ENLIGHTENED PIANO RADIO
“Our world is busy enough. Listen to music that will restore you!”
Austin, Texas, UNITED STATES
Rachel LaFond is a composer and pianist who recently relocated to Austin, Texas from Auckland, New Zealand. She has just finished her epic project The 52, in which she released new music and custom artwork every week for a year. While readjusting to American life after five years abroad, she is currently working on a contribution to a major international project to be released in early 2021.
Rachel’s music combines a technically proficient approach to composition with an instinctive ability to draw in the listener and convey profound emotion. Her music has been described as captivating, soulful, and deeply personal. Rachel’s two primary influences are Ludovico Einaudi and David Lanz. With a strong musical foundation, a “DIY” attitude, and a zest for adventure, Rachel is forging her own path as a composer and recording artist.
Rachel has experienced all sides of the piano: she’s the daughter of a piano teacher, a former piano teacher herself, and has had classical training in Vienna and at the University of Washington. She created and released her debut album Wandering Soul in 2017, inspired by a year spent backpacking around the world. She composed her next two albums and The 52 while living as an expat in New Zealand. In addition to releasing new music, Rachel relishes touring and live performance. Past performances have ranged from playing on the main stage of a cruise ship (Audiosyncracy at Sea 2019) to inviting the public into her home for a more intimate concert - the best seat in the house is underneath her Yamaha C7!
Aside from her solo piano compositions, Rachel has composed and released multi-instrument pieces, a multi-movement composition, produced music, cover songs, and improvisations. Rachel has a passion for creating her own distinctive artwork to help capture the essence of each piece. She also enjoys partnering with other artists on musical collaborations, videos, and other projects.
2019, Solo Piano, Piano with Instrumentation, Classical
Encounters of the Beautiful Kind
2018, Solo Piano, New Age, Neoclassical
Well Past Midnight
2018, Solo Piano, Piano with Instrumentation, Cinematic
2017, New Age, Solo Piano, Neoclassical
“The 52” reviewed by
Composer and pianist Rachel LaFond has challenged herself to release one new piece every week for a year. This project, aptly titled “The 52,” began on March 4, 2019 with the release of “She Dreams in Flight;” new music comes out every Monday. LaFond’s goal was to find new ways to think “outside the box” and to experiment with a wide variety of musical styles and forms. The result has been an exciting series of firsts: her first cover songs, her first improvised songs, her first interpretations of a classical piece, her first multi-instrumental pieces, and numerous collaborations with other artists. Not surprisingly, LaFond has discovered that she has experienced personal growth as a result of exploring so many different moods, energy levels and types of music. Each piece is released along with its back story as well as custom artwork created by the artist herself with the number of the piece hidden somewhere in the design.
It is hard to do justice to such an ambitious project in a short review, but here is a small sampling of some of the treasures to be found in “The 52.”
“Just Beyond the Horizon” (#25) is a composition for piano and cello and LaFond’s first piece for that particular combination. A fan favorite, the music is a “soulful, sweeping, and epic” exchange. It begins slowly and softly, the sparkling sound of the piano in the upper register contrasting magnificently with the rich, warm tones of the cello, builds in intensity to a stirring climax, and then fades away, ending as it began.
Calming and contemplative, “Evanescent” (#27) was written in collaboration with flutist Al Jewer and is a uniquely woven texture of sound: piano, silver flute, Native American flute, and a gossamer “flute cloud” (six flutes played at once and specially mixed) in the middle. The effect is pure magic!
“Confluence (Ignite Saga, Mvmt. 1)”(#22) is the first movement of a three-movement work that describes the experience of falling in love. (To find out how the story ends, you’ll have to listen to the second and third movements, releases #23 and #24)!
One of my favorite releases in the project is “Stormstruck “(#26), a dynamic duet composed and performed in collaboration with pianist and composer Scott D. Davis. Although the two artists have dramatically different performance styles, the result of this experiment is truly breathtaking. Described as “metal-esque,” this breathtaking piece utilizes a number of contemporary piano performance techniques such as plucking the strings and felting the strings to create unique sonic effects.
“The 52” is distributed on all major platforms, although there are no plans for physical media, such as CD’s, to be produced at this time. Recommended!