Creating filtered version of banner image.

Reviews

 


 

 

 

Reviews of Nova

 

This album is a musical adventure. It starts with energetic beats on “Vital Warnings” and plunges the listener into the very special atmosphere where one can directly talk to the composer and your speech will be the silent language of love.

Gradually, the music becomes more calm and the second composition “Gently Crushing Eternity” which is filled with strong electronic patterns expands the horizon and shows endless space before your eyes.

The third composition “Half Time Suspense” continues the exciting musical journey and it sounds as a reminder of classical Tangerine Dream tunes. And then “Planetarium Hawk”, full of aerial voices and new age melodiousness, is reminiscent of Enya’s works.

In general, the music of Lawrence Lougheed is very diverse and, at the same time, it can be listened to in one breath because in every note the composer speaks to you and it comes from the bottom of the artist’s heart.

The music of “Nova” is filled with the real emotional experiences of the artist. And it has strength to purify the listener’s heart and easily release his hidden emotions. Compositions of this project undoubtedly have a healing effect and can be suggested in anti-stress therapy.

The music of Lawrence Lougheed in my opinion has one more important feature. It is very exquisite and refined. You can feel the artist’s respect to each person who is listening to his music.

Time runs very quickly when you listen to the wonderful compositions of “Nova” because the music of Lawrence Lougheed arouses the imagination.

And I’d like to say about one more significant peculiarity of the artist’s creative work. It awakes positive emotions and brings you a hope for the better days.

The album “Nova” will be a wonderful gift for very wide range of listeners. Listen to it and realize that a better world begins here and now and you can see it, you can start to create it from the very present moment.

- Serge Kozlovsky ( http://sergekozlovsky.com )


 

 

Reviews of Elysium Solace


If you are into the gentler meditative qualities of New Age music, you should consider a new CD from Lawrence Lougheed, head of music at Paris District High School. His other life is as an organist and choir master for various churches in the area over the years, and that position has naturally led to a lot of improvising on the keyboard. This activity took hold of Lougheed’s life some years ago, with the result that he has a very impressive studio in his basement and has already released one CD of New Age music.

That CD, Time Shadows, featured the sounds of piano and synthesizer in a series of pieces that are almost personally revealing and always charming. The new CD, Elysium Solace, expands quite widely on those sounds and ideas. In fact I was immediately struck by the strength of his melodic lines and the wealth of textures Lougheed has created in many of these songs. This is powerful stuff and quite different from the first CD, although still soothing and pleasant for all the uses New Age music so rightly claims.

On top of the value of hearing a local composer at work and hearing some very original music, this CD has been produced with great polish and refinement. It has the sheen of any sound you will find from more expensive and more widely known artists in this realm, and is more compelling musically as well as for its connection to this community.

- Murray Charters, MURRAY'S MUSIC, Brantford Expositor


 

Back in the spring I had the pleasure of reviewing local composer Lawrence Lougheed's CD Time Shadows. In that review I mentioned that Lawrence was working on a new disc entitled Elysium Solace and I recently had the oppourtunity to sit down with him and discuss this new project and to hear how this artist has taken his music to a new level.

Often when an artist finds recognition from a release of their work, the following release tends to be more of the same. Hoping to avoid that, Lawrence gave great thought to how he could make his second CD have a unique flavour while maintaining the qualities that helped him find success the first time around.

While Time Shadows took listeners on a melodical journey to relaxation, Elysium Solace gives listeners that same sense of comfort and serenity but at the same time provides inspiration, allowing the mind to seek new places to explore.

Lawrence has been a well known and respected music educator for many years. He continues to teach and encourage future musicians at Paris District High School. While Lawrence's students learn and develop their musical skills each day, he, too, is growing and evolving musically as evidenced by his latest recording.

When he is at home working on his own compositions, Lawrence allows himself the freedom to create and explore the genre of the new age style of music. He has also worked on more synth-based compositions for this release and found that this new style has allowed his music to evolve and reach new heights.

Lawrence's Time Shadows contains the perfect music to wash away the stresses of my life as a working mother of three busy girls. That is a gift for which "thank you" doesn't seem sufficient. The 14 tracks on Elysium Solace provide the listener with that same feeling of serenity, but also allow the mind to come back refreshed, renewed and full of new and innovative ways to tackle life's daily tasks.

Lawrence is still putting the finishing touches on the CD before it will be available to the public. He, like many artists, is always finding something that he would like to change "just a bit" and that makes the finishing process take a while longer than planned.

- Robin Sweers, SPOTLIGHT, Brantford Expositor


 

Elysium Solace is the second publication of the composer and keyboardist Lawrence Lougheed. An album recorded in his own studio in Brantford, Ontario. A job that consists of fourteen short, where warm and subtle melodies of MIDI synthesizers and keyboards create a pleasant journey through a deep spiritual space, fractal images drawn that change of shape with the flow of the melodies. Perfect for isolated parts of the world, let your imagination run and catch the crafty inspiration.


