Sharon Fendrich

Reviews & Interviews

October 6, 2019
https://www.newagecd.com/sharon-fendrich-red-sky-prairie-album-review-dyan-garris/

Album Review by Dyan Garris for Zone Music Reporter, New Age CD, and Spirit Seeker Magazine

“The love and care that was put into “Red Sky Prairie” is evident in EVERY note. It literally pours out of this album and seeps deeply into our hearts like silken salve for the spirit. And there it remains.”
– Dyan Garris

“Red Sky Prairie” is the extraordinarily beautiful debut album by the extraordinarily talented Sharon Fendrich. Remember that name, because I’m sure you’ll be hearing it a lot now and in the future. Passionate and emotive, I hope I am able to find the right words to effectively describe this work of musical magnificence. It’s THE best album I’ve heard this year, and I have heard a lot of extremely, outrageously beautiful music this year.

“Red Sky Prairie” was recorded in Stein, Netherlands by Arno Op den Camp at Kerani Music Studio. Joining Sharon’s sensitively played piano performances on “Red Sky Prairie” is a roster of also amazingly talented and quite prominent guest artists.

Anna Emelyanova’s voice is incredible. Wilfred Sassen on violin adds heartfelt, vibrant depth as does Joep Willems’ cello performance. Helen Hendriks on flute and Ies Muller on Irish flute bring even more sweetness into the mix by Arno Op den Camp with  Sharon Fendrich.

Sharon composed all the pieces and self-produced this album, which was mastered by the renowned Stephen Marsh at Marsh Mastering in Los Angeles. The album includes a stunningly beautiful booklet. The artwork and design is by award-winning graphic designer, Sam Hayles.

The love and care that was put into “Red Sky Prairie” is evident in EVERY note. It literally pours out of this album like silken salve for the aching spirit. It’s hard to believe this is a debut album because it is flawless. Effortless. Impressive. Remarkable.

This may be her first album, however, composer and pianist, Fendrich, is not new to music. She was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon, and began her music studies at age three. Later, at Tufts University, she completed advanced studies in piano, choral music, conducting, orchestration and composition. After college, she continued to explore composition while working in marketing, development and production roles for the La Jolla Music Society and the San Diego Chamber Orchestra, in California.

In her compositional process, Sharon relies on her fingers and ears to guide her into crafting a complete solo piano work. Then, she begins to add layers of sound through improvisation. Counter-melodies emerge and contribute to a full harmonic palette and tempos full of breathing room. The result is a sonically magical world in which the listener is comfortably immersed in tranquility.

Grounded in the Classical genre and inspired by ambient New Age, the 11 tracks, and almost 1 hour of listening enjoyment are full of lush, passionate melodies that immediately captivate the listener’s heart. Within the music one can hear the influences of Enya, Secret Garden, Ludovico Einaudi, Chopin and Debussy.

Sharon says, “The inspiration for the album came from a daydream I had about a tranquil place filled with red-orange skies after the passing of a storm. A hushed early evening breeze had fallen upon a prairie-scape. I saw myself at various ages residing in a weather-worn white farmhouse, able to feel the emotions of the phases of life. A profound sensation of safety and peace permeated the air in this scene and the feeling has stayed with me ever since.” “Red Sky Prairie” was born.

If I understand correctly, it is her hope that listeners of this album will be able to embrace all the events and emotions that they’ve experienced, and will experience, on their life’s journey, and their soul’s journey – the good and the “bad” – and come to a place of acceptance and deep, heartfelt peace with all. No matter what, keep an open heart, because out of the shadow side of life emerges the light. In my opinion, she succeeds tremendously.

The album opens with the gorgeous, “L’dor Vador” (Generation to Generation). I’ve never heard this more beautifully done. Here Anna Emelyanova’s heavenly vocal washes over you along with Sharon’s outstandingly beautiful piano, like a dual wave of soft, angelic light and you know you’re in for something truly exceptional here. “. . . round and round, on and on, I see my life in yours, hopes and memories wrap me with love.” The mellow strings enter in, adding even more depth, and the magnificence continues throughout the entire album. It’s astounding.

The lyrics, on the five vocal songs on “Red Sky Prairie,” are in different languages, including Esperanto, which is an international language created by Dr. L. L. Zamenhof in the 1800s. The purpose of Esperanto was/is to facilitate easy communication among people from different cultures; a language that would allow people who speak different native languages to effectively communicate. The other languages included for the vocal pieces on “Red Sky Prairie” are: English, Spanish, Yiddish, and Latin.

“A Secret’s Song” is a passionate tribute to “Somewhere Out There” by Jame’s Horner, from the animated feature film, “An American Tail.” Stunningly beautiful piano here, reminiscent of the work of Italian composer, Ludovico Einaudi.

“Within Whispers” is intimate and delicate. We are reminded of how important it is to try to maintain intimacy, even in the face of obstacles.

The title track, “Red Sky Prairie,” is an outstanding soundscape, painting a perfect picture of “Americana.” Violin and cello are perfect here along with the piano.

“Song of the Dove” (Kanto de la Kolombo) is sung entirely in Esperanto. Again, the vocal by Anna Emelyanova is amazing. Very calming with exquisite harmonies. Violin, piano, and cello all blend together in something beyond perfection. Here we can see and feel the “dove of peace” soaring high, entrusted with its important mission.

The hauntingly beautiful “Never Alone” is sung by Anna in Spanish, English and Yiddish. Sharon wrote this piece in the summer of 2018, at the height of media attention in the United States regarding Latin American refugees entering the country. The lyrics link the story with that of Jewish refugees in World War II. Perhaps we
have all been refugees of some sort at some time in our lives. This song reminds us that while we may feel “shut out” at times, we are truly never alone.

A delicate, magical sounding song, “Moonswept” is sweeping, flowing piano, flute, violin and harp. Together these create a romantic soundscape where we feel like we are basking in a peaceful moonlit glow.

Calling up remembrances of long-lost love, the nostalgic, “Bittersweet Memory,” is a sweet flute and piano duet. Sparkling, so lovely, and emotionally stirring.

Grief and sorrow are brought up for closure in, “Last Tears.” This is wistful yet uplifting at the same time. Piano, cello, and violin in perfect harmony jostle our heartstrings and bring peace and balance.

Dedicated to the 88 souls who perished on Alaska Airlines flight 261, “In Memoriam” is sung in Latin and will give you chills. So very angelic. “Dona eis pacem. Volant cum angelis. Amen.” This translates into, “Grant them peace. They fly with the angels.”

As well, do you remember that September 11, 2001, morning? You might recall that it was such a beautiful day all over the United states that day. Picture perfect. Then everything changes and became something else. Life as we knew it completely morphed into completely uncharted territory. Out of that stunned, stupefying darkness, however, we came together, united as humanity in light, hope, and strength. “That September Day” is sung by Anna Emelyanova so perfectly. Flute, strings, piano, and an astoundingly magnificent vocal, all do the very same on this last track, “That September Day;” a day that is indelibly etched onto our souls forever. This song will remain with you as well, long, long after it is over:

“Hearts broken, tears fall.
In darkness we can’t find hope.
Out of grief, hope and strength are forged.
Through shadow shines a light so bright.
Voices cry out you must go on.
Hope will hold our hearts.
Together we found a way
that September day.”

I think that says it all.

A MUST have, give yourself or someone else a great gift of peace, hope, tranquility. This album is completely extraordinary in every single way. Every. Get “Red Sky Prairie” here: https://sharonfendrich.com/store/ or wherever music is sold/streamed.

Sharon Fendrich, piano
Wilfred Sassen, violin
Anna Emelyanova, voice
Joep Willems, cello
Helen Hendriks, flute
Ies Muller, Irish flute
____________________
Music Promotion/Terrestrial, internet, and satellite for Red Sky Prairie is managed by:
Crossover Media
Contact: Max Horowitz 347.267.9563
maxcrossover@gmail.com

September 27, 2019

When music makes you daydream, that’s a sure sign of quality. Let your mind wander, and the music will take you anywhere in a heartbeat. It is one of the best feelings there is. Shanon Fendrich’s debut album “Red Sky Prairie” is such an album. But that is not all; it comes with a set of ready-made daydreams which inspired Fendrich’s creative process. “Red Sky Prairie” is 2019’s finest debut album and establishes Fendrich as one of the most promising New Age music artists today.

Sharon Fendrich was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon, USA. She began music studies at age three and completed advanced studies in piano, choral music, conducting, orchestration and composition in college at Tufts University. Her current vocal studies include opera, jazz, and musical theatre.

This episode of Dream Mixtape is dedicated to “Red Sky Prairie”:

L’dor Vador
When reviewing and analyzing music, the question is always; what is it about? What stories are told? Usually, there’s quite a bit of guessing. The good thing about “Red Sky Prairie” is that Sharon has included a quite descriptive text, a story, that guides us into her world of music. She writes: “The inspiration for the album came from a daydream I had about a place where the sky was filled with dusty, red-orange, luscious hues after the passing of a storm. A hushed early evening breeze had fallen upon a prairie. I saw myself at various ages residing in a weather-worn white farmhouse, able to feel the emotions of the phases of life. A profound sensation of safety and peace permeated the air in this scene and the feeling has stayed with me ever since. “Red Sky Prairie” was born.”

