Michele de Wilton
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Michele de Wilton

Columbus, Ohio, United States | INDIE

Columbus, Ohio, United States | INDIE
Band Classical New Age


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Midwest Record Recap: Daydream"

This Jim Brickman approved solo piano player steps up with a set of contemporary instrumental music loaded with classical flourishes. Finding the drama that's inside a grand piano, this set seems a little darker than her last release. A stressed out mom herself, she knows how to convey that sound to other stressed out moms not necessarily looking for new age sounds but for something that can take them someplace else, even if for a little while. A solid player/composer, DeWilton has it all on the ball. - Chris Spector

"Midwest Record Recap: Myths & Legends"

A new generation of DIY new age/crossover/NAC pianists has come up in the shadow of Jim Brickman, David Lanz etc and the thing that sets them apart from the last generation of DIY players is that this generation doesn't have the hopes of being picked up by Windham Hill/Narada/Higher Octave dangling out there so they have to and are working harder. De Wilton comes at you from the opening notes as pleasant surprise of a pro that here's to play and not tinkle the ivories--bored, suburban, housewife style. Very much a smart, well played set that delivers what the NAC fan is looking for, she does it all by herself, solo front and center. - Chris Spector

"Michael Diamond Review: Daydream"

“Daydream” is the latest release from solo pianist Michele de Wilton following in the wake of her intriguing and imaginative “Myths & Legends” CD. The title of that previous album goes a long way in explaining the inspiration behind her compositions. As a musical storyteller, Michele has always felt drawn to classical literature, poetry, and especially the magical world of traditional mythology. On her website, there is a beautifully artistic multi-media presentation entitled “Musical Journey” that blends music, images, and text to provide insight into the wellsprings of her creativity – “the timeless narratives of adventure, love and yearning.” Her “dream piano” (a restored 1925 Steinway) provides the perfect loom for her to weave her musical creations. In her words, “As long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with the piano, the notion of moving my fingers to give voice to my emotions.”

A perfect example of her enchantment with tales of yore is on the CD’s second song, “The Dawn Rider,” which was inspired by Russian folklore. She explains: “It was inspired, in part, by a fearsome witch character named Baba Yaga. I was struck by the haunting image of the Dawn Rider, a spectral presence threading his way between dark tree trunks like morning mist. The image stuck in my head and came to life when I began working on a melody that reminded me of a Russian music box. As the song builds, I imagine dawn gilding the branches of the trees with pale gold, the rising sun rimming the treetops with orange. And, then, as the song fades into the upper register, the Dawn Rider disappearing like a wisp of vapor in the light of a new day.” This descriptive narrative is a window into the creative soul of this imaginative artist.

While Michele’s music definitely evokes images in the mind of the listener, she has gone one step further in bringing those images to life by producing two stunning music videos, which can be seen on her website. In a song from “Daydream” entitled “Shimoda,” she draws from a tragic story of a young Japanese woman named Okichi, whose real-life drama is said to be the basis of “Madame Butterfly.” The video, which is absolutely beautiful, was filmed with special permission in the Japanese Gardens of the Chicago Botanical Garden, and intersperses imagery of Zen-like natural beauty, indigo-hued butterflies, and serene waterfalls, with video of Michele playing the piano in an elegant Oriental setting and strolling the gardens gracefully in slow motion dressed in flowing sapphire blue silk. It’s exquisitely done and wonderfully relaxing. Her website also showcases a mystical mythological music video from her first album.

One of my favorite tracks from “Daydream” is “Winterbluegreen” which, in my mind, painted a delicate picture of snowflakes softly falling, blanketing a crystalline winter wonderland. Interestingly, while listening to the song “The White Hart” the music conjured up, for me, a sense of Arthurian England and Camelot. When I later did a bit of research I found that The White Hart was actually the emblem of Richard ll of England in the 14th century. So I would have to say that Michele did a good job of conveying her vision musically. And I also especially enjoyed the last song, “Lullaby in Lavender,” with its sweet lilting melody that enfolds you in its comforting embrace.

