Music supervisors and Film producers interested in using Karen's music please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ms. Garrett owns/controls rights to music and can quickly license use for your film or project.
Review from Mainly Piano by Kathy Parsons
"It’s About Love" begins with “Abbie Marie,” a gorgeous duet for piano and cello (Emil Miland). Gently bittersweet, the graceful flow of this piece will set your mind to daydreaming about drifting clouds and warm breezes. The title track is also a duet for cello and piano - is there a more soulful duo than these two instruments? The sound of the cello is said to be the closest to the human voice, so it’s no wonder that, in the right hands, it goes straight to the heart. “Deschutes River Sunrise” brings in world-class oboist Nancy Rumbel (also from WA) for a piano/cello/oboe trio that soars with all the colors and beauty of an early morning by the water. The one piano solo, “Another Time,” goes to a darker place in a soliloquy of deep emotion and profound honesty. “Mother’s Prayer” begins as a piano solo, later adding the wordless vocals of Desiree Goyette, underscoring the depth and sincerity of a mother’s love.
As brief as this album is, there is no shortage of artistry, beauty, or emotion. Welcome back, Karen Marie Garrett! You were missed! "It’s About Love" is very enthusiastically recommended!
Zone Music Reporter and Retailing Insight magazine by Bill Binkelman
Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus by Michael Diamond
The album opens with a heartwarming piece called “Abbie Marie” that was inspired by sweet memories of her adorable black Labrador puppy. The composition is a duet between Karen and the soulful cello work of Emil Miland, of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. Karen’s piano playing on this piece is spacious, leaving ample room for give and take in the musical conversation with Emil. That dialog between them continues on the next song, which is the title track. I appreciated Karen’s sense of dynamics in knowing when to speak softly on the piano and when to be more passionate in her musical statements. On the third track, “Deschutes River Sunrise,” the duo expands to a trio to include noted recording artist Nancy Rumbel on oboe.
A composition called “Another Time,” is a piano solo that provides an introspective look back at an earlier time of Karen’s life. It’s a reflective piece with a bit of a wistful air that allows Karen’s heartfelt composing and piano playing to stand out unaccompanied, revealing much of the emotion that inspires her writing. The album concludes with an equally emotional piece entitled “Mother’s Prayer.” This beautiful and moving song starts out as a piano solo, but adds a wonderful new element as it evolves – the wordless angelic vocals of Desiree Goyette.
Karen’s music is often understated yet filled with deep feeling and quiet grace. And I appreciated the perfectly balanced interplay between her and the accompanists. This 5-song mini album doesn’t feel abbreviated in the least, but feels like full and satisfying listening experience that provides just enough of a glimpse into the artistry of this talented composer and pianist to make me look forward to her next recording.
Review Provided By Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck, New Age Music Review
It’s About Love, her third studio release, is a 5 track recording that puts many things into focus. So what is Love? Simply put it is a timeless word that encapsulates many feelings and emotions. It can have several meanings dependent on who you are and what your own personal interpretation is.
Ms. Garrett has a gift of interpreting that powerful word through her music. The five tracks that encompass this EP is a spiritual experience that many people will treasure. Her talent is apparent from the very beginning and it is consistent throughout this recording. While 5 tracks may not seem like much in this day and age of CDs coming out with 16-20 tracks it certainly makes a strong impression in the allotted time. For these ears that is the most important aspect of any listening experience. It is quality above quantity any day for my tastes and certainly I would not be the alone in that mindset.
It may be difficult for some folks to fathom how one takes piano music and makes it all sound like love. If you let yourself absorb the sounds it feels as natural as any other normal daily activity. I am one that has an affinity to instrumental music so it is always a normal way of listening but even so if it was not, I believe I would be able to assimilate this music into love.
Karen Marie Garrett has created something beautiful and awe inspiring with It’s About Love and I would highly recommend you listen and let it work for you. This is no frills music that affords a listener both simplicity and elegance through sound. It will quickly relax you and make you feel renewed once you have opened the doorway to your heart.
5/5 Stars, Key tracks - ALL
Review by Bill Binkelman, (Wind & Fire), New Age Reporter (Feb 2007)
Review by Kathy Parsons, Solo Piano Publications, New York
Reviewer: Sari N. Kent, Celebrity Cafe, New York
I have to admit my "title" to this review is a little "tongue in cheek”. But just a little. Before last night, I had never heard of Ms. Garrett. The radio station where I have a show every Monday night happened to have two copies of this new release by her.
The liner notes tell me virtually nothing about her. (March 2007) Her website has no "bio" section which is typical of these sites. I have found out her last album "Allure of Sanctuary" was very popular in the genres "new age," "adult contemporary" and even "light jazz." Both "Allure" and this album are produced by Will Ackerman, the guru of Windham Hill Records. The praise for this album is widespread with such phrases as "the album is all about sublime, delicate, and melancholic beauty." (New Age magazine).
There are a number of excellent musicians on the CD including: Eugene Friesen: cello| Noah Wilding: vocals | Jeff Oster: flugal horn | Derrik Jordan: djembe and violin | T-Bone Wolk: bass | Steve Schuch: violin | William Ackerman: piano string duding and hopi drum.
Ms. Garrett composed every song on the album
PhenomenNEWS: This Month's Music Review by Greg Ozimek (April 2007)
Or, as a young, gleeful child’s wisdom once put it, “Whoa! This is too impossibly cool!”
Karen’s musical roots are in classical piano performance. It’s About The Rose features her first deep explorations into different musical structures from those of the strict classical masters – Beethoven, Chopin, Mozart, Satie, Pachebal and Schubert – who provided her earliest inspirations. Her own enjoyment has been effused into this CD, which has been her recent labor of love.