“L’dor Vador” is the album opener. I’m very impressed by how Sharon manages to communicate a feeling of safety. It is a song about belonging and sensing a strong connection, not only to a place but to a community and a faith. You don’t want to be anywhere else but here. The song starts with a warm synth pad and gentle piano. Anna Emelyanova’s vocals are incredible. Another thing you’ll notice right away is the quality of the arrangement. Fendrich traveled to the Netherlands to record and mix the album at Kerani Music Studio, and the mastering was done by engineer Stephen Marsh, known for his work with some of Hollywood’s greatest composers. Given the overall quality of “Red Sky Prairie”, I would not be surprised if Kerani and her crew in time can compete with Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton in terms of studio excellence. On “Red Sky Prairie” we get to hear the very talented Wilfred Sassen (violin), Anna Emelyanova (voice), Joep Willems (cello), Helen Hendriks (flute) and Ies Muller (Irish flute).

The album will appeal very much to fans of Secret Garden. Indeed, from a Neo-Classical, New Age music perspective, “Red Sky Prairie” is very close to their much-loved “Songs from A Secret Garden” (1996) sound – which will have a large appeal. Its sound is gentle, reflective, and honest – perfectly balancing a touch of melancholy with positive emotions. One of the finest songs on the album is song no. 2, “A Secret Song,” which I’m sure even Rolf Løvland of Secret Garden would have been proud of. It is a jewel. Bravo!

Within Whispers
“Within Whispers” starts (and ends) with the sound of the wind. Then we hear the piano and the flute. It is marvelous how the whispering wind fades into the sound of the flute. It is as if the song comes to life through the blowing wind. The orchestral backing is spotless, perfection on every level.

Moving on, the intro to the title track makes me think of Enya. Indeed, the whole song has a certain level of excellence that we expect from this one-of-a-kind artist. I love how the song evolves and moves, just like a spectacular sunset. It is there but for a short moment, then it is gone. It is a song of strong, vibrant colors; red, red, red. I can’t help being impressed by how Fendrich turned the view of a prairie landscape into this song.

Song of the Dove
Circling back to the daydreams, “Red Sky Prairie” comes with a story. It goes like this: “A weather-worn, wooden farmhouse clad in tired whitewash stands rooted to its foundation despite the battering torment of storm upon storm. The weary porch offers just enough space to gaze upon the forever-open prairie. An elderly woman has found contemplative comfort in the rocking chair. Its finish so closely resembles the peeling paint of the house that from a distance all three, woman, chair, and house become one.” You can read the whole story on the cover and on Sharon’s homepage. We follow this woman through several stages of her life, and the prairie is a place where emotions are expressed and processed.

“The Song of the Dove” is sung in Esperanto, a language constructed to unify people across cultures. This piece is about the dove of peace which is always sent out to bring back peace. This song is about our desire for calm and peace in our world.

The song “Never Alone” is a cry for guidance in Spanish, English, and Yiddish. It is, at the same time, filled with a deep sense of gratitude and love. The instrumental “Moonswept” is another winner; its delicate Neo-Classical sound would fit well in any romantic Hollywood movie. It is high end in every sense.

Bittersweet Memory
The woman we are following is getting older. You can see this by the last four song titles. I love the songs’ contemplative qualities. The grand emotions of youth are replaced by introspection and thinking. “Bittersweet Memory” takes us way back in time. It is about the cherishing of love lost.

“Last Tears” is about the grief process. In the beginning of grief, the tears and sorrow have such power over us. As time passes it changes. The Last Tears are those last ones we cry before we move on to being able to breathe again, to have some hope for the future, to open to love again. They are tears of acceptance and willingness.

Then life is over; “In Memoriam” is about cherishing the memory of a loved one while facing grief. Perhaps the best piece is saved for last; “That September Day” is nothing short of a triumph. It is a celebration of life (it is also a 9/11 Memorial Tribute Song).

In conclusion: I asked myself; is “Red Sky Prairie” by Sharon Fendrich a perfect album? Yes, it is pretty close to a flawless New Age music release. The only thing that is missing is a hit song like Enya’s “Only Time” or Secret Garden’s “You Raise Me Up.” But to ask for a smash hit seems counterproductive. It is, after all, a debut artist we are talking about. I love the multi-dimensional approach; how Sharon’s view of the prairie’s burning sky turned into this inspired piece of music, which also contains a daydream-vision of the wooden farmhouse and its inhabitants. How extraordinary! “Red Sky Prairie” is hands down the best debut album on the New Age music scene since Nitish Kulkarni’s “Synesthetic” in 2014. Sharon Fendrich has the ability to take this genre to new heights.

Score: 98/100 – See our scoring policy 

For more music samples and information, visit sharonfendrich.com

July 28, 2019
“A Musical Masterpiece”

This is an exceptional musical masterpiece from Sharon Fendrich, particularly when you consider the fact that this is her debut album. The eleven selections on this album are very beautiful, expressive and passionate, and are genuinely memorable musical masterpieces. Sharon Fendrich is an extraordinary composer, with an opus of very well crafted and beautifully arranged musical creations.

The performances from pianist Sharon Fendrich, four world-class Dutch musicians, and the stunning Russian soprano Anna Emelyanova are outstanding, heartfelt and nothing short of breathtaking! The well-balanced and varied combinations of piano, cello, violin, flute and voice paint a vivid picture on “Red Sky Prairie”. I find it really hard to pick a favourite among the pieces on this album, as every song stands out brilliantly on its own. But as a collective they form a musical treasure trove of sound, colour, character and beauty.

Red Sky Prairie is certainly one of the best albums in the new age/neo-classical genre to be released this year. And I would definitely place Sharon Fendrich in the same extraordinary class of musical artists as Secret Garden, David Lanz, and Loreena McKennitt. This album is an absolute must have for all lovers of heartfelt new age or neo-classical music!

Rating: Excellent

http://jiverson55.sdf.org/ckuw/notes/fendrich.html

August 9, 2019

It is not often that I get to review the work of a debut artist I know personally, especially one that I remember so well from a meeting with our friend David Lanz. And, Fendrich names Lanz as one of her musical heroes. So here now, with the release of this, her debut album Red Sky Prairie, she takes her first steps into the world of becoming an official recording artist, and what stunning first few footfalls they are indeed.

Red Sky Prairie is part of the new and growing revolution in music called Neo-Classical, and this addition must probably rank as one of the most impressive to be released for many years. The starting point of our voyage of tone is a track called L’Dor Vador. Ok, so I had to look this one up as my Hebrew is one of many languages I have no grasp of at all, it means “from generation to generation.” The softness of touch on this piece was so noticeable and the added instrumentation and vocals would go on to make this simply the best start to an album I have heard for years.

On A Secret’s Song we have a film score waiting to happen, a tribute to the work of James Horner (Somewhere Out There) maybe, but a full flowing, emotional and moving opus indeed. Fendrich follows the passionate refrains from an excellently played Violin (Wilfred Sassen) and thus the result is pure genius bathed in the beauty of a truly moving arrangement.

Within Whispers has to have one of the most inventive starts I have heard for some time, the wind blows softly across the face of time; do we hear its words of wisdom? The Celtic influence on flute here creates a fresh, but familiar backdrop of sound, and this symbiotic partnership between the piano of Fendrich and her flautists Helen Hendriks and Les Muller are but a beauty to listen to, a wonderfully crafted duo here of instrumentation — this is one song I would advise listening to many times over.

I think I may have hinted to Sharon that one thing I love as a music writer and listener is to hear the sounds of a storm in a composition, such a scene setter for me, and it looks like she has taken me up on that suggestion with this nex tpiece, her title track Red Sky Prairie. Storms however are balanced with the natural calm of the nature and here I do believe she has created a classic tune that will be loved by many listeners, who like to cross the borderlands of the New Age genre into the Neo-Classical. Perfectly timed crescendos, a wonderful passionate fluency, all go to create in my view one of the most complete pieces of music I have heard this year.

There is a moment of time when the mood changes and you can feel it deep within your musical soul, that time has now arrived with the offering Song of the Dove. Fendrich has utilised the talents of Russian vocalist Anna Emelyanova on this her first release, and that talent shines so brightly on this quite breath-taking composition. The lyrics are from the little used world language of Esperanto and manifest a true feeling of a desired peace in a track
that is one the most empowering perhaps off the album.

An amalgamation of languages is within your realm now on the piece called Never Alone. The combination of English, Spanish and Yiddish vocals all go to manifest a real one world, one people ethic. Fendrich on this performance in particular has that beautiful David Lanz influence flowing through the piece, and that cannot be a bad thing, can it? Whilst listening to the track one can really feel a sense of togetherness come from the composition and even the piano is seemingly played with this in mind. Never Alone is a very complex offering, extremely well delivered and very well played.

We have now started our journey down from this hillside of musical mastery, and as we do so we come across a charming musical narrative called Moonswept. Here is a track that illustrates just how a multi-instrumental offering should be played, this combination of flute, harp, violin, and of course piano, gifts us a piece that is not only full flowing, but utterly beautiful and quite fun to listen to as well.

This next piece is perfectly placed on the album, as we are now swimming in the deeper waters of the release; it is called Bittersweet Memory. I have had many of these in my life, those happy moments that are tinged with a small grey cloud of regret and longing perhaps. This track for me does exactly what I described above, the combination of flute and piano provide us with a momento open the memory box, and then gently close it again, remembering the
lessons we have learned. The performance here is so moving and deeply touching; Fendrich on piano employs a gentle touch of the keys, but adds more weight when needed. The strings just further manifest a deeper moment of emotion for us to all enjoy.

Sorrow is a reality we have all felt at one time or another, and the art in making music to heal such wounds is well known, few can do it brilliantly and it is to that list that the artist now must be added. Last Tears is the track we flow with now and it combines strings and piano in a way that doesn’t just move the heart, it literally tugs at it with such a powerful surge of emotive brilliance. The Cello (Joep Willems) in particular here, adds a whole new dimension to this offering and Fendrich’s piano performance is so deeply moving.

