Karen Marie Garrett | Allure of Sanctuary

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New Age: Contemporary Instrumental Classical: Contemporary Moods: Featuring Piano
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Allure of Sanctuary

by Karen Marie Garrett

Karen's music is passionate and evokes emotion - get ready for a beautiful escape. "I really think the package is beautiful and will attract people to it, once they get inside they'll be goners." Will Ackerman, founder Windham Hill Records.
Genre: New Age: Contemporary Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Tip Toe Dancer (Kathryn's Song)
5:24 $0.99
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2. Lake EWOK Muse (Piano & Cello)
4:36 $0.99
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3. Simple Things
4:14 $0.99
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4. Allure of Sanctuary
4:52 $0.99
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5. Welcome B
5:32 $0.99
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6. The Green Hills
3:55 $0.99
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7. Gnossienne No. 1
3:02 $0.99
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8. Gnossienne No. 2
1:51 $0.99
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9. Gnossienne No. 3
3:11 $0.99
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10. Will's Song
2:47 $0.99
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11. Toll of War (Adagio)
4:17 $0.99
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12. Lake EWOK Muse (Piano solo)
2:54 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Karen plays from a classical background, but brings to it her abundant heart" Will Ackerman (legendary pioneer of New Age Music and founder of Windham Hill Records)

TOP 20 ALBUM LIST OF THE YEAR FOR 2005
".... a must-have CD! Highly recommended!”
Kathy Parsons, Solo Piano Publications, New York

"Top drawer pianist... get this album neighbors... you can say you knew her when."
Victory Review Magazine - Acoustic Music Resource



VICTORY REVIEW, ACOUSTIC MUSIC RESOURCE OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST | Review by Tom Petersen

Karen Marie Garrett is a top-drawer pianist headed for bigger things. Allure of Sanctuary is the Olympia artist’s third release, following a straight classical disc and another in this New Age vein. This new release is as soothing as it’s intended, but it’s also energizing. Where a lot of New Age is so light it begins to drift and grow unidentifiable, Garrett’s compositions are distinct, with melodies for the listener to hook into. It’s billed as New Age, but several cuts qualify as Light Jazz – very mellow Vince Guaraldi, perhaps. Thus, Garrett is a distinctive new artist in this field and could, with the right promotion, see herself at the top of the New Age charts (Allure is already getting significant airplay on Easy Listening stations). It won’t hurt a bit that she is a pupil of the founder of the New Age genre, Will Ackerman; nor do dead-enders get invited to record their albums at Skywalker ranch, using Lucas’s Bluthner grand! Get this album, neighbors – you can say you “knew her when.”


ENGLAND – PIANO HEAVEN’S “GOLD AWARD”
by England reviewer, Stephen Cairns


A STUNNING CD RELEASE BY NORTHWEST NATIVE KAREN MARIE GARRETT AND LEGENDARY PRODUCER WILL ACKERMAN

Garrett launched her stunning sophomore release, Tuesday, September 20, 2005; a collaboration with acclaimed producer Will Ackerman, & founder of Windham Hill Records. The album is a collection of 12 tracks recorded between his Imaginary Road Studio in Windham County, Vermont and George Lucas’s Skywalker Sound Studio in San Rafael, California.

ALLURE OF SANCTUARY is the result of Garrett’s obvious talent combined with a diligence to create awe-inspiring music. Eight original compositions mingle beautifully with Brian Gibson’s "The Green Hills" and Erik Satie’s "Gnossieme" Nos. 1,2 and 3. Garrett’s "Tip-Toe Dancer (Kathryn’s Song)," "Welcome B," "Will’s Song," "Toll of War," "Simple Things", "Lake Ewok* Muse, and the breathtaking title track are stunning contributions by a relative new comer to the recording industry.

Karen establishes middle ground in her arrangements and original compositions integrating romantic elements with classical technique and improvisation without turning the corner into overt jazz. Her performances embrace sentiment with passionate depth and elements of surprise rarely found, offering more than a little something for everyone.


*Ewok is a trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd. and it's affiliated companies, used by permission.

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Review by Stephen Cairns, Piano Heaven - ENGLAND

There is something exciting about discovering someone new on the New Age Piano circuit who blows the listener away with their magical piano playing. This is most certainly the case with Karen Marie Garrett's second CD, one that features mainly original compositions.

Tip-Toe Dancer opens the twelve track CD, and what a gorgeous way to begin. I am not famed for my dancing, but this piece makes me want to get up and start dancing around the room! The melody is simply beautiful from start to finish. It is dedicated to one of Karen's friends, Kathryn, who was obviously a source of inspiration to Karen with her frequent ballerina dances for family and friends. This track has been extremely popular, and Karen Marie Garrett is rapidly making quite a name for herself in the music circuit.