While Michele’s earliest inspirations were classical composers such as Chopin and Mendelssohn, like branches on a tree, her influences spread out over the years to include Joan Baez, Janis Ian, Andrew Lloyd Webber, George Winston, Vangelis, and film score writers like Hans Zimmer and Ennio Morricone. However, her own music was something that she pretty much did in private. It was not that long ago when people who heard it responded and made her aware of how it had a relaxing effect on the listener. This provided the motivation for Michele to begin recording her music and making it available. She has whole-heartedly embraced this calling and not only created two beautiful CD’s, but also videos, multimedia presentations, and a blog entitled “everyday serenity,” all of which can be seen at her website. Michele has accomplished a lot in a relatively short span of time, and I’m sure she has many enchanting tales yet to tell. - Michael Diamond Music

"Interview with Charles Easter of beautiful-new-age-music.com"

Why is it that solo pianist Michele de Wilton structures her narrative music around myths involving love and loss, and yet the music ends up making me feel good?

Famous new age pianist Jim Brickman says of her latest album, "Michele's original piano style transports the listener away to a place of peace and serenity. Daydream is the perfect salve to today's stressful world."

Michele grew up in Chicago, Capetown, Athens, and London, the daughter of a noted artist. She currently lives in Ohio with her husband and children.

Her songs remind me of those by George Winston. To a certain extent, she has the romance of Yanni. Because of the narrative nature of her work, she's informed by film composers Ennio Morricone, Michael Nyman, and Hans Zimmer. Composers such as Chopin inspire her and you can hear classical flourishes in her work.

Visuals are very important to Michele, and she's made striking videos for each of her albums.

The legends she uses are often centered around love and loss - Okichi (Madama Butterfly), for instance. Yet I don't feel sad listening to her music. As Brickman says, her music is peaceful and serene. So how do we get from loss to peace? I'll ask her this below.

I'm also intrigued by her international upbringing and her artist mother and how this might inspire her music.

And what about raising children? Is it possible to feel serene in the midst of family life, what Zorba The Greek called "the full catastrophe?"

Before we get to these questions, let's watch and listen to her video Shimoda. The inspiration for this song is Okichi, a beautiful young girl betrothed to her true love but forced to become the mistress to the first ambassador to Japan for five years. After this she is shunned and lives out her life in solitude. It's the same story on which Puccini's Madama Butterfly is based. Shimoda is the town in which the story takes place. The video was shot in the Japanese Gardens of the Chicago Botanical Garden.

For more of Michele's lovely music, go to her website www.micheledewilton.com. She also blogs about her music, and you'll find many fascinating entries there.

Charles: Why is it important to you to tell a story in song?

Michele de Wilton: I grew up with a love of stories; I started reading when I was three. The language of feelings is universal and that's what I try to bring when I tell a story with music. For me, music can be just as illustrative as words in conveying the sequence of emotions that frame a story.

Charles: What's the fascination with Okichi? Why the focus on loss? How does it finally come out soothing in the end?

Michele de Wilton: Okichi is a tragic figure but a noble one, too. Her path was dictated to her yet she traveled it with grace. Ultimately, though, it is her aloneness that captivated me. As a result of her sacrifice, she was shunned. And the solitary nature of her life, though deeply sad, holds, for me, a kind of peace. There can be clarity in solitude.

Charles: Okichi has to deal with something that's out of her element - a foreign man. Did this draw you to her story? Did you feel out of your element in the countries in which you lived?

Michele de Wilton: Okichi's predicament is a fascinating one. By attending to a foreigner she was rendered a stranger herself, existing between two worlds. I often felt that way growing up. I became accustomed to being a foreigner – to not just being a new kid but also a very different one, with a different accent – and then to the slow process of assimilating. Still, I'm aware, as a result, of not really belonging to any particular place. For me, home is not a place – it's my family.

Charles: You like the work of film composers. How much did movies influence you when you made your videos? Is this where you learned the interplay of music and images?

Michele de Wilton: I've always loved movies; I worked in a video store in high school and college to get free rentals. When a movie's score captures the emotional core of the story, it's a very powerful combination. So the marriage of music, language and imagery is important to me. They are all tools I look to in my creative process as I develop the emotional journey of a piece. At the same time, I value how each person experiences a piece of music in his or her unique way; I believe music lives through the people who take it into their hearts. I love that my pieces offer different things to different people.