“I receive musical inspiration from many sources, but for the most part I simply try to remain open and receptive to what is in front of me, to be present in the moment. And regardless of what influences me to compose, I write to emotionally connect with the listener. Recently I read an article that said what I believe is true: ‘Music stirs the soul, captures the imagination, and creates an emotional connection.'”
It’s About The Rose is produced by Will Ackerman, the legendary guitarist and founder of Windham Hill Records. Ackerman has become known as a top producer of contemporary instrumental music having produced for George Winston, Liz Story, Phillip Aaberg, Alex de Grassi, Michael Hedges, Scott Cossu.
It’s About The Rose is a keeper and is already on my iPod – ready for drives and last minute vibrations from the outer world before the ever new world of sleep speeds in. Way back... a friend used to tell everyone she could, her motto, which was, “To enjoy is to obey!” It’s About The Rose is pure enjoyment!
Review by Ryan Young, CDBaby.com
The emotional depth of her compositions is enriched by classical influences such as Beethoven and Pachabel.
Bill Binkelman, (Wind & Fire) New Age Reporter, 1st Impression (December 2006)
This is one of the most beautiful piano recordings I’ve heard in recent memory, and even maybe longer. I highly recommend it especially for quieter times when you bask in its sepia-toned glow.
Review by Kathy Parsons, Solo Piano Publications – New York
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. Noah Wilding’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.”"
Review by Tom Petersen; Victory Review, Acoustic Music Resource of the Pacific Northwest, Feb 2006
Review by RJ Lannan, New Age Reporter
Like something out of child’s imaginary dream world, the first tune Tip Toe Dancer 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 ...it is one of my favorites on Allure of Sanctuary and suits 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."
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 childhood 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 "an 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.
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.
Piano Heaven, England, Interview with Stephen Cairns, August 30, 2006
S.C. Firstly, congratulations, Karen, on your CD Allure of Sanctuary. You must be happy with the public's response to your album....
K.M.G. Thank you! I’m delighted with the response to Allure of Sanctuary. The comments from listeners have been amazing! Touching people emotionally with my music is my ultimate goal, and it is so rewarding to hear from them.
S.C. I love the entire CD, but there's something extra special about "Tip-Toe Dancer" It's beautiful! Would it be fair to say this is the track that has generated the most response? As you were putting the CD together, did you think "this will be the one..."?
K.M.G. Thanks, Stephen. "Tip-Toe Dancer" has generated the most response so far. As you know, the inspiration came from a story Kathryn, a friend of many years, shared with me about her childhood. During gatherings for family and friends, she would ‘Tip-Toe Dance’ pretending to be a ballerina to entertain them. I hoped it would be a special song for listeners, and I'm delighted with the overwhelming response.
S.C. Allure of Sanctuary - it's an intriguing title. In the CD's notes you say "The Sanctuary" is a retreat for artists in Washington. I'm assuming your addition of "Allure" means you found it an inspirational place in terms of creating music?
K.M.G. Yes, I wrote the composition ”Allure of Sanctuary" during a stay at “The Sanctuary”, a visual and performing artists' retreat founded by Cynthia Hayward. It is a beautiful and secluded place where I felt liberated.... hence the title.
S.C. At what age did you start to play the piano? Was piano playing part of your family life as a child? Did you create your own compositions?
K.M.G. The family purchased a used upright piano so I could begin lessons at five years old. Mother loved piano, and influenced my studies. She played as a child, but was reluctant to play in front of us. My father and brother did not play piano; they were involved in sports. And honestly, other family members did not have much of an opportunity to use the piano- it was seldom unoccupied by me.... I loved it! The constant piano music eventually became a sound issue for my father and brother, they tired of listening to their TV sports programmes through earphones. So the piano and I were moved to a large family room on the other side of the home. The room was redesigned as a piano studio & apartment, and I was in heaven... able to practice at any hour without disturbing anyone. I did not begin composing until much later.
S.C. . Are you classically trained? Do you play any other instruments?
K.M.G. Yes, I'm classically trained, and love classical music. I do not play other instruments at this time.
S.C. Do you enjoy the work of other pianists in the genre? When you have the time (?!) what do you enjoy listening to?
K.M.G. I do enjoy other pianists' works and genres of music as well (instrumental and vocal). I do not have much time to listen to music, but when I do, I enjoy most all well performed music.
S.C. You clearly feel indebted to your producer, Will Ackerman. Securing his services is quite a coup! How did the relationship come about?
K.M.G. I asked him if he would listen to my recordings and he said yes! I have always admired Will and his work; he is a brilliant and exceptional man of our time. I'm honored to be working with him.
S.C. .... and I understand a new CD is in the works? Can you say anything more about that?
K.M.G. The songs on the new CD, It's About the Rose are all original compositions, and this work is one of the most creative and challenging projects of my career. I look forward to sharing it with listeners in January 2007.
S.C. I wish you well with your new recording! I can't wait to hear it! I'm really pleased its entirely original material. Finally, I can't end this interview without asking you about your Furry Friends! I take it you're a fan of dogs....
K.M.G. Thank you, Stephen! I’m excited about the new recording It's About the Rose. The Furry Friends photo album has turned into so much fun. The [sleeve notes for the] song "Simple Things" on the Allure of Sanctuary CD mentioned furry friends as an inspiration; they add so much fun and love to our lives. Listeners began to write and send pictures of their furry friends, so we started a photo album on my website, www.kgpiano.com . It's true I am especially fond of dogs, and I can't imagine life without a dog! Currently Abbey, a beautiful three year old black Labrador, is in charge of the house!