The back story behind this next piece is a devastating tragedy that occurred to the occupants of the fateful Alaska Airlines flight 261, who all perished after an accident. Fendrich at the time was not sure if one of those lost was someone she knew. The vocals are in Latin and create a truly memorable moment of heartfelt music, the sweeping string sections add to that, and allow this river of sadness to flow to its final destination of peace, thanks to this most emotional narrative we now know as In Memoriam.

Our last stop on this simply marvelous debut album by composer Sharon Fendrich is called That September Day. I guess all of us have our memories of 9/11; I was live on radio at that time and had to hold it all together for hours describing all I saw. This has to have been one of the hardest tracks to not only put together but also to play, but Fendrich does it so well, and manifests along with the multi-instrumental and vocal nature of the composition, a perfect ending track, one that rounds off one of the best debut albums I think I have ever heard.

It seems a life time ago since we met up with the artist. And to now look at this amazing journey she has embarked upon literally brings tears of joy to my eyes, for in my view she has probably produced the perfect debut album. Kudos to her team of other artists, all previously mentioned within this review as well.

The production quality and art work, each lush performance, yes it is all right here for you and done so brilliantly, that you’re going to want to be ready and waiting for the next album to arrive. Fendrich has created the perfect beginning for what we all hope is going to be an extremely long, happy and forthcoming career for the artist. Red Sky Prairie is an album I am more than happy to recommend. No, I will go further, I literally insist you buy it, truth being said. Neo-Classical music simply doesn’t come any better than this.

https://www.oneworldmusic.co.uk/album-reviews/4577256830

October 9, 2019

Born and raised in Eugene, Oregon, pianist-composer and vocalist Sharon Fendrich began her music studies at age three. Eventually releasing her debut album, Red Sky Prairie, Fendrich travelled to the small town of Stein in the Netherlands to record the project at Kerani Music Studio with engineer Arno Op de Camp. Comprised of eleven compositions spanning an hour, Red Sky Prairie beautifully epitomizes neoclassical new age exquisiteness with its striking combination of gentle piano and voice set to mellifluous orchestral ensembles. Showcasing the contributing impeccable talents of Russian vocalist Anna Emelyanova, cellist Joep Willems, violinist Wilfred Sassen, and flautists Helen Hendriks and les Muller, Red Sky Prairie brilliantly boasts emotionally therapeutic and harmonious arrangements of utmost pristine elegance.

Employing heavenly choral and soprano vocals sung in English, Spanish, Latin and Yiddish along the way, Fendrich’s soul-elevating compositions create an atmosphere of divine love, peace and hope. Some outstanding examples include transcendently radiant “Song of the Dove”, an angelic aria sung in the international language of Esperanto. Fendrich also adds intriguingly subtle touches of magic throughout, one example being the sounds of crickets singing softly at the close of the album’s title track. Several pieces touch on notably tender subjects, such as the September 11th dedicated final number, “That September Day”, which concludes the album with a pastoral sense of remembrance, healing and comfort.

Striking a perfect balance of innocence and maturityRed Sky Prairie is a stunning accomplishment for an artist debut that will surely soothe the minds and hearts of many adults and children alike. Drawing inspiration from the new age, Celtic and classical music genres, listeners especially who enjoy everything from Secret Garden to David Lanz will find much to cherish herein. A serenely heartfelt album I’d say was long overdue within this wing of the genreRed Sky Prairie is arguably one of the most outstanding neoclassical new age albums this year!

http://www.auralawakenings.com/search/label/Sharon%20Fendrich

August 28, 2019

Pianist and composer Sharon Fendrich offers eleven warm, delicate, and delightful pieces on her new album Red Sky Prairie. Her lavish compositions are a mixture of contemporary themes with just a hue of cinematic undertones. Many of the tracks feature the rich, melodic voice of Anna Emelyanova. She gives the album a touch of the seraphic. In addition, joining Sharon’s delightful piano arrangements are Helen Hendriks on flute and Ies Muller on Irish flute. Joep Willems plays cello and Wilfred Sassen plays violin. Over all the light ensemble pieces are a testament to the texture and beauty that make up the fabric that is America’s heartland. Each of the works are vignettes that were created by memories in Sharon’s life. Through her amazing music, we are witness to her deepest thoughts and most vivid impressions.

L’Dor Vador is a musical chronology. It is the history passed on from one generation to the next, sometimes in stories, sometimes in song. This time it is song. Sharon not only connects with her past in this soaring ballad, but perhaps, her future as well.

A Secret’s Song is an inviting piano foray into places unknown. The cello in the background is like the voice of an old friend. The mysteries of the memory, the yearnings of the heart, or the very soul of a lover can be discovered by the connection to the music. Sharon’s song is nostalgically warm and sublimely comforting.

Within Whispers is a slow, calming piece. Flute and cello balance with the piano in a spiraling number softer than the wind, but stronger than breath. The introspective tune is contemplative in its complexity. The music has movement, like a river of thought running through your mind. Unhindered, clear, ever flowing.

A clap of thunder, a storm in the distance and the title tune Red Sky Prairie begins. Through Sharon’s magnificent melody, you can imagine endless plains, clouds that take on the vermillion hues of dusk, and if you listen closely, you can hear her joyful tidings on the wind. Fendrich’s neo-symphonic tale is bold, breathtaking, and perfect for getting to know the stories of her heartland journey.

Never Alone is a prayer. Simple and from the heart, it is sung in Spanish, English, and Yiddish. “Help us and Save us. I Beg You. Guide us to safety.” Even the most simple of prayers requires a fervent heart and this prayer has that in every note. Sharon’s tune is solemn making Emelyyanova’s voice reverent and with tremendous passion.

Any reference to September is obvious in our history here in the United States. Sharon’s tune, That September Day is sad. Not quite two decades later, tears still fall, hearts remain unmended, and memories are still etched with an acid so much stronger than grief. This heart wrenching song is a lamentation with a modicum of hope, something we need each and every day.

I liked all eleven cuts on Red Sky Prairie. There is a gentleness about the album as if every song was touched by a special kind of love. It is something rare these days. The mix of vocals and instrumentals offered enough variety that made you not only listen more, but also listen more closely on the next go around for every nuance that Sharon Fendrich tenderly cached in the notes. 

November 2, 2019

Red Sky Prairie is the debut album of Sharon Fendrich. It is a mixture of gorgeous new-age inspired neo-classical instrumentals and influences of the opera that the artist witnessed growing up at live presentations. She has been a student of music since the age of 3. There are not too many people in this world that can say that. The strong influence of family brought Sharon to this point in life to bring listeners her first recording. 

Red Sky Prairie carries with it a message of the calm after the storm. The picture you see on the cover is an example of the beauty of transformation and strength of mother nature. And how the nature of our human spirit grows, learns, and rises above the storms of life and comes out the other side stronger and ready to face whatever comes our way. Hopefully, this process is a learning experience for every listener. 
 
The meaning of this album is just as important as the music, it is one entity reaching out like the branches of a tree growing higher towards the sun. While this is happening, the roots grow deeper and give the tree the anchors in the ground to remain with us for many years. Note the one tree standing in the picture fully intact after the storm. The image provides insight and a clear message to those that are receptive to it.
 
This is what the entire experience will do, it will continue to grow and establish its roots in your psyche and soul. Most trees and music for that matter will outlive us all and their permanence and importance go beyond words and our understanding. The music can interpret the oneness mankind should feel with the nature that sustains usRed Sky Prairie serves as a reminder of that one prolific meaning in all our lives. 
 
The core of the music is the piano. Sharon lays down the foundation with exceptional passion and grace. Her piano gives the other instruments in the mix an opportunity to join in seamlessly. Like the flow of water from a stream to the ocean, it is natural and effortless. The violin, flutes, cello and the voice of Anna Emelyanova in some of the tracks allow for a very cinematic reach. The classical roots remain intact and the new age flavor will give it an ambiance and texture that allows for a crossover appeal to several audiences that would find a deep appreciation for what is being presented in the eleven tracks.
 
I chose “Within Whispers” to add to my New Age Music Reviews Spotify Playlist for its simplicity and stunning beauty. It was like walking on a cloud in my mind’s eye. The track draws you in immediately and provides that deep breath and subsequent exhale of relief and comfort. This is what music such as this can provide to a listener. That is but one example of many that you will enjoy on Red Sky Prairie.
 

For a debut, I do not think it could be any better. If this was a veteran artist releasing their second, third, or fourth release, it would be praised as a major accomplishment. I think that says it all.

http://www.newagemusicreviews.net/2019/11/sharonfendrichredskyprairie.html

September 30, 2019

Red Sky Prairie is the beyond impressive debut album from Sharon Fendrich. Calling Fendrich a “pianist/composer” only scratches the surface as she also produced the album, wrote lyrics for the five pieces that have lyrics (in five different languages, no less!), orchestrated the music and traveled to The Netherlands to record and mix the album at Kerani Music Studio with Arno Op den Camp, the engineer behind award-winning neoclassical artist, Kerani. Born and raised in Eugene, OR, Fendrich started her music studies at the age of three. Exposed to symphony orchestras, opera, ballet and other stage performances as a child, she continued piano and choral studies through college at Tufts University. After college, she continued to explore music composition while working in marketing, development and production roles for the La Jolla Music Society and the San Diego Chamber Orchestra in California. With a background in classical and ambient music, Fendrich brings a wealth of experience to her original music and makes it sound effortless. Red Sky Prairie offers eleven tracks that can provide a soundtrack to listeners’ dreams and memories. In addition to Fendrich on piano, there are four Dutch soloists: violinist Wilfred Sassen, cellist Joep Willems, flutists Helen Hendriks and Ies Muller, plus Russian vocalist Anna Emelyanova.