The album begins with "Wave Power", a perfect track to open this album. Smoothly, a hypnotic and soothing melody created by the modulated sound of a keyboard and a synth pad as base that serves as a sensitive accompaniment, they make a quiet and dreamy piece. A perfect time for introspection!.

"Train Sweeper" is the longest track on the album, more than five minutes. This begins with the sound of a loop repeated throughout the track, as if the passing of a train they were, and that provides the backdrop for the main melody. A keyboard module gives life to a delicate sound which occasionally accompanying the sound synthesized of a percussion and sneaky electronic sounds. A theme perfect backdrop for moments of relaxation. Captivating piece!.

"Fantasia" is beautiful, a keyboard sound as predominant voice modulated and a synth pad background create a magical setting, where calm and peace surround the listener. A delicate percussion, barely noticeable, which marks the slow pace of the piece and the melody created catchy on the keyboard, they make that this piece is amazing. Magic theme!.

A beautiful female voice gives way to "First Passage, one of the most beautiful and sensitive work. The voice, as a main melody, creates a perfect soundtrack for a bitter moment, as a farewell, while draw to the listener a magical environment, wonderful views contained only in fairy tales. Wonderful piece, just beautiful!.

"The Road" is a quiet track, ideal for relaxation. A soft synth pad creates the humble and beautiful melody, and this remains unchanged from beginning to end, and get to immerse the listener into a deep, sweet sleep. So delicate, so beautiful ...

With a hypnotic rhythm, "rhythmatic" being born of repetitive synth sounds that accompany a soft melody played by the keyboard and percussion that marks the captivating rhythm. A piece with a good stereo set, where the sounds traveling from the right channel to left channel and vice versa, surrounding the listener and inviting him to penetrate into his dreams.

"Day Is Dawning" is the rebirth of a new day. With serenity, the melody is emerging as a sunrise that is revealing all that covered the dark and at that time, dresses in orange and black colors. With nostalgic, "Day Is Dawning" is the perfect soundtrack for watching enjoy beautiful scenery, admiring every tiny detail.

"Blue Rhythmic Hand" present a rhythm a little more aggressive, compared with the soothing sounds offered by the previous tracks. Introducing new instruments, in this case, a wind instrument and percussion, which give this track a nice ethnic touch. A puzzling and mysterious piece.

"Starlight Forest" reintroduces the listener into a fantasy world, magical. A startling vision of a forest illuminated by the silvery glow of the stars, and where the treasured view each image bathed by the light blue and green dress the trees. One piece at a wonderful life-giving synth pad and a whistle played by the keyboard. Amazing!.

"May Song" has a slow onset and distressed, a gloomy melody brings a bitter tone to it, but once passed the minute, the piece becomes cheerful and beautiful, a catchy melody at its zenith offers the optimistic side of the track.

"Jarrefique", simple in terms of instruments is concerned, in this case, Lawrence uses only the sweet sound of a keyboard with a crystalline touch, thus avoiding the sounds of percussion and synth pad used in previous tracks, a simple but beautiful piece that rest to the ears.

An electronic piano gives life to "Second Passage." Delicate chords in the lower area of the keyboard attached to one of the more subtle melodies, all using only instrument, the sound of electronic piano; a nostalgic waltz has a strong emotion and a romantic touch. A delight for the ears!.

The charming "Glistening" is simply thrilling. With a melancholy tune, "Glistening" captivates the listener. Lawrence has managed to link the perfect chords to create a melody so perfect that move the listener to a sad momento. Awesome!.

The piece that closes the album, is titled "Magic Bells." A mysterious onset of loose notes synthesizer, how bells, and a bewildering pad in the background, bring to life a chilling melody that remains unchanged from beginning to end. A piece that is not indifferent to the listener and leaves an open ending for this extraordinary work.


Lawrence has surprised with Elysium Solace, a perfect album for listening at a time of meditation and relaxation, perfect for those moments in which inspiration was sought. Beautiful music, which in some passages, reminiscent of the electronic sounds used by Enya. Lawrence manages to captivate the listener with amazing soundtracks which may well be part perfectly of any story or fantasy. Elysium Solace is a highly recommended album!

- reviewsnewage.com

Reviews of Time Shadows

 

Fate is a funny thing. At an evening meeting I noticed that the person beside me had brought a CD and realized that her last name was the same as the artist listed on the CD. I asked if Beth had brought the CD for me to listen to. She said no. After I explained that I thought she had brought the CD for me to listen to for this column, we both had a good laugh. When I arrived home I put the CD in and was immediately impressed. Lawrence Lougheed has been a well-known and respected music educator for many years and he is currently the music department head at Paris District High School. When Lawrence isn’t teaching and encouraging future musicians at school, he is at home working on his own original compositions. This classically trained musician has been using his talents not only as an educator but also as an organist and choir director.