Charles: You had an international upbringing, including Athens, London, and Capetown. Did it help you understand legends better? Did it give you insight into human nature?

Michele de Wilton: I first became fascinated with mythology while living in Athens. There was only one bookstore that sold books written in English and most of those books were collections of Greek myths. It was just incredible to read those stories while actually living in Greece – to visit the cave of the oracle at Delphi and imagine the oracle inside, wreathed in vapors. Likewise, while in Cape Town, I was captivated by the tribal mythology of South Africa as well as legends like the Flying Dutchman and the story of Wolraad Woltemade, who rode his horse into the sea to save the victims of a shipwreck. Woltemade's heroism, for example, inspired one of my first pieces, Salt River. And I turned to Arthurian legends while living in London. My pieces The Lady Of Shalott and The White Hart reflect my fascination with English mythology. If anything, my upbringing gave me some insight into the richness of the human experience – our capacity for storytelling is limitless.

Charles: Your mother is an artist. What type of things does she create? Did this influence you at all?

Michele de Wilton: My mother, Lorna Marsh, is a figurative expressionist. Her work explores the human condition as well as man's relationship with nature. Some of her pieces are very beautiful and haunting – like the image of a young woman whose gown is a collage of songbirds. Some are more confrontational – such as a wasted landscape punctuated by a lioness's head on a stake. All of her pieces invite you to ask questions – of the art and of society. I think I bring some of that to my music because I seek to create a narrative with each piece. I invite my listeners to experience the music as stories.

Charles: You play in botanical gardens, The Selfish Giant tale involves a flower garden, and you named a song Lavender. You've said that the greatest compliment you've ever received is when a little girl told you your songs were like a flower opening. Why are flowers important to you?

Michele de Wilton: I think flowers remind us, in the midst of life's challenges, of the world's capacity for joy. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Earth laughs in flowers."

Charles: Your song Lavender is based on an old folk song, as opposed to a myth. How does Lavender differ musically from your more narrative songs?

Michele de Wilton: Lullaby In Lavender tells a much simpler story than the majority of my pieces. And the music reflects that. But it's a delightful little love story, nonetheless:

Lavender's blue, dilly dilly, lavender's green,
When I am king, dilly dilly, you shall be queen.
Who told you so, dilly dilly, who told you so?
'Twas my own heart, dilly dilly, that told me so.

While I am drawn to sweeping, dramatic myths, I also appreciate the charm of a nursery rhyme. I'm working on a lullaby album for release next year.

Charles: You've said that you wrote Lavender for your daughter, whose favorite color is purple. Does she appreciate the song?

Michele de Wilton: My daughter loves that I wrote a song for her! She often falls asleep listening to my music.

Charles: You've mentioned George Winston as an inspiration. I can't help but think of winter and sparse landscapes when I listen to him. Did his music influence Winterbluegreen?

Michele de Wilton: December is one of my favorite albums. Of all my pieces, I think Winterbluegreen most reflects my appreciation for George Winston's work. I loved working on its spare, fragile melody.

Charles: Solo piano demands a sort of perfection when recording - you can't double track it, you can't do a cut and paste. Do you feel this gives your music (and that of other solo players) a quality that's in the moment and unfabricated?

Michele de Wilton: Recording is an intense process. Once I've laid down a track, it's incredible to experience a piece of music as a listener for the first time – without having to play it to hear it. At the same time, I'm a perfectionist. There's absolutely no "wiggle room" with solo piano – I find myself scrutinizing every note. Which can be particularly challenging when it comes to more complex pieces – for example, those with myriad running arpeggios like Cupid & Psyche and Heaven's Bridge. I've had a few days in the studio where I would play a piece and then ice my wrist while I listened to the recording before going back and doing it again – and again.

Charles: When you perform live, how important is the setting to you? Is your place with the piano at home special? Are you able to seal yourself off, or are you playing amidst other family noises?