The album begins with ‘L’dor Vador,” which translates from Hebrew to “generation to generation.” A gently-flowing piece for piano, voice and strings, it lets you know right away that this album is something special. “A Secret’s Song” is a tribute to James Horner and his theme, “Somewhere Out There” from An American Tail (1986). Without lyrics, the piano tells the story as the other instrumentalists support and enhance it with grace and expression. A few sections have an interesting meter change that keeps them just slightly off-balance but not at all uncomfortable.

“Within Whispers” begins with the sound of the wind and becomes a delicate duet for piano and Irish flute. The second theme goes somewhat darker, brightening again for the third – one of my favorites. The title track opens with the sound of thunder but quickly becomes peaceful. With the piano in front, strings dance around and intertwine with the melody. The piece was inspired by a vision Fendrich had of a place suspended in time where emotions are free to be felt, expressed and remembered. Visual and performed with deep emotion, it would be exquisite in a film – another favorite.

The lyrics for “Song Of the Dove” are in Esperanto (an international language created to bring together speakers from diverse countries) and tells the story of the flight of the dove of peace and the tremendous weight of responsibility it carries. “Never Alone” is a haunting piece for piano and voice. Sung in Spanish, English and Yiddish, the lyrics link the stories of the Latin American refugees trying to enter the US in 2018 and the Jewish refugees of WWII. “Last Tears” is a piano/violin/cello trio that offers closure as the intensity of grief starts to ease and the person grieving accepts that some of the sorrow will always remain. The heartfelt emotion expressed in this piece soothes like a long, loving hug that lets you know things will be okay in time.

“That September Day” pays homage to 9/11/2001. It begins as that morning did, with the hope and promise of a new day. Then everything changes. The lyrics express the shared fear, sadness and anger we felt in the days that followed and then end with: “Together we found a way that September day” – a message that reminds us that together we can overcome just about anything.

Red Sky Prairie is an album that truly needs to be heard. Do your ears, mind and soul a favor and check it out! It is available from SharonFendrich.com, Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby as well as many streaming sites.
September 30, 2019

https://mainlypiano.com/reviews/sharon-fendrich-red-sky-prairie

August 31, 2019

AV:  Generally what is it about music that draws you to it and what does it contribute to your life?

SF:  Music has a power that I believe is the closest thing in existence to true magic. Within a few measures one can be smiling and dancing, or teary-eyed in remembrance. Music’s influence is so pervasive in our lives that we don’t even realize when it’s working its spell. It’s this boundless strength that fascinates me. For thousands of years music has been used for motivation, healing and wonder. Once the soundtrack came into being it magnified music’s potential exponentially. All you need to do is watch a movie for a few minutes without music, then with, to feel the difference. The ability for a human to learn how to wield this magic through pen or baton is alchemic.

Music has been with me for as long as I can remember. My mother’s lullabies, my grandmother’s German nursery songs, the prayer for lighting the Hanukkah candles, all are in my DNA. As a listener, the sounds of Chopin, Enya, Secret Garden, 2002, Clannad, Ludovico Einaudi, David Lanz, and so many more, have been with me at both the darkest and brightest times. Music often heals me faster than any other cure, as it clears the path to inner peace. As a composer and performer, music gives me wings to express feelings I can’t get across in words and gives me a hand to extend to my listeners.

AV:  How important was it that your parents exposed you to so many live music events as you grew up in forming your musical interests?

SF:  In hindsight, this exposure was probably the most important part of my musical upbringing. As a child sitting through opera, ballet and symphony events, I often felt like it was a test of endurance. Little did I know that neuro-pathways were forming at lightning speed. My ears were learning the nuances of music while my heart was learning the power of musical expression. When I’m told that something musical I do is a “gift” or “natural”, I know better. It’s because my father dressed me up, took me to the big concert hall, got me a cookie at intermission and showed me the stars on our drive back home. That was the foundation of my musical instinct.

AV:  Three years old is pretty young to be starting musical studies. Tell me about your memories of starting to study music at such a young age and what that did to motivate you to pursue music throughout your life.

SF:  At that age music is about learning to feel and move with it. My earliest memory of learning music was probably age three or four attending early education music classes at the University of Oregon. I remember using my whole body to express rhythm, and using sticks to count and pace out sound. Consciously nothing was happening that instilled an interest in the lifelong pursuit of music. In truth, I had many days and even a few years in my youth where I battled with staying with music. No one wants to practice scales every day. But around age 14 when I was given my first Chopin nocturne, well, that changed things. That’s when I realized my musical training had lit a path before me to express who I had become and who I would be.

AV:  Has your interest mainly been classical music or did you have periods of experimentation as you became more proficient in your music?

SF:  My musical training is classical. Through college I studied classical piano, theory, orchestration, conducting and composition. Since the age of 16, however, nearly all of my pleasure listening and playing has been New Age and neo-classical. I took up voice study again a few years ago and have incorporated opera, musical theatre and jazz into my training. I’ve never really wandered far from my classical roots, though; my compositions are firmly neo-classical.

AV:  When did you start composing your own music and were you happy with the results of those first attempts to write music?

SF:  My first pieces were written in college as part of theory and composition study. Yes, I was content with my work back then. It was difficult for me, though, to fit into the bounds of the structure of a lesson because I would always want to venture away to where my ear was calling me to go. I remember how thrilling it was to write music for quartet, orchestra and even a student film. The biggest struggle came with developing the musical ideas to fit within what the average ear would expect to hear, to write in a way that was free, but all the while keep the listener engaged. That balance remains a struggle with each note I write.

AV:  What is the difference between neo-classical and classical music? Why did you choose neo-classical music to focus on?

SF:  Classical music is often used to refer to all western art music, played by traditional orchestral instruments, written between 1600 and the present day. Classical, however, is a distinct sub-period of this, from about 1730-1820. It covers the music of Mozart, Haydn and early Beethoven. Composers during this time adhered to predetermined rules that outlined the structure of a piece of music. I’m actually more fond of the music of the Romantic period which came next, and saw composers breaking free from strict expectations in pursuit of personal expression. That period featured composers such as Chopin, Puccini, Brahms and Liszt.

Traditional neo-classical music was written between about 1920 to 1940 and brought composers back to a more rigidly defined expectation when it came to balance, clarity and emotional restraint.

The sub-genre of neo-classical under the broader umbrella of New Age music is different yet. And to be more confusing, there is a neo-classical sub-genre under modern classical as well. Generally, current neo-classical composers have had classical training in music theory and in their instrument. The music is generally quite melodic, has a foundation in classical harmony, and combines the use of traditional symphonic instruments with electronic ones.

Some of my favorite artists, Secret Garden and Ludovico Einaudi, fall solidly into neo-classical. I’m blessed that there’s a genre where I can combine my passions for classical and New Age music. Classical gives me loose boundaries, traditional sounds and instruments that the western ear expects. New Age adds natural sounds plus magic, other-worldliness, and fantasy.

AV:  Your new album is called Red Sky Prairie and according to your website the album is “grounded in Classical and inspired by New Age” music”. Could you talk to me about what “being grounded in classical” means to you in terms of the compositions on Red Sky Prairie and what kind of inspirations you take from new age music.

SF:  I usually write in a traditional western music song form such as ABA, AABCA, etc., and I always start with piano and then add symphonic instruments, primarily strings. All of my instrumental and theory background is in classical music, so it forms my foundation. New Age music is full of hope, breath, freedom, peace and inspiration. Its composers have had a profound influence on my listening and composition, and their music has inspired me both at and away from the piano. I feel deeply that New Age music gives me a key of sorts to unlock my feelings and offers a path to healing and self-improvement. As a composer it’s this same unbounded potential that motivates me to write music through which the listener can also find comfort and inspiration on their own journey.

AV:  How long have you been working on the compositions for Red Sky Prairie?

SF:  I wrote four of the pieces on the album for solo piano only, about 20 years ago. In 2016, I returned to the piano and composition after a long hiatus. I brushed off these older pieces and breathed new life into them. By 2017 I was writing new music to complete the album, and began arranging the music into the final form that you hear today. The compositions were completed by the summer of 2018.

AV:  What inspired the name Red Sky Prairie for this album and how do the compositions work together to musically tell this story?

SF: The inspiration for the album came from a daydream I had about a place where the sky was filled with dusty red-orange, luscious hues after the passing of a storm. A hushed early evening breeze had fallen upon a prairie.

I saw myself at various ages residing in a weather-worn white farmhouse, able to feel the emotions of the phases of life. A profound sensation of safety and peace permeated the air in this scene and the feeling has stayed with me ever since. Red Sky Prairie was born. My daydream led to a piece of prose I have in my liner notes and on my website, https://sharonfendrich.com/about/.

Red Sky Prairie is a place of safety and comfort, where emotions can be felt, expressed and remembered. Each piece on the album holds a bit of my heart and the stories I’ve lived, emotions I’ve felt. There is hurt and heartbreak in the album, but there is also hope and rebirth. All of these feelings are safe at Red Sky Prairie. I encourage my listeners to sit with the feelings that the music brings forth in them, to remember that life always has joy and sorrow, and that there will always be another day.