Within the past eight years Lawrence has begun to branch out into electronic music and MIDI and his first CD titled Time Shadows showcases the New Age style of music that Lawrence has embraced through that journey. While Time Shadows was released in 2002, this was my first time listening to it and I can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed the melodic journey this CD took me on. This 14-track effort gives the listener a wondrous glimpse into the instrumental, technological and compositional talents that Lawrence possesses. Listening to Time Shadows left me with the feeling that I had been invited to a place of peace and serenity, romance and warmth. This is definitely a CD that gives the listener an escape from the everyday stresses and takes you to a place where you want to stay forever. Time Shadows is the perfect CD for those looking to relax and renew their soul. In addition to composing each song and performing instrumentally on this CD, Lawrence also recorded and edited each of the 14 tracks in his home studio before sending the things off to John Setej, in Hamilton, for mixing and mastering.

Lawrence is currently working on his second CD, titled Elysium Solace, due for release in the late summer. I’m told this new musical offering will again feature original compositions, but this time the songs will be synth-based and higher energy. More information about Lawrence Lougheed and his music is available at www.lawrencelougheed.com. The website offers biographical information on Lawrence, and under the music tab, the musician’s descriptions of each of the songs on Time Shadows along with clips of each of the songs. There is also contact information for Lawrence should you be interested in obtaining your own copy of Time Shadows or, when it becomes available, Elysium Solace. I can’t thank Beth, Lawrence’s wife, enough and fate for bringing this delightful music into my day. She may have trouble getting her copy of the CD back as I think I have finally found a way to relax away the stresses faced by a working mother of three.

- Robin Sweers, SPOTLIGHT, Brantford Expositor




For this listener the title of Lawrence's release invokes a pastoral image of a proper "English Tea Time" held in a proper fantasy garden. Please keep in mind that I mean that in a vintage or classic sense and not something as extreme as the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. More on par with a relaxing discourse with the woodland's Elfin inhabitants.

This CD is, in all truth, everything that was right about the early, vintage, New Age Instrumental music without the cute, syrup like, quirky voicings of early synthesizer patches. Lawrence's finely crafted musical tapestry voicings are extremely rich and vibrant and lend soothing support to his highly melodic pieces.

One must ponder the very nature of what I would term "Tone Poems" designed around multi-timbral melodies that wind and weave throughout each track. His music is detailed and finely crafted while at the same time retaining the heart and soul of the artist's voice within each track. One feels the playful tug of "déjà vu" in that the melodies dance fleetingly close to ones I can sense having heard as a child. Only I am sure that it is an active imagination enjoying a fanciful musical flight while sitting in an English Garden sipping Tea.

The lions share of tracks feature Lawrence's "Tone Poems" voiced through a gorgeous sounding piano patch that richly defines the many moods of the melodies. All in all Time Shadows is a welcomed excursion into the fine art of vintage New Age Instrumental Music.

- BEAR, New Age Sampler, Host/Producer


 

It's hard to believe a recording so well-done (from a compositional and performance standpoint) and professionally engineered is a debut release from an artist's home studio, but that's exactly what Time Shadows is.

Even allowing for the fact that Lawrence Lougheed has made a career of music (as a teacher, instrumental/choral conductor and organist), I was still impressed with this CD. The music on this album (romantic, lush, and sweeping, using piano and synthesizers) has many potential pitfalls that other artists (on their first efforts) can (and do) fall into. However, from the instant accessibility of the compositions to the extremely high quality of both sampled "real" instruments and spacier more electronic-sounding keyboards, Lawrence has paid utmost attention to the details of producing music both high in quality and also sincerely heartfelt and enjoyable from the first listen. If you like the recorded works of artists like Robin Spielberg, Suzanne Ciani (from her latter period), Kevin Kern, or Benward Koch, I'd find it hard to believe you wouldn't like this disc.

Mixing solo piano numbers with piano and synths and even some synth only tracks, the songs on Time Shadows are either a) dreamily slow and serenely romantic, b) spacy in that "classic" new age manner, or c) gently playful and ever-so-slightly upbeat. However, there is no schmaltz on this album that I could discern. Even when Lougheed dials up the drama, through either his use of synth strings or a louder and more forceful touch on the piano, he shows excellent taste and exercises proper restraint (lest the music cross over into histrionics or surgary-sweet cotton candy). Which is not say that Time Shadows is anything less than "pretty." Ambient music this is not, although some tracks flirt with the spacemusic genre (such as "The Dawning," one of my faves, featuring liquid-silk strings, synth-vibes, and spacy keyboard textures; or "Touch the Stars," which has a haunting feel to it, as synth bells, synth calliope, and dramatic lower washes impart a slight feeling of mystery amidst the beauty). Some other cuts worth mentioning include the strong opener, "Shades of Mystery" (a showcase for Lougheed's biggest strength, i.e. the balancing of electronic keyboards with his expressive piano playing), "Dream Voices" (lush strings, choirs, and pillow-soft textures, drawing favorable comparisons to Liquid Mind or the more electronic side of Dean Evenson), and "Moonlit Journey" (a solo piano number that is one of the more melancholic tunes here, approaching a Tim Story-like sadness at times, although nowhere near as minimal in structure).

