Christine Brown: Seamless

This week Christine Brown released her 11th album Seamless. Wow! I hope you enjoy this fantastic blended medley of favorite classical and pop songs as much as I do. There’s a great review by Kathy Parsons at MainlyPiano.com.

Album

Listen to her new album.

Seamless (2016) – 11 songs, 52 min

 

About the songs

Read what she has to say about her new cover album at her web site which explains background of the album and its songs.

“Seamless” is my 11th album, a unique collection of classic cover songs played with a classical twist. Although I love composing original songs, this album of my interpretations of well-known songs was encouraged by my family and friends. Since early childhood, I have enjoyed creating piano renditions of my favorite songs, mostly due to the lack of popular sheet music available when I was taking piano lessons. I have always enjoyed combining songs into a mash-up, releasing collections of children’s songs and Christmas albums that included various medleys. “O’ Holy Night” paired rhythmically with the “Moonlight Sonata”, and “Mary Had a Little Lamb” seemed destined to join “Baa Baa Black Sheep”! So why not do the same with classic and popular songs.

Beethoven, meet Led Zeppelin. Adele, meet Bach. With centuries of music to choose from, the combinations are endless. This album features unique arrangements of some of my favorite songs over the decades. Melodies overlap with classical and new age threads, and are intertwined to create a seamless musical tapestry. This was a challenge that I really loved. I had so much fun that I’m already halfway finished with the second album of covers! I hope you enjoy it.

1) Beethoven’s Stairway – The recognizable classical piece “Fur Elise” by Beethoven has a very similar pattern to the introduction to Led Zeppelin’s famous “Stairway to Heaven”, (but no lawsuit here!) These timeless classics seem to form a perfect union, as if they were meant to be together. As a teenager, it was also fun to play this classic rock song on piano, when I was supposed to be practicing classical pieces. I envisioned this similar theme for a music video, featuring a classically trained ballet dancer struggling with the desire to perform modern contemporary dance, and the artistic conflict is beautiful. Be sure to check out the video of “Beethoven’s Stairway”!

2) The Police Trilogy – I have always been a huge fan of Sting and The Police, lured by the beautiful and simple melodies and lyrics. Here are just 3 of my favorites, woven into one piece – “Wrapped Around My Finger”, “Fields of Gold”, and “Every Breath You Take”. I’m pretty sure I could create an entire CD of piano versions of music from Sting!

3) Hello Someone – Adele’s distinct voice and widely popular music had to be included. Her two hit songs, “Hello” and “Someone Like Me” paired nicely, both musically and lyrically. I connected the two with a piano version of Bach’s Prelude Suite No.1 for Cello.

4) Moonlight Hallelujah – I didn’t appreciate the beauty of this song when I had to play it in my youth, but Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” is heavenly, and the song finds a perfect match with Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”. These two classic and iconic songs blend smoothly in rhythm, phrasing and breathtaking melodies.

5) Titanium Chandelier – As a composer of contemporary classical piano, people are often surprised to hear my personal playlist! I enjoy a variety of music, including current popular artists and songwriters. Sia has written and performed some powerful songs, and stripped down to only piano, they are such haunting melodies. Two of my favorites, “Titanium” and “Chandelier” are united to create a beautiful fusion.

6) Happy Together – This song has been covered by a number of artists over the years, originally made popular by The Turtles. I’ve arranged a slightly darker, classical version of the song, pairing it with a dramatic classical piece by Enrique Granados, “Valses Poeticos No. 3”. I’d like to think they are “happy together”!

7) Bridge of Grace – The most difficult part of this song was thinking of a title! What do you name the combination of Simon and Garfunkel’s gorgeous song, “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, and the classic hymn, “Amazing Grace”? I tried to honor these two incredible pieces of music with this arrangement, and I love the message they deliver together.

8) Love, Elvis – My mother inspired me to pursue my passion for piano, and sadly I lost her much too early, back in 1990. One of her favorite singers was Elvis, and I wanted to include him on this album, but how? I decided to select a few slower, softer, love songs. So, what do you call “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and “Love Me Tender”? These two beautiful songs are joined for the perfect marriage, bonded into one heartfelt love letter.

9) Can’t Make You Stay – Sam Smith has an incredible voice, and his hit “Stay With Me”, a heartfelt plea for love reminded me of a similar lyric in the Bonnie Rait song, “I Can’t Make You Love Me”, one of my all time favorites. Two generations collide! I love these two powerful voices and melodies, and I really think the music and message overlaps beautifully.

10) Hotel California Dreamin’ – Chopin, The Mamas & The Papas, and The Eagles together? Yes! I had fun with this one, overlapping the melodies and piecing the puzzle together! Chopin helped me to connect the classic songs “California Dreamin” and “Hotel California” with his Prelude Op. 28 No. 20. Wasn’t Chopin from California?

11) Rainbow Smile – This musical journey ends with two familiar nostalgic pieces. Charlie Chaplin’s heartfelt song, “Smile” and the well-known melody, “Over the Rainbow”, are two classics delivering a warm message and feeling of hope and inspiration.

Thanks for listening to my musical montage. These timeless songs that I love have influenced my music and inspired me. My hope is that the arrangements are familiar, yet intriguing. By joining melodies with seamless transitions, together they reflect memories past and present, with nostalgia and joy.

Video

Here’s a nice mix of Fur Elise by Beethoven with Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin.

Beethoven’s Stairway on Seamless – 4 min 59 sec

 
Listen to more of her music at my Christine Brown post with additional albums, videos, and links. This new album has been included there as well, along with an updated playlist.

Photo credit: Seamless @ Amazon (album cover)

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