AV:  Musical projects are often joint efforts with other musicians and producers. Who joins you on Red Sky Prairie in creating your musical vision possible?

SF:  The true answer to this question depends on when you start counting. In my liner notes I thank those who have influenced me on my musical journey, all the way back to childhood. But in speaking of the project specifically the deepest gratitude goes to my mixing and recording engineer, Arno Op den Camp. He and his wife Erika are the genius team behind the award winning neo-classical artist Kerani. The musicians I was lucky enough to work with include four Dutch soloists: violinist Wilfred Sassen, cellist Joep Willems, flautists Helen Hendriks and Ies Muller, and Russian vocalist Anna Emelyanova. My mastering engineer Stephen Marsh at Marsh Mastering in Los Angeles has worked with some of Hollywood’s finest soundtrack composers and polished the album to its fine shimmer. I also have eternal gratitude to Bruce Maddocks, a legend in the industry, for his mentorship, who I befriended through a media composers group on Facebook.

AV:  What was the impetus to finally step into the spotlight yourself and perform and record your own compositions and to release them to the public? Was this a daunting prospect or were you and your music ready to make the leap?

SF:  Truth be told, I don’t feel like the compositions are entirely mine. I feel like they have been given to me as a gift by a never-to-be-known entity. I was entrusted with them to give them life, to care for them and set them free. The relationship I have with them is much like that which I have with my children. After a long hiatus from music while I raised my family and rode the bumps of life, my life began to settle. My now husband and I moved into our current home in Portland, Oregon, and my parents sent me the grand piano I had played in my teen years. I finally felt like my soul could breathe again. I dusted off those old compositions and knew it was time to give them the respect they deserve. It was daunting at first. Composition and performance felt new again, and sometimes impossible. But I just kept at it, day after day. Those small steps amounted to a long journey which brought me to today.

AV:  With the release of Red Sky Prairie on August 1 do you feel like a milestone has been reached in your efforts as a musician?

SF:  Absolutely. And still, a few weeks later, I’m in disbelief that I did it! With so many setbacks, the passage of years, the need to learn everything as I went along, the financial investment, well, I didn’t know if the day would come that it would be finished. And even then, would listeners welcome it? I feel the power of the milestone each time someone says the music has deeply touched them. And as time passes since the release I realize there’s always another milestone ahead.

AV:  How do you feel about the music in its final form on the album? Are you happy with the end results and were you able to capture the vision you had in your mind when you composed the music during the recording sessions?

SF:  I’m extremely pleased with the music in its final form. My goal was to ensure that the listener would have a fully immersive listening experience, ideally with really good headphones.
I’ve definitely achieved that. To be honest I worked extremely hard on the demos of the songs in my home studio. By doing so I had a really clear picture of what the final product would likely sound like after recording the musicians. And I spent weeks working alongside my mixing engineer to guarantee each note was as I wanted it.

AV:  Were there any of the songs on this album that you are particularly proud of in taking it from vision to finished recording?

SF:  In truth, all of them. They each have a unique evolution and parts of their story that really make me proud. But overall, I would choose Red Sky Prairie, Song of the Dove and That September Day.

I remember the moment I sat down to write the title track, Red Sky Prairie. I could feel the weight of the storm in my arms and just placed my hands down on the piano. My fingers found the notes and it felt like a birthing moment. Then I found the melody and it felt so perfect, like it had been in me all along. I knew I needed a piece that would capture the essence of the entire album, that could hold it all together. And as this one unfolded, it was clear this was it. I worked harder on it than the others, carefully shaping the phrases, the sections, and choosing a full instrumentation. I dream of one day hearing it performed live by a full orchestra.

Song of the Dove, like all of my pieces, began as a piece for solo piano. Someone once suggested I add lyrics. So I did, in English. They came to me as if they’d always been there on the paper. The words put voice to the song’s message. And then as it came time to orchestrate it, something nagged at me. Something was missing. Once I put my finger on it, that it needed a language other than English, I felt like I’d hit the home stretch. I chose Esperanto because the language itself was created to unite speakers from diverse cultures. The song highlights the flight of the dove of peace and the hefty weight of responsibility the bird carries.

The challenge of translating into a language I didn’t speak was exciting and beautiful. I have long loved learning languages and it felt so perfect to combine my two passions. Hearing the finished song feels more like an archaeologist would looking at a relic on display — a piece they found, gently uncovered, preserved and donated to a museum.

The first few bars of That September Day were sketched on September 11, 2001. I didn’t know what to do with myself that day, no one really did. But I knew my fingers could find a way to keep going. That sketch stayed with me for so long. Then in 2017 I pulled it out and said, “let’s do this.” The message that kept coming through for me in writing the piece was how the strength of community held us together and ultimately saw us through. I wanted to make sure that the theme remained a constant undercurrent in the piece, just as community did for us in our recovery. The finished version captures all of the emotions I hoped for and the feedback I’m receiving is exactly what I thought would happen.

AV:  Do you have any plans for live performances of Red Sky Prairie in the near future? Would that information be on your website?

SF:  Not at this time, no. I figure that I would need at least 10 musicians to give the music what it deserves. That coupled with the tech needs just makes the idea prohibitive. But I truly hope that one day Red Sky Prairie can become a live, visceral concert experience similar to those of Ludovico Einaudi.

AV:  Any thoughts you’d like to share with our readers about your music as we close out this interview?

SF:  The New Age genre is huge and covers everything from neo-classical to massage music, and chant to ambient. It’s become an enormous category because composers in the last 50 years have ventured further than ever before. The pace of innovation and sound experimentation has far exceeded the ability of the listener’s ear to keep up. And those who “label” music found New Age a repository where they could put just about anything that wasn’t clearly one of the standard genres. The denigrating misconception that developed decades ago that New Age music is only for elevators or spas, means the New Age community has a lot of listener education to do.

The neo-classical sub-genre in New Age, though in its early stages of growth, has had profound success. Artists have reached monumental milestones in this offshoot so much so that I expect over the coming years it will rise to the top and become a force in and of itself. It’s my hope that because the label includes “classical” that more and more classical listeners will find their way to the music, realizing that just as much as it is an offshoot of New Age, it also has firm roots in Classical.

I create music because it allows me to express my personal emotions in a way with which others can instantly identify. One listener’s background can be strikingly different from another listener’s but these differences become irrelevant because the music has unified through a shared musical experience. My relationship with the music allows me to reopen a dream or memory, to sit with it for a time, and then return it to where it will rest inside my heart until I recall it again. It will always be my deepest hope that my music continues to spread its message of hope and comfort as far as the tides will take it.

I encourage listeners to be open to using the music in whatever way their hearts feel is best for them and follow the path it lays before them. If it stirs emotions to the surface, if it lifts your spirit or offers solace, to consider it a gift that is shareable with friends and loved ones. I truly believe that together we can give the music its best chance to bring a bright healing and introspection to our world.

AV:  Thank you for the interview Sharon and thank you for those closing thoughts about the New Age genre and how much music flows into that category from so many sources. It is a lesson that I have been learning over these past 20 years here at Ambient Visions. Genres and categories are only guidelines at best but those terms were never meant to be restrictive as to the music that possibly could fall under that umbrella. The longer I’ve spent with this website the more I realize just how wide that umbrella actually is and how wonderful it is to see people enjoying so many fine compositions from a myriad of traditions and classifications. Again thank you for your time and for your wonderful compositions. May music always guide you and speak to your heart.

http://ambientvisions.com/sharonfendrich.htm

Listener Impressions

Passionate and emotive...a work of musical magnificence. It’s THE best album I’ve heard this year, and I have heard a lot of extremely, outrageously beautiful music this year.
Dyan Garris
NewAgeCD.com
Sharon Fendrich's album Red Sky Prairie is a game changer to the world of New Age / Neo classical music. This record is one which should not only be heard, but listened to. Each song is constructed with soothing layers, creating a well balanced soundscape. More than a "put it on in the background recording", this is an album whose aural pleasure increases with each listen. I recommend listening on headphones and becoming immersed in this windswept prairie journey.
Bruce Maddocks
Mastering Engineer
*Hans Zimmer’s Original Soundtrack, Pirates of the Caribbean
*Two-time Grammy winner Christopher Tin (“Calling All Dawns”)
This album is exceptional!! One of the best I have heard in the last couple of years, and right up there with Secret Garden's latest album Storyteller - very beautiful and heartfelt. A wonderful addition to any music library. It will garner plenty of airplay on Shades of Classics!
For a debut, I do not think it could be any better. If this was a veteran artist releasing their second, third or fourth release, it would be praised as a major accomplishment. The music can interpret the oneness mankind should feel with the nature that sustains usRed Sky Prairie serves as a reminder of that one prolific meaning in all our lives. 
Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
NewAgeMusicReviews.net
Red Sky Prairie beautifully epitomizes neoclassical new age exquisiteness with its striking combination of gentle piano and voice set to mellifluous orchestral ensembles. A serenely heartfelt album I’d say was long overdue within this wing of the genreRed Sky Prairie is arguably one of the most outstanding neoclassical new age albums this year!
Candice Michelle
AuralAwakenings.com
Red Sky Prairie is one of the most impressive releases I have heard for many a year, full flowing productions, moving segments of a flourishing narrative that contain a lush multi-instrumental nature. If I could only recommend one album this year onward, this would be it, an utterly sublime, completely charming and passionate release, it really doesn’t get any better than this.
“Red Sky Prairie” is 2019’s finest debut album and establishes Fendrich as one of the most promising New Age music artists today. . .hands down the best debut album since 2014. Fendrich has the ability to take this genre to new heights.
This is quite simply a stunning debut album. Her ‘stream of consciousness’ writing is both complex and yet utterly charming. She has an exciting future ahead as she takes her place among our genre’s elite!
Red Sky Prairie is [a] beyond impressive debut album. It truly needs to be heard. Do your ears, mind and soul a favor and check it out!
stunning album !
Red Sky Prairie is such a beautiful example of compositional mastery, gorgeous melodies and well constructed harmonies that really show not only a great knowledge of music composition, but a unique creative voice in composer Sharon Fendrich.