Michele de Wilton: When I perform, I focus on connecting with the piano, on keeping the narrative of each piece in the forefront so that the story really comes through the music. The setting pretty much fades away while I'm playing. Although, I have to admit, I've given a few performances in cafés where it took all my concentration just to tune out the blender. My piano at home is in the family room. I usually play during the day while my kids are at school or late at night when everyone has gone to bed. Fortunately, my family finds my music soothing so it doesn't disturb their sleep.

Charles: Is music a way of helping you deal with the stress of family life?

Michele de Wilton: I've always turned to music to help me with stress. So my life today is no different. There's nothing like spending an hour getting caught up in composing a melody after being snowed in with sick kids – the stress just falls away.

Charles: You work with a musical coach, Jennifer Loftus. What does she do? How does she help you create your songs?

Michele de Wilton: Jennifer is an amazing teacher and an enormous source of support and encouragement for me. I compose by ear so she helps me dissect my pieces in musical theory terms. Also, when I finish an album, she and I listen to it together and map out the song order. She is also a Reiki healer so she has a unique appreciation for the energy of the music.

Charles: Thank you, Michele, for telling us how your narrative music works and sharing how you create in the midst of family life. Like you, I also believe music lives through the people who take it into their hearts. - beautiful-new-age-music.com

"Local Limelight"

Michele de Wilton likens her work to movie scores.

"I seek to take listeners on a musical journey," the pianist and Chicago transplant said. "Melody is very important to me, as is emotional nuance."

The self-described perfectionist - who in 2008 released her debut album, Myths & Legends - doesn't step away from the ivories until she is satisfied.

"It's a funny thing," she said, "but there's something in my gut that lets me know when a piece is ready."

Q Who introduced you to the piano?

A My maternal grandmother was a very gifted pianist. She played by ear with a lot of improvisation. There was a joy and a sense of freedom to her playing that stuck with me.

I first started taking lessons at age 7 with a German lady who lived down the street. She taught me the value of musical expression - and to keep my nails very short.

I have yet to find a better emotional outlet. You can pour all your joys, pain, hopes, dreams, disappointments - everything - into a piano.

Q Would you describe your songwriting process?

A I look to mythology and fables. When I find a story that strikes an emotional chord, I take that energy to the piano and work to convey it.

Sometimes this process takes only a few hours, but most of my pieces have developed over time.

I recorded Myths & Legends at the Chicago Recording Co. during a period of record snowstorms while wearing my favorite pink UGG slippers.

Q What's the best quote you've heard about your music?

A A little girl once said that my music sounds like a flower opening. I was very touched and inspired by that.

Q What fellow artists inspire you?

A I'm drawn to new-age composers such as George Winston, Kitaro and Vangelis for the spiritual inspiration.

Likewise, I admire film composers Ennio Morricone, Michael Nyman and Hans Zimmer because they capture the emotional cadences of a film, working in concert with the imagery.

Q Why should someone see you in concert?

A I share the stories that inspired the pieces so that my audience can experience the music on more than just one level.

My hope is that it brings something different to each person.

- Kevin Joykjoy@dispatch.com - The Columbus Dispatch

"10 Answers: Michele de Wilton"

Tell us a little about each city you lived in. What was your favorite thing about each?

I’ve lived in Cape Town, Athens, London, Chicago and now Columbus. The beauty of Cape Town takes your breath away – nothing like the sight of clouds spilling down the sides of Table Mountain or watching baby baboons do acrobatics on the side mirrors of your car. Athens is steeped in mythology – its heritage is unparalleled and one can’t help but be awed by the history that’s been written there. London is my favorite city for walking – you can get pretty much anywhere on foot. Of course, it’s also the best place to get a cup of tea. Chicago excels at snow removal and could give Columbus pointers.

In what areas does Columbus excel?

Columbus offers culture at your fingertips. So many great things are so accessible. Franklin Park Conservatory, concerts, COSI, Broadway shows, the charm of German Village, the edgy vibe of the Short North. Columbus has a great deal to give without the hassles of bigger cities.

What are some of your Columbus favorites?

While many Columbusites complain, I enjoy the weather. After Chicago, Columbus feels like Florida. Favorite restaurant – Rigsby’s. Cocktails – Details. Shopping – Grandview Mercantile. And I love going to the Franklin Park Conservatory – it’s magical! My daughter loves the butterflies and my son loves the model railroad.