When all is said and done, there isn't a true "weak" track on the CD (although I'd have put the lively synth number "Fantasy Dance" somewhere other than the last cut). Cynics may wrinkle their nose at Lawrence's unabashed romanticism, his classically-influenced piano playing, and the almost palpable positive energy on this disc, but people who enjoy traditional "new age music" or beautiful (and there's no better word to describe these melodies than that) adult contemporary music (played on piano and electronic keyboards) will delight in this new gem of a release. Recommended - and well done, Lawrence!

- Bill Binkelman, Wind and Wire


 


Canadian pianist/keyboardist Lawrence Lougheed has created a beautiful debut recording of original music. The pieces are both melodic and often ambient, blending into a soothing but not numbing mix. I am often reminded of Suzanne Ciani's earlier electronic work as I listen to Time Shadows although this is definitely not a copy-cat or wannabe recording. Each piece stands alone, but the CD as a whole is seamless and carries a quieting mood with romantic overtones.

Classically-trained and a music teacher with an extensive career, Lougheed shows his roots with an in-depth understanding of music and which instruments work together best to bring out the full potential of his compositions. Time Shadows provides a serene backdrop for other activities, but is complex and interesting enough to deserve the listener's full attention.

Far from being "ear candy", Time Shadows is a rich blend of emotionally-charged pieces with an optimistic attitude. The pieces range from solo piano to space music, and also include pieces in a very "classic" new age style. There is a wonderful variety of styles, and yet the mood is pretty even throughout. Time Shadows is a wonderful collection, and I highly recommend it.

- Kathy Parsons, Solo Piano Publications


 

Canadian composer and keyboardist Lawrence Lougheed released his debut album entitled Time Shadows in July of this year. I have to admit, upon the first listen, I was immediately skeptical that this was his first recording. Combining classic new age elements with a subtle hint of more recent electronic techniques, Lawrence Lougheed has put forth some of best instrumental music I've heard this year. With fourteen original compositions, Time Shadows strikes me as the result from a patient artist, one who took his time and went public with his talent when the time was just right. I will say however, if this album came out 5 years ago or 5 years from now, the music contained within would be just as relevant as it is today.

Piano is the weight to which the majority of the music on this album is anchored. Nothing feels rushed or forced as Lawrence plays in an open and friendly style. Some pieces, such as "Moonlit Journey" and "Twilight Moment" are straight-forward piano compositions, while tracks like "Dream Voices" and "Touch the Stars" border on the verge of pure electronica with just enough ambient elements to attract the attention of even the most committed EM fan.

Time Shadows is a mature, comforting journey through the realm of traditional new age music. I know of many artists that are trying to shrug off "new age" as a descriptor of their music, but in this case, that description is perfect. Lawrence Lougheed has absolutely nothing to apologize for here, and I would submit that many established contemporary instrumental artists could learn something from him. Fans of Kevin Kern, 2002 and solo piano music in general are going to find a lot of interesting territory to cover in Time Shadows. As a reviewer and fan of this kind of music, I can only hope we'll be hearing more from this artist soon.

- Jim Dlugosinski, The Instrumental Weekly



 

Have you got your Christmas shopping done yet, or are you going to wait until one of the traditional days, Christmas Eve or maybe Boxing Day? To save you some time I have a suggestion for your musical giftees that also allow you to celebrate a local musician as well as the season.

Some musicians have relied on a large array of performers to record a very professional sounding CD, but these days a composer can bypass the entire performer-interpreter stage and present his or her thoughts to us as directly as in an intimate conversation. Local organist and school music teacher Lawrence Lougheed has done just that in a soothing collection of pieces he has composed and then performed entirely in his own impressive studio.

Time Shadows may be new age in style and sound, but the construction of these pieces betrays Lougheed's classical training. Every one of the 14 pieces has a shape and logic to it that I find quite compelling, and I confess to being annoyed by some aimless new age meandering I have heard elsewhere. The sound textures are a constant delight as well; you must hear the very beginning and the final piece to appreciate some of that, but throughout Lougheed switches from classical to more electronic sounds with a good ear for what sounds exactly right.

I know I will be sliding copies of this CD in a few stockings soon!

- Murray Charters, MURRAY'S MUSIC, Brantford Expositor