For any fan of beautifully composed evocative music - this is for you! Red Sky Prairie transports the listener to just that place, you can almost feel the wind on your cheeks and see the scenic views. It’s hard to believe this is her debut album, you can really tell she has so much to say through music, and knows how to say it. Fantastic!
Be ready for sumptuous, harmonically rich glimpses into a world of musical nostalgia. You won’t want to leave.
Sharon's music invites you into a world of memories, dreams and myth. Her carefully sculpted melodies and ambient textures guide listeners through imaginative worlds that are brimming with reverie and longing. Sharon has a really stunning range of ideas, emotions, and sonic worlds. The pieces all have such a natural sense of breath and phrasing.
The music brings back memories and I can easily imagine storylines to match the music in my head. I have a vivid imagination and my mind is constantly in overdrive. This music has helped me calm down and focus on just the sound around me. I'm also fifteen and this music is amazing for background stimulations during homework and while I draw.
Sharon Fendrich's music on RED SKY PRARIE induces a sonic bath of angelic and serene moods. The selections on this release have a very peaceful and relaxing sense of lulling the listener to a pensive state of mind with very pretty overtones.
This is a beautiful album. Melodies and harmonies blend with rich orchestration (with special kudos to the solo cello parts) to leave the listener with a lovely mix of music that proved to be both comforting and provocative. The combination left this listener wanting to listen again.
I'm not normally a New Age music fan. But this music is not only beautiful and a place of refuge, each listening reveals more depth. The music offers succor and emotional complexity that the genre doesn't normally provide. Both the piano and vocals are stunning.
I reviewed her debut album and was knocked out by the beauty and serenity of the music, masterfully performed and executed
Music for the Soul!
I absolutely love this album! I keep playing it over and over. The compositions stir the heart. The piano and other instruments are perfect. And the voices are straight from heaven. So glad I purchased it. Music for the soul!
Love the whole album! Beautiful work!
Simply Beautiful and Haunting
Soothing and achingly beautiful entwined. This will feature heavily in my 2019 soundtrack. And 2020. And 2021...
Beautiful!
Can’t stop listening! 5 stars ! Love love love !!!
The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of
Lovely, peaceful settings from great musicians and a thoughtful composer.
Worth listening, very inspiring
Loved the music, is inspiring, is delicate and relaxing. You can listen it over and over and you will discover new sounds, new instruments and tones each time
Uplifting
Uplifting and calming at the same time - I love the subtle, surprising changes in melody and chord progression. The whole album is delicious, but the title track 'Red Sky Prairie' is my very favorite!
Nourish Your Spirit and Your Soul !
This is a beautiful, meditative, straight to the heart album. The music is vibrant and rich without being over-produced. I highly recommend this entire album!
Beautiful, calm, rich music for the soul.
This is a very special album. Every piece is beautiful in its own way. The tone of the album is tender and calm. I keep it in my car, so when I find the traffic stressful I turn on Red Sky Prairie and find my stress level immediately reduced. It works every time and I love it.
Right up there with other New Age Neo-Classical all-stars!!
Completely amazed that a new composer can be right up there on the same level as Secret Garden, Enya, Loreena McKennitt, Helen Jane Long, Einaudi and the rest of the New Age legends. I’ve been captivated by the genre for over 25 years and get super excited every time there’s a new album by my favorite artists and groups.

I recently read a review of this album and it was compared to Secret Garden’s latest album so I had to check it out. I was SO pleasantly surprised to be immediately taken by the gorgeous melodies, passionate performances and unique, yet natural, compositions.

It’s probably really tough for new composers to break into this genre and be competitive but Fendrich has done it and I’m so excited to have a new artist to follow and support.

If you love classical music or New Age music, amazing piano, violin, cello and voice, do yourself a favor and get this album. You’ll be so happy you did!

Reviews & Interviews

October 6, 2019
https://www.newagecd.com/sharon-fendrich-red-sky-prairie-album-review-dyan-garris/

Album Review by Dyan Garris for Zone Music Reporter, New Age CD, and Spirit Seeker Magazine

“The love and care that was put into “Red Sky Prairie” is evident in EVERY note. It literally pours out of this album and seeps deeply into our hearts like silken salve for the spirit. And there it remains.”
– Dyan Garris

“Red Sky Prairie” is the extraordinarily beautiful debut album by the extraordinarily talented Sharon Fendrich. Remember that name, because I’m sure you’ll be hearing it a lot now and in the future. Passionate and emotive, I hope I am able to find the right words to effectively describe this work of musical magnificence. It’s THE best album I’ve heard this year, and I have heard a lot of extremely, outrageously beautiful music this year.

“Red Sky Prairie” was recorded in Stein, Netherlands by Arno Op den Camp at Kerani Music Studio. Joining Sharon’s sensitively played piano performances on “Red Sky Prairie” is a roster of also amazingly talented and quite prominent guest artists.

Anna Emelyanova’s voice is incredible. Wilfred Sassen on violin adds heartfelt, vibrant depth as does Joep Willems’ cello performance. Helen Hendriks on flute and Ies Muller on Irish flute bring even more sweetness into the mix by Arno Op den Camp with  Sharon Fendrich.

Sharon composed all the pieces and self-produced this album, which was mastered by the renowned Stephen Marsh at Marsh Mastering in Los Angeles. The album includes a stunningly beautiful booklet. The artwork and design is by award-winning graphic designer, Sam Hayles.

The love and care that was put into “Red Sky Prairie” is evident in EVERY note. It literally pours out of this album like silken salve for the aching spirit. It’s hard to believe this is a debut album because it is flawless. Effortless. Impressive. Remarkable.

This may be her first album, however, composer and pianist, Fendrich, is not new to music. She was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon, and began her music studies at age three. Later, at Tufts University, she completed advanced studies in piano, choral music, conducting, orchestration and composition. After college, she continued to explore composition while working in marketing, development and production roles for the La Jolla Music Society and the San Diego Chamber Orchestra, in California.

In her compositional process, Sharon relies on her fingers and ears to guide her into crafting a complete solo piano work. Then, she begins to add layers of sound through improvisation. Counter-melodies emerge and contribute to a full harmonic palette and tempos full of breathing room. The result is a sonically magical world in which the listener is comfortably immersed in tranquility.

Grounded in the Classical genre and inspired by ambient New Age, the 11 tracks, and almost 1 hour of listening enjoyment are full of lush, passionate melodies that immediately captivate the listener’s heart. Within the music one can hear the influences of Enya, Secret Garden, Ludovico Einaudi, Chopin and Debussy.

Sharon says, “The inspiration for the album came from a daydream I had about a tranquil place filled with red-orange skies after the passing of a storm. A hushed early evening breeze had fallen upon a prairie-scape. I saw myself at various ages residing in a weather-worn white farmhouse, able to feel the emotions of the phases of life. A profound sensation of safety and peace permeated the air in this scene and the feeling has stayed with me ever since.” “Red Sky Prairie” was born.

If I understand correctly, it is her hope that listeners of this album will be able to embrace all the events and emotions that they’ve experienced, and will experience, on their life’s journey, and their soul’s journey – the good and the “bad” – and come to a place of acceptance and deep, heartfelt peace with all. No matter what, keep an open heart, because out of the shadow side of life emerges the light. In my opinion, she succeeds tremendously.

The album opens with the gorgeous, “L’dor Vador” (Generation to Generation). I’ve never heard this more beautifully done. Here Anna Emelyanova’s heavenly vocal washes over you along with Sharon’s outstandingly beautiful piano, like a dual wave of soft, angelic light and you know you’re in for something truly exceptional here. “. . . round and round, on and on, I see my life in yours, hopes and memories wrap me with love.” The mellow strings enter in, adding even more depth, and the magnificence continues throughout the entire album. It’s astounding.

The lyrics, on the five vocal songs on “Red Sky Prairie,” are in different languages, including Esperanto, which is an international language created by Dr. L. L. Zamenhof in the 1800s. The purpose of Esperanto was/is to facilitate easy communication among people from different cultures; a language that would allow people who speak different native languages to effectively communicate. The other languages included for the vocal pieces on “Red Sky Prairie” are: English, Spanish, Yiddish, and Latin.

“A Secret’s Song” is a passionate tribute to “Somewhere Out There” by Jame’s Horner, from the animated feature film, “An American Tail.” Stunningly beautiful piano here, reminiscent of the work of Italian composer, Ludovico Einaudi.

“Within Whispers” is intimate and delicate. We are reminded of how important it is to try to maintain intimacy, even in the face of obstacles.

The title track, “Red Sky Prairie,” is an outstanding soundscape, painting a perfect picture of “Americana.” Violin and cello are perfect here along with the piano.

“Song of the Dove” (Kanto de la Kolombo) is sung entirely in Esperanto. Again, the vocal by Anna Emelyanova is amazing. Very calming with exquisite harmonies. Violin, piano, and cello all blend together in something beyond perfection. Here we can see and feel the “dove of peace” soaring high, entrusted with its important mission.

