insanity, Angels”), piano/violin duet (“Elegy”), piano with quartet pads (“Lake of Contemplation”), string quartet only (“Interwoven Threads of Chance”), string quartet featuring piano (“Empty Moments”) and other combinations uniquely fitted for the compositions they imbue.
Daniel’s fascination with Trauermusik (mourning or funeral music) began with the study of?Paul Hindemith. who wrote a famous piece for solo viola and string orchestra, and since performing this in the UK, Rebecca has embraced the rich and layered sounds of viola with string accompaniment. She says, “I drew inspiration for the Theme and Variations on a Ground Bass, from Hindemith's ‘Trauermusik’ and Purcell's ‘Dido's Lament’, which I have performed in the UK. Both pieces are powerfully tragic, and yet the beauty that comes through is deeply moving and engaging, in a way that leaves you uplifted, and wanting the experience again. On the title track ‘The Lightness of Dark,’ for instance, I use viola as a solo voice, as did Hindemith, and a simple descending bass line in the strings and piano, as a repetitive foundation for solo lines, as used by Purcell. The piece is written for string quartet, piano and vocalist, and uses repetition and simplicity to convey an emptiness and yearning, juxtaposed with rich chords in the strings and piano. The listener should be left emotional, yet content and at peace.”
The duo have enjoyed a long history of collaborations, and enjoyed working together with renowned Australian Producer Llew Kiek on the project. Fiona & Rebecca have performed over 50 concerts together including at the Sydney Opera House for the 2012 MusicOz Awards, New Orleans for 2014 ZMR Awards and 2017 Sydney Women’s International Jazz Festival; Rebecca has appeared on nearly every one of Fiona's solo albums. The two have played together as part of the Blue Dream Ensemble, and Rebecca produced a live album of Fiona's early work, Live at the Q.
The Lightness of Dark is available today for purchase on most platforms including Amazon, Bandcamp and other fine retailers, as well Apple Music and other platforms worldwide on August 2, 2019, including Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2Kea1Ia
The artists invite fans to connect on social media to share stories of loss and healing through music:
Twitter - https://twitter.com/fionajoymusic
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/fionajoymusic/
San Diego Concert Info:
Location: Dizzy's Arias Hall
Date: 10.4.19, doors open 7:30pm
1717 Morena Blvd., San Diego, CA, US 92110
Cash or Venmo at the door, or tix online: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4306933
About the artists:
Rebecca Daniel studied violin and chamber music with Emanuel Hurwitz and the Amadeus String Quartet at The Royal Academy of Music. She worked with Trevor Pinnock and Simon Standage, and The Australian Chamber Orchestra, and was Orchestra Leader for Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera, The Sound of Music and Beauty and the Beast. She has recorded and performed with, John Denver, Bread, James Galway and the Chieftains, Will Ackerman, Shirley Bassey, Barbra Streisand, Men at Work and INXS.
Fiona Joy Hawkins, a Conservatorium-trained pianist, renowned for her romantic, melodic songs and lush arrangements, is a prolific composer, who regularly tours China and the USA and is also a member of the Contemporary New Age instrumental group FLOW (Fiona Joy, Lawrence Blatt, Jeff Oster, Will Ackerman). Fiona’s song “Grace" is on a 2014 GRAMMY-Winning album, and in 2016 she won two Independent Music Awards at the Lincoln Centre in New York. She has several Best Piano Album ZMR Awards and regularly works with Producer Will Ackerman (Founder Windham Hill Records) and Cookie Marenco (Blue Coast Records) for hi-resolution audiophile recordings.
Media Contact: Beth Ann Hilton, The B Company, (310) 560-8390, [email protected]
Concert Bookings: [email protected]