At what age did you start composing music? Any early memories?

I was 10 when I composed my first piece. And I still remember the first time I played in a recording studio. It was overwhelming. I was shaking, so I excused myself and went to the restroom to pull myself together. When I came back, the technician had dimmed the lights and lit a candelabra. I had to laugh – which helped me relax.

How have each of the cities you’ve lived in influenced your music?

Cape Town is a melting pot and its music reflects that. Cape Town gave me the sense that any combination of sounds is possible and encouraged me to make my own rules. Also, I used to visit my grandparents frequently and would play my uncle’s old organ, which made incredible sounds. For hours, I would experiment with different effects. How my grandparents put up with it, I honestly don’t know.

I fell in love with Greek mythology in Athens. There was a tree in our backyard that I used to climb and, from the top branches, I could see Mount Olympus in the distance. It brought the stories home to me. Now I look to mythology for inspiration when composing.

I started composing when I was living in London. My school’s curriculum incorporated a lot of music and the teachers were very encouraging. The students, too, were very supportive. We would play for one another and accompany each other with different instruments. It was a very creative environment. At the same time, it was also very strict and in winter, we couldn’t wear coats – we wore cloaks.

I attended college outside Chicago. I didn’t study music but I used to go to the practice rooms and play for stress relief. After graduating, I enrolled in a graduate program and moved into an apartment with a friend who was also a pianist. We bought a used upright and would play duets late at night. The soundproofing in our building was lacking and our neighbors hated us.

Who are/were your music influences?

My early influences were classical composers: Frédéric Chopin, Felix Mendelssohn and Bedrich Smetana. But my passion for musical storytelling came from singer-songwriters like Joan Baez, Chris de Burgh and Janis Ian as well as Broadway composers Andrew Lloyd Webber and Claude-Michel Schönberg. Likewise, I am inspired by film composers like Ismail Merchant and James Ivory, for whom I’d write music any day. They produced beautiful films – profound yet restrained storytelling and exquisite imagery.

Your favorite piece to play?

It depends on the audience and the environment. A dramatic piece like The Ice Maiden is well suited to a larger venue, while a contemplative piece such as Waltz for Gerda & Kay is better conveyed in an intimate setting.

How do you find themes for your music? How do you compose?

I am inspired by timeless narratives – stories found in mythology (not just Greek but also Norse and Celtic) as well as fables and fairy tales. I compose by ear. Several years ago I bought my dream piano, a 1925 Steinway Model L. I’ve composed my best pieces on it.

Any advice for aspiring composers?

Composing the music is just the beginning. Learn to be your own marketer. Find creative ways to reach your audience.

What is in the future for you?

I hope to have enough material for another album within the next year. I also plan to produce another music video. I would love to compose for a film. - CMH Magazine

"Mainly Piano Review"

Myths & Legends is the debut release from pianist/composer Michele de Wilton. As the title suggests, the thirteen piano solos were inspired by tales of yore - some well-known and some more obscure. A classically-trained pianist, de Wilton’s influences are varied, but she has always especially loved musical storytelling. This music is intended to be relaxing and soothing to both children and adults, and makes a very unobtrusive backdrop for quiet activities for listeners of any age. deWilton’s beautiful and impressive website (www.micheledewilton.com) has illustrated summaries of each of the stories, giving listeners an idea of what inspired the music. Although many myths and legends are violent and turbulent, most of the tales on this album are about love, passion, and yearning.