Whereas Tip-Toe Dancer is a most uplifting piece, the second track, Lake Ewok Muse, is most mournful. It combines piano and cello to devastating effect. As Karen explains herself in the linear notes, "This improvisational piece followed a sunrise meditation beside Lake Ewok at the Skywalker Ranch. The serene setting of the lake and the wildlife were breathtaking."

The third track, Simple Things, is another favourite. Very delicate, as perhaps the title would suggest, it is lovely to listen to from beginning to end. Welcome B is yet another special track, in a CD that is full of highlights. Another beautiful melody that the listener will want to hear time and time again.

Tracks 7 through to 9 pay homage to the great Erik Satie with three pieces: Gnossienne No. 1, 2 and 3.

The founder of the legendary Windham Hill Records empire, Will Ackerman, produced this album, and Karen clearly feels indebted to him. She dedicates the album's tenth track to her mentor. "Will's Song" is another improvisation. Whilst warming up the concert grand in the studio, Will was being interviewed in the Green Room. A melody suddenly came Karen's way, which she developed there and then. She quickly asked the engineer to start recording, and the second cut became the complete song. In her dedications, Karen says, "To Will: Thank you for helping me find where the music is coming from and to not be afraid to share the music I feel with others." With clearly genuine appreciation and admiration in equal measure, she goes on to say, "Thank you for becoming my mentor; this project would not have been possible without you."

The CD closes with a reprisal of the second track- this time solo piano. It is gorgeous.

This really is an outstanding CD. I give it my highest recommendation and feel blessed to have discovered it.

There is also excellent news for fans of Karen- a new CD is in the pipe-line and is scheduled for a January 2007 release. Once again, Will Ackerman will be the producer, ensuring the recording is of the highest quality.

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Review by Kathy Parsons, Solo Piano Publications, (see reviews below)

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Review by RJ Lannan, New Age Reporter

"If you are looking for a piano album that suggests light, airy feelings and sunny, day-dream interludes then Allure of Sanctuary the new release by Karen Marie Garrett is just the ticket. The overall theme promises that there are still places remaining that cater to the weary spirit and harbor the heart-searching if only for a few precious moments. Karen Marie has a great sense of composition and she must know first hand what breaks, or better still, what heals a troubled heart.

Like something out of child's imaginary dream world, the first tune Tip-toe Dancer (Kathryn's Song) creates a light, flirty mood. You can almost see the tiny ballerina dancing amidst a red velvet background. Once you close the lid of the box the music stops, but the tune remains in your heart.

I always thought that the Ewoks in the Star Wars movies were superfluous and just too cute for words, but apparently Karen Marie thinks differently as she pays homage to the furry little heroes in the song Lake EWOk Muse. I am assuming that it is actually the lake side setting that is the subject. Frankly, it doesn't matter what she called the tune as it is absolutely superb. There is a wondrous pastoral beauty about it that paints the image of a placid lake on a warm afternoon. Hungry fish make dimples on the lake's surface and perhaps a few angry clouds are moving in from the west, but for now the lazy sun is your only companion. Eugene Freisen's cello is a welcome addition and the song would not be complete without him. It is one of my favorites on Allure of Sanctuary and seems to suit the theme for the album quite well.

It's like walking through a door and finding escape just on the other side. The title track Allure of Sanctuary probably has the snappiest beat of any song and it grabs you with its tango-like cadence and whispery voice background. There is a place that consoles the spirit and lets your cares melt away. It may be called dreamland, inner peace or Cloud 9, but is best accompanied by this fanciful tune.

Wistful dreams abound when you listen to the tune The Green Hills. The solo piano number is a showcase for Garrett's pastoral composing style and versatility and it is a welcome reprieve from the day's harried endeavors. It will be one of your favorites as it is mine.

Karen Marie touches on three of impressionist Erik Satie's more somber works, the "plain songs" Gnossiennes 1, 2, & 3. Satie of course is a favorite of mine and I have long suspected that he is the pater of New Age Music. Satie dedicated his works to the great palaces at Knossos and I imagine that Garrett is enamored by his simple, yet inventive ideology.

Will's Song is I suppose sort of a tribute to Karen Marie's producer, Will Ackerman. Yes, that Will Ackerman. Who knows why, but the song remains an outstanding cut on Allure of Sanctuary (I jest of course). The tune, an improvisation made with K.M.'s engine at idle and the meter running has a depth of mood with an almost idyllic beauty.

The best cut by far on the CD is called Toll of War. Accompanied once again by cellist Eugene Friesen, the solemn, emotional piece is a work of musical art. In the back of my mind I am reminded of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata when I listen to this work. The same gravity of mood, but from different sources of inspiration. Garrett's piece is a lament, yet remains contemplative and mentally accessible. Overall, it has a sad, formal quality like something out of Henryk Gorecki's repertoire, but it has nascent beauty to it that makes it appealing.