The hauntingly beautiful “Never Alone” is sung by Anna in Spanish, English and Yiddish. Sharon wrote this piece in the summer of 2018, at the height of media attention in the United States regarding Latin American refugees entering the country. The lyrics link the story with that of Jewish refugees in World War II. Perhaps we
have all been refugees of some sort at some time in our lives. This song reminds us that while we may feel “shut out” at times, we are truly never alone.

A delicate, magical sounding song, “Moonswept” is sweeping, flowing piano, flute, violin and harp. Together these create a romantic soundscape where we feel like we are basking in a peaceful moonlit glow.

Calling up remembrances of long-lost love, the nostalgic, “Bittersweet Memory,” is a sweet flute and piano duet. Sparkling, so lovely, and emotionally stirring.

Grief and sorrow are brought up for closure in, “Last Tears.” This is wistful yet uplifting at the same time. Piano, cello, and violin in perfect harmony jostle our heartstrings and bring peace and balance.

Dedicated to the 88 souls who perished on Alaska Airlines flight 261, “In Memoriam” is sung in Latin and will give you chills. So very angelic. “Dona eis pacem. Volant cum angelis. Amen.” This translates into, “Grant them peace. They fly with the angels.”

As well, do you remember that September 11, 2001, morning? You might recall that it was such a beautiful day all over the United states that day. Picture perfect. Then everything changes and became something else. Life as we knew it completely morphed into completely uncharted territory. Out of that stunned, stupefying darkness, however, we came together, united as humanity in light, hope, and strength. “That September Day” is sung by Anna Emelyanova so perfectly. Flute, strings, piano, and an astoundingly magnificent vocal, all do the very same on this last track, “That September Day;” a day that is indelibly etched onto our souls forever. This song will remain with you as well, long, long after it is over:

“Hearts broken, tears fall.
In darkness we can’t find hope.
Out of grief, hope and strength are forged.
Through shadow shines a light so bright.
Voices cry out you must go on.
Hope will hold our hearts.
Together we found a way
that September day.”

I think that says it all.

A MUST have, give yourself or someone else a great gift of peace, hope, tranquility. This album is completely extraordinary in every single way. Every. Get “Red Sky Prairie” here: https://sharonfendrich.com/store/ or wherever music is sold/streamed.

Sharon Fendrich, piano
Wilfred Sassen, violin
Anna Emelyanova, voice
Joep Willems, cello
Helen Hendriks, flute
Ies Muller, Irish flute
____________________
Music Promotion/Terrestrial, internet, and satellite for Red Sky Prairie is managed by:
Crossover Media
Contact: Max Horowitz 347.267.9563
maxcrossover@gmail.com

September 27, 2019

When music makes you daydream, that’s a sure sign of quality. Let your mind wander, and the music will take you anywhere in a heartbeat. It is one of the best feelings there is. Shanon Fendrich’s debut album “Red Sky Prairie” is such an album. But that is not all; it comes with a set of ready-made daydreams which inspired Fendrich’s creative process. “Red Sky Prairie” is 2019’s finest debut album and establishes Fendrich as one of the most promising New Age music artists today.

Sharon Fendrich was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon, USA. She began music studies at age three and completed advanced studies in piano, choral music, conducting, orchestration and composition in college at Tufts University. Her current vocal studies include opera, jazz, and musical theatre.

This episode of Dream Mixtape is dedicated to “Red Sky Prairie”:

L’dor Vador
When reviewing and analyzing music, the question is always; what is it about? What stories are told? Usually, there’s quite a bit of guessing. The good thing about “Red Sky Prairie” is that Sharon has included a quite descriptive text, a story, that guides us into her world of music. She writes: “The inspiration for the album came from a daydream I had about a place where the sky was filled with dusty, red-orange, luscious hues after the passing of a storm. A hushed early evening breeze had fallen upon a prairie. I saw myself at various ages residing in a weather-worn white farmhouse, able to feel the emotions of the phases of life. A profound sensation of safety and peace permeated the air in this scene and the feeling has stayed with me ever since. “Red Sky Prairie” was born.”

“L’dor Vador” is the album opener. I’m very impressed by how Sharon manages to communicate a feeling of safety. It is a song about belonging and sensing a strong connection, not only to a place but to a community and a faith. You don’t want to be anywhere else but here. The song starts with a warm synth pad and gentle piano. Anna Emelyanova’s vocals are incredible. Another thing you’ll notice right away is the quality of the arrangement. Fendrich traveled to the Netherlands to record and mix the album at Kerani Music Studio, and the mastering was done by engineer Stephen Marsh, known for his work with some of Hollywood’s greatest composers. Given the overall quality of “Red Sky Prairie”, I would not be surprised if Kerani and her crew in time can compete with Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton in terms of studio excellence. On “Red Sky Prairie” we get to hear the very talented Wilfred Sassen (violin), Anna Emelyanova (voice), Joep Willems (cello), Helen Hendriks (flute) and Ies Muller (Irish flute).

The album will appeal very much to fans of Secret Garden. Indeed, from a Neo-Classical, New Age music perspective, “Red Sky Prairie” is very close to their much-loved “Songs from A Secret Garden” (1996) sound – which will have a large appeal. Its sound is gentle, reflective, and honest – perfectly balancing a touch of melancholy with positive emotions. One of the finest songs on the album is song no. 2, “A Secret Song,” which I’m sure even Rolf Løvland of Secret Garden would have been proud of. It is a jewel. Bravo!

Within Whispers
“Within Whispers” starts (and ends) with the sound of the wind. Then we hear the piano and the flute. It is marvelous how the whispering wind fades into the sound of the flute. It is as if the song comes to life through the blowing wind. The orchestral backing is spotless, perfection on every level.

Moving on, the intro to the title track makes me think of Enya. Indeed, the whole song has a certain level of excellence that we expect from this one-of-a-kind artist. I love how the song evolves and moves, just like a spectacular sunset. It is there but for a short moment, then it is gone. It is a song of strong, vibrant colors; red, red, red. I can’t help being impressed by how Fendrich turned the view of a prairie landscape into this song.

Song of the Dove
Circling back to the daydreams, “Red Sky Prairie” comes with a story. It goes like this: “A weather-worn, wooden farmhouse clad in tired whitewash stands rooted to its foundation despite the battering torment of storm upon storm. The weary porch offers just enough space to gaze upon the forever-open prairie. An elderly woman has found contemplative comfort in the rocking chair. Its finish so closely resembles the peeling paint of the house that from a distance all three, woman, chair, and house become one.” You can read the whole story on the cover and on Sharon’s homepage. We follow this woman through several stages of her life, and the prairie is a place where emotions are expressed and processed.

“The Song of the Dove” is sung in Esperanto, a language constructed to unify people across cultures. This piece is about the dove of peace which is always sent out to bring back peace. This song is about our desire for calm and peace in our world.

The song “Never Alone” is a cry for guidance in Spanish, English, and Yiddish. It is, at the same time, filled with a deep sense of gratitude and love. The instrumental “Moonswept” is another winner; its delicate Neo-Classical sound would fit well in any romantic Hollywood movie. It is high end in every sense.

Bittersweet Memory
The woman we are following is getting older. You can see this by the last four song titles. I love the songs’ contemplative qualities. The grand emotions of youth are replaced by introspection and thinking. “Bittersweet Memory” takes us way back in time. It is about the cherishing of love lost.

“Last Tears” is about the grief process. In the beginning of grief, the tears and sorrow have such power over us. As time passes it changes. The Last Tears are those last ones we cry before we move on to being able to breathe again, to have some hope for the future, to open to love again. They are tears of acceptance and willingness.

Then life is over; “In Memoriam” is about cherishing the memory of a loved one while facing grief. Perhaps the best piece is saved for last; “That September Day” is nothing short of a triumph. It is a celebration of life (it is also a 9/11 Memorial Tribute Song).

In conclusion: I asked myself; is “Red Sky Prairie” by Sharon Fendrich a perfect album? Yes, it is pretty close to a flawless New Age music release. The only thing that is missing is a hit song like Enya’s “Only Time” or Secret Garden’s “You Raise Me Up.” But to ask for a smash hit seems counterproductive. It is, after all, a debut artist we are talking about. I love the multi-dimensional approach; how Sharon’s view of the prairie’s burning sky turned into this inspired piece of music, which also contains a daydream-vision of the wooden farmhouse and its inhabitants. How extraordinary! “Red Sky Prairie” is hands down the best debut album on the New Age music scene since Nitish Kulkarni’s “Synesthetic” in 2014. Sharon Fendrich has the ability to take this genre to new heights.

Score: 98/100 – See our scoring policy 

For more music samples and information, visit sharonfendrich.com

July 28, 2019
“A Musical Masterpiece”

This is an exceptional musical masterpiece from Sharon Fendrich, particularly when you consider the fact that this is her debut album. The eleven selections on this album are very beautiful, expressive and passionate, and are genuinely memorable musical masterpieces. Sharon Fendrich is an extraordinary composer, with an opus of very well crafted and beautifully arranged musical creations.

The performances from pianist Sharon Fendrich, four world-class Dutch musicians, and the stunning Russian soprano Anna Emelyanova are outstanding, heartfelt and nothing short of breathtaking! The well-balanced and varied combinations of piano, cello, violin, flute and voice paint a vivid picture on “Red Sky Prairie”. I find it really hard to pick a favourite among the pieces on this album, as every song stands out brilliantly on its own. But as a collective they form a musical treasure trove of sound, colour, character and beauty.