“Salt River” is the first of the legends, and refers to a river outside Cape Town, South Africa that flows into the ocean. The rolling rhythm of the left hand captures the spirit of the ebb and flow of the waters as they converge. “The Ice Maiden” is a Norse tale about a frost “giantess” who enchants the god of sunshine and rain. Threatened with an unbreakable spell, she consents to marriage, eventually falling in love with her new husband. The music alternates between icy aloofness and warm contentment, reflecting the emotional range of the story. (There is a music video of this piece on YouTube as well as de Wilton’s site.) “The Lady of Shallot” is a tragic tale of unrequited love, and I really like the musical telling of this story. “The Vigil” honors women throughout history who waited patiently for their men to come home from war or the sea. A dark loneliness runs through the music, but it isn’t without hope. “Hymn of the Hills” is a favorite. Mysterious and majestic, it suggests images of faraway places and times. “Waltz For Gerda & Kay” is another story about The Ice Queen. The slow waltz tempo and simplicity of the piece create a chill and a feeling of despair. “Voyage of the Argo” is dark and solemn, reflecting the danger of the mission of Jason and the Argonauts as well as the knowledge that they would probably not return. The left hand maintains a rolling motion that conveys the movement of the ocean. “Sea of Sunset,” based on a poem by Emily Dickinson, is simple and elegant - almost magical. “Nursery Rhyme for a Starry Sky” is a light and playful ending to this very enjoyable musical journey.

Myths & Legends should give Michele de Wilton’s musical career a very strong launching! It is widely available at local as well as online music retailers. Check it out!

Kathy Parsons

1/24/10 - Mainly Piano

"Danke shön"

Whenever I get tired of the harried electronic world, I like to get lost in tall tales of heroes and characters of ancient times. Things do come full circle. So to appease my imagination and stimulate my spirit I put on Michele de Wilton’s new album Myths & Legends. I have listened to this recording dozens of times. At first I thought it was a bit serious, but I soon got over that. What it is is precise.

Take the first cut for instance, Salt River that gives musical energy to a source of life in Arizona. This ancient waterway has no less than fourteen alternative names and has a rich history as a watery highway for the ancient Hohokam people. Once, long ago, they called upon an old woman to help them get water from the Salt River to their crops. Miraculously, she blew a bitter wind that open a channel for the fresh water to run. Michele offers a song like a gentle current, flowing, soft and nourishing. Within there is praise for the sun and the sky and little miracles.

The Ice Maiden is my favorite on the album. It is the chronicle of the Lady of Ampato, the Frozen Lady found in a crater in the Andes in 1995. She was found perfectly preserved, and gave many insights into Incan life. It was the time of Pachucutec, king of the ancient Kingdom of Cusco. Was she some handmaiden under this poet/king or perhaps a sacrifice to a god of sky and stars? Michele handles the matter delicately allowing us to ponder the Ice Maiden’s fate.

The Hymn of the Hills makes me feel right at home in my Smokey Mountain aerie. Anyone who lives here and lends an ear to the environment knows that the mountain mists, the cerulean skies and the deep forests have a quiet voice like a prayer that is constantly sung on the wind. Miss de Wilton’s music is just right for the occasion.

The Greek city of Troy holds many mysteries. And like the famous Trojan Horse, Michele’s music holds many secrets. Ilium with its somber cadence is a voyage of discovery and a challenge to the spirit of every man and woman. It is a tune of faith and hope. For without faith there is no success, to victory, and no triumph.

There is a time when, from the rail of a ship coursing west you can see the wonder of a sunset. The sky becomes a rainbow of color as the miracle of nightfall, a cloak of star-wrapped velvet embraces the planet. Just before the twilight prevails over the day, the sky turns every color that the eye can imagine. It is a time of magic as Michele tells it in her tune Sea of Sunset.

Thanks to a neighborhood German woman Michele de Wilton studiously learned the piano. I wonder if she ever imagined that “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” would lead to intrepid musical stories of diamond studded nights and heroes from a time when heart and soul were revered above even gold. For that is what is in her album, the heart and soul of an artist.

Rating: Good+
- R J Lannan, independent reviewer for the New Age Reporter

""IT girl" recommendations for 2008"

Sophisticated, dramatic, and truly relaxing, this debut album is perfect for unwinding at the end of the day and as great dinner music.
- FHI (for her information) Magazine

"Spa review"

Michele's work is amazing, soothing, and magical! I own a spa and our team and our customers are enjoying her every day! - The Silken Tent, named "Best Spa Experience" by TimeOut Chicago

"Mystical New Music"