Karen Marie Garrett's music is cloud chasing music. It is light and soothing without being repetitive or droning. It is the perfect soundtrack to any sunny day, no matter what the forecast says."

Correction requested: The Green Hills, arrangement - Karen Marie Garrett, composer - Brian Gibson)

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"dj" aka: Donna Jo Thornton, Music Director - Morning Breeze, Jazz! FM 88.5 KSBR

"I went to my office and just sat quietly and enjoyed your new album... I'll be sharing it with the audience tomorrow morning....my reaction to your music was the experience of "chills of wonder" as I listened. After a hectic week, when I thought I was too burned out to listen to anything with a clear head, "Allure of Sanctuary" smoothed the jangled neuro receptors and gave me a second wind. I was lifted beyond my drama to pause and daydream. What a gift."

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Anne Williams, Nightscapes - Music That Makes You Feel Good

"I received your cd and listened yesterday while in notorious Boston traffic. I LOVE this cd.

After a particularly stressful week, one filled with negativity strong enough to almost turn even ME into a pessimist, your music brought great relief and solace.
I am one of those people who do look at the cd covers when browsing to purchase, and I must say that the kindness in your eyes pours through your hands into your music.
Thank you for sending this lovely cd. I will be playing selections from it on this week's edition of Nightscapes ...."

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Reviews


to write a review

Jennifer Tennant

Allure of Sanctuary
Karen Marie Garrett's Allure of Sanctuary moves me to a place of serene delight and peace. The joy I feel listening is addicting and beguiling as her sound transcends know space and into Divine rapture. Karen has stolen into my heart and will remain for many visitations.
Thank you
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Kathy Parsons

An incredible album!
“Allure of Sanctuary” is the second CD released by Karen Marie Garrett. It is astounding how much this artist has grown since her 2002 debut, “Pensare Piano.” Will Ackerman’s gifts as producer certainly helped to make this CD as breathtaking as it is, but if the quality of music isn’t there, no producer in the world can give it soul and depth - and this CD has mega-doses of both. A classically-trained pianist from the age of five, Ms. Garrett plays with the strength and emotional clarity that come from years of expressing oneself at the piano, sharing the joys and sorrows of life with the beloved 88’s. The twelve pieces include eight original compositions, a lovely arrangement of “The Green Hills” by Brian Gibson, and Erik Satie’s “Trois Gnossiennes,” performed as originally composed. Most of the pieces are piano solo, but Garrett is joined on two by award-winning cellist Eugene Friesen (I LOVE cello and piano together!). Some of the other tracks have English horn, light percussion, and wordless vocals, but this is truly an incredible piano album.

The CD begins with “Tip-Toe Dancer (Kathryn’s Song),” one of the lighter pieces in this collection. It was inspired by a story told by a close friend about a childhood dance performed for friends and family. Graceful yet playful, it is easy to imagine the seriousness of the young dancer and the warm reception of the adults. “Lake EWOK Muse” is an improvisational duet for piano and cello that followed a sunrise meditation beside Lake EWOK at Skywalker Ranch, where the album was recorded. The feeling of serenity envelops you as you listen to the two artists interact seamlessly, creating a perfect sense of peace. “Simple Things” is a celebration that begins in a classical style reminiscent of a children’s piano study and evolves, retaining the sweet melody and simplicity of the message but becoming a full and graceful solo. The title track is fascinating. It begins with a mournful piano prelude and becomes a rhythmic dance with a seductive Spanish flavor. Susan Whittle’s vocals and percussion provided by Will Ackerman and Derrick Jordan add to the enchantment. “Will’s Song” is an improvisational piece that is so deeply felt that it almost sends a chill - what a beauty! “Toll of War (Adagio)” is a wrenching duet for piano and cello. A profound statement of humanity rather than of politics, the sense of loss and pain reach to the depths of the soul. This is a piece that needs to be heard. The gentle, pensive closing track is a solo piano reprise of “Lake EWOK Muse.”

“Allure of Sanctuary” is a must-have CD!
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Art Lammens

Superb compositions. Very soothing for "while you work"
Was haunted by tip-toe dancer after hearing it on Sky.FM, so tracked it down and bought the CD. Most of the other tracks on the CD are top-rate as well.
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KJON99FM

Devastatingly beautiful
These warm pieces couldn\'t have been written or played with any more of a tender approach than what Karen created for this album. And she bookends \"Allure for Sanctuary\" with three exquisite pieces right up front and two intensely reflective works on the end. A true solo piano masterpiece.
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Mary M. Malone

I really enjoyed the CD. When I heard it on soundscapes, I had to have it!
It is one of the most dreamy and relaxing cd I own, next to Enya! In my line of work, I need stress relievers and Ms. Garrett's CD was perfect!
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