Michele de Wilton’s Myths & Legends CD is an album that will appeal to people who enjoy piano solos. The melodies are soothing and relaxing; not really for meditation, because they contain so much energy, but if you wanted to play the CD in your car, it would be a very melodic way to keep you from succumbing to road rage.
As Michele puts it herself, “Although narrative new age music is my passion, until recently it was a very private part of my life. It was only after I learned that listening to my music could soothe other people as much as playing it relaxes me that I decided to release the album.”
In the new era of New Age music that has grown beyond just meditation and being played in New Age stores, the tracks blending seductively into the background with the incense, you cannot find more positive music than Michele de Wilton’s mystical Myths & Legends. Critics in the field have hailed this debut album as “New Age piano at its best”. Not only are the thirteen original compositions beautiful, but they tell stories of love, desire and adventure. The tracks will inspire young and old with their universal appeal.
So, if you like music that carries you away from the turmoil and strife of real life, listen to these tracks and you will be transported from the hum-drum to the sublime. It will be the best fifty-five minutes you have ever spent.

- Jen DeClan
- Psychic-Magic


Album: Myths & Legends
Songs: Salt River, Cupid & Psyche, The Ice Maiden, Lady of Shalott, The Vigil, Hymn of the Hills, Waltz for Gerda & Kay, The Door in the Wall, Galatea, Ilium, Voyage of the Argo, Sea of Sunset, Nursery Rhyme for a Starry Sky
Album: Daydream
Songs: There is Another Sky, The Dawn Rider, Shimoda, Heaven's Bridge, In the Garden of the Selfish Giant, Winterbluegreen, The White Hart, Song for Eurydice, The Giver of Stars, Memory of Sun, Lullaby in Lavender
Christmas Songs: What Child is This?, O Holy Night!, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Winter Bloom



As long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with the piano, the notion of moving my fingers to give voice to my emotions. I seek to tell stories through music, to capture the essence of a narrative with sound. My hope is for my music to invite listeners on a journey – to inspire them to transcend the everyday.

My early influences were classical composers: Frédéric Chopin, Felix Mendelssohn and Bedrich Smetana. And I have long been drawn to New Age composers like George Winston, Kitaro and Vangelis for the spiritual inspiration I take from their work.

But I am perhaps most inspired by film composers like Ennio Morricone, Michael Nyman and Hans Zimmer. I will never forget the first time I saw Gone with the Wind and, listening to the intermission, realized that the entire story was there, woven through Max Steiner’s score.

I composed my first piece when I was ten and attending a school outside London with a music focus; I gave my first public performance of an original composition in 1983 and have performed since in venues around the world. Growing up, I also attended schools in Cape Town, Athens and Chicago.

Although narrative New Age music is my passion, until recently it was a very private part of my life. It was only after I learned that listening to my music could soothe other people as much as playing it relaxes me that I decided to record an album. I found my dream piano (a restored 1925 Steinway Model “L”) and started working with my music coach, Jennifer Loftus.

The pieces on my debut release, Myths & Legends, were inspired by timeless tales of adventure, love and yearning: the Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche; the Arthurian legend of the Lady of Shalott; Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen; the quest of Jason and the Argonauts.

I recorded Myths & Legends at the Chicago Recording Company, during the record snowstorms of 2008, wearing my favorite pink Ugg slippers. The album debuted at number nineteen on the New Age music charts.

My follow-up album, Daydream, also draws from mythology and folklore as well as poetry: the Japanese legend that inspired Puccini’s Madame Butterfly; Oscar Wilde’s fairytale The Selfish Giant; the Greek myth of Orpheus & Eurydice; Amy Lowell’s poem The Giver of Stars.

I have also produced two music videos: The Ice Maiden and Shimoda. Shimoda has been distributed worldwide, showing in hotels, restaurants, cruise ships and retail outlets.

People have said that my music goes well with a glass of wine; helps manage stress while paying bills or sitting in traffic; complements healing massage and Reiki; is calming during cancer treatments. And a little girl once told me that my music “sounds like a flower opening.” I can’t think of a greater compliment.

In addition to touring with Daydream, I am currently at work on a Holiday album for release in November of 2011 and a lullaby album to be released in 2012.

I live with my husband and our two children in Ohio. I hold a Bachelor’s and two Master’s degrees from Northwestern University.