Red Sky Prairie is certainly one of the best albums in the new age/neo-classical genre to be released this year. And I would definitely place Sharon Fendrich in the same extraordinary class of musical artists as Secret Garden, David Lanz, and Loreena McKennitt. This album is an absolute must have for all lovers of heartfelt new age or neo-classical music!

Rating: Excellent

http://jiverson55.sdf.org/ckuw/notes/fendrich.html

August 9, 2019

It is not often that I get to review the work of a debut artist I know personally, especially one that I remember so well from a meeting with our friend David Lanz. And, Fendrich names Lanz as one of her musical heroes. So here now, with the release of this, her debut album Red Sky Prairie, she takes her first steps into the world of becoming an official recording artist, and what stunning first few footfalls they are indeed.

Red Sky Prairie is part of the new and growing revolution in music called Neo-Classical, and this addition must probably rank as one of the most impressive to be released for many years. The starting point of our voyage of tone is a track called L’Dor Vador. Ok, so I had to look this one up as my Hebrew is one of many languages I have no grasp of at all, it means “from generation to generation.” The softness of touch on this piece was so noticeable and the added instrumentation and vocals would go on to make this simply the best start to an album I have heard for years.

On A Secret’s Song we have a film score waiting to happen, a tribute to the work of James Horner (Somewhere Out There) maybe, but a full flowing, emotional and moving opus indeed. Fendrich follows the passionate refrains from an excellently played Violin (Wilfred Sassen) and thus the result is pure genius bathed in the beauty of a truly moving arrangement.

Within Whispers has to have one of the most inventive starts I have heard for some time, the wind blows softly across the face of time; do we hear its words of wisdom? The Celtic influence on flute here creates a fresh, but familiar backdrop of sound, and this symbiotic partnership between the piano of Fendrich and her flautists Helen Hendriks and Les Muller are but a beauty to listen to, a wonderfully crafted duo here of instrumentation — this is one song I would advise listening to many times over.

I think I may have hinted to Sharon that one thing I love as a music writer and listener is to hear the sounds of a storm in a composition, such a scene setter for me, and it looks like she has taken me up on that suggestion with this nex tpiece, her title track Red Sky Prairie. Storms however are balanced with the natural calm of the nature and here I do believe she has created a classic tune that will be loved by many listeners, who like to cross the borderlands of the New Age genre into the Neo-Classical. Perfectly timed crescendos, a wonderful passionate fluency, all go to create in my view one of the most complete pieces of music I have heard this year.

There is a moment of time when the mood changes and you can feel it deep within your musical soul, that time has now arrived with the offering Song of the Dove. Fendrich has utilised the talents of Russian vocalist Anna Emelyanova on this her first release, and that talent shines so brightly on this quite breath-taking composition. The lyrics are from the little used world language of Esperanto and manifest a true feeling of a desired peace in a track
that is one the most empowering perhaps off the album.

An amalgamation of languages is within your realm now on the piece called Never Alone. The combination of English, Spanish and Yiddish vocals all go to manifest a real one world, one people ethic. Fendrich on this performance in particular has that beautiful David Lanz influence flowing through the piece, and that cannot be a bad thing, can it? Whilst listening to the track one can really feel a sense of togetherness come from the composition and even the piano is seemingly played with this in mind. Never Alone is a very complex offering, extremely well delivered and very well played.

We have now started our journey down from this hillside of musical mastery, and as we do so we come across a charming musical narrative called Moonswept. Here is a track that illustrates just how a multi-instrumental offering should be played, this combination of flute, harp, violin, and of course piano, gifts us a piece that is not only full flowing, but utterly beautiful and quite fun to listen to as well.

This next piece is perfectly placed on the album, as we are now swimming in the deeper waters of the release; it is called Bittersweet Memory. I have had many of these in my life, those happy moments that are tinged with a small grey cloud of regret and longing perhaps. This track for me does exactly what I described above, the combination of flute and piano provide us with a momento open the memory box, and then gently close it again, remembering the
lessons we have learned. The performance here is so moving and deeply touching; Fendrich on piano employs a gentle touch of the keys, but adds more weight when needed. The strings just further manifest a deeper moment of emotion for us to all enjoy.

Sorrow is a reality we have all felt at one time or another, and the art in making music to heal such wounds is well known, few can do it brilliantly and it is to that list that the artist now must be added. Last Tears is the track we flow with now and it combines strings and piano in a way that doesn’t just move the heart, it literally tugs at it with such a powerful surge of emotive brilliance. The Cello (Joep Willems) in particular here, adds a whole new dimension to this offering and Fendrich’s piano performance is so deeply moving.

The back story behind this next piece is a devastating tragedy that occurred to the occupants of the fateful Alaska Airlines flight 261, who all perished after an accident. Fendrich at the time was not sure if one of those lost was someone she knew. The vocals are in Latin and create a truly memorable moment of heartfelt music, the sweeping string sections add to that, and allow this river of sadness to flow to its final destination of peace, thanks to this most emotional narrative we now know as In Memoriam.

Our last stop on this simply marvelous debut album by composer Sharon Fendrich is called That September Day. I guess all of us have our memories of 9/11; I was live on radio at that time and had to hold it all together for hours describing all I saw. This has to have been one of the hardest tracks to not only put together but also to play, but Fendrich does it so well, and manifests along with the multi-instrumental and vocal nature of the composition, a perfect ending track, one that rounds off one of the best debut albums I think I have ever heard.

It seems a life time ago since we met up with the artist. And to now look at this amazing journey she has embarked upon literally brings tears of joy to my eyes, for in my view she has probably produced the perfect debut album. Kudos to her team of other artists, all previously mentioned within this review as well.

The production quality and art work, each lush performance, yes it is all right here for you and done so brilliantly, that you’re going to want to be ready and waiting for the next album to arrive. Fendrich has created the perfect beginning for what we all hope is going to be an extremely long, happy and forthcoming career for the artist. Red Sky Prairie is an album I am more than happy to recommend. No, I will go further, I literally insist you buy it, truth being said. Neo-Classical music simply doesn’t come any better than this.

https://www.oneworldmusic.co.uk/album-reviews/4577256830

October 9, 2019

Born and raised in Eugene, Oregon, pianist-composer and vocalist Sharon Fendrich began her music studies at age three. Eventually releasing her debut album, Red Sky Prairie, Fendrich travelled to the small town of Stein in the Netherlands to record the project at Kerani Music Studio with engineer Arno Op de Camp. Comprised of eleven compositions spanning an hour, Red Sky Prairie beautifully epitomizes neoclassical new age exquisiteness with its striking combination of gentle piano and voice set to mellifluous orchestral ensembles. Showcasing the contributing impeccable talents of Russian vocalist Anna Emelyanova, cellist Joep Willems, violinist Wilfred Sassen, and flautists Helen Hendriks and les Muller, Red Sky Prairie brilliantly boasts emotionally therapeutic and harmonious arrangements of utmost pristine elegance.

Employing heavenly choral and soprano vocals sung in English, Spanish, Latin and Yiddish along the way, Fendrich’s soul-elevating compositions create an atmosphere of divine love, peace and hope. Some outstanding examples include transcendently radiant “Song of the Dove”, an angelic aria sung in the international language of Esperanto. Fendrich also adds intriguingly subtle touches of magic throughout, one example being the sounds of crickets singing softly at the close of the album’s title track. Several pieces touch on notably tender subjects, such as the September 11th dedicated final number, “That September Day”, which concludes the album with a pastoral sense of remembrance, healing and comfort.

Striking a perfect balance of innocence and maturityRed Sky Prairie is a stunning accomplishment for an artist debut that will surely soothe the minds and hearts of many adults and children alike. Drawing inspiration from the new age, Celtic and classical music genres, listeners especially who enjoy everything from Secret Garden to David Lanz will find much to cherish herein. A serenely heartfelt album I’d say was long overdue within this wing of the genreRed Sky Prairie is arguably one of the most outstanding neoclassical new age albums this year!

http://www.auralawakenings.com/search/label/Sharon%20Fendrich

November 2, 2019

Red Sky Prairie is the debut album of Sharon Fendrich. It is a mixture of gorgeous new-age inspired neo-classical instrumentals and influences of the opera that the artist witnessed growing up at live presentations. She has been a student of music since the age of 3. There are not too many people in this world that can say that. The strong influence of family brought Sharon to this point in life to bring listeners her first recording. 

Red Sky Prairie carries with it a message of the calm after the storm. The picture you see on the cover is an example of the beauty of transformation and strength of mother nature. And how the nature of our human spirit grows, learns, and rises above the storms of life and comes out the other side stronger and ready to face whatever comes our way. Hopefully, this process is a learning experience for every listener. 
 
The meaning of this album is just as important as the music, it is one entity reaching out like the branches of a tree growing higher towards the sun. While this is happening, the roots grow deeper and give the tree the anchors in the ground to remain with us for many years. Note the one tree standing in the picture fully intact after the storm. The image provides insight and a clear message to those that are receptive to it.
 
This is what the entire experience will do, it will continue to grow and establish its roots in your psyche and soul. Most trees and music for that matter will outlive us all and their permanence and importance go beyond words and our understanding. The music can interpret the oneness mankind should feel with the nature that sustains usRed Sky Prairie serves as a reminder of that one prolific meaning in all our lives. 
 
The core of the music is the piano. Sharon lays down the foundation with exceptional passion and grace. Her piano gives the other instruments in the mix an opportunity to join in seamlessly. Like the flow of water from a stream to the ocean, it is natural and effortless. The violin, flutes, cello and the voice of Anna Emelyanova in some of the tracks allow for a very cinematic reach. The classical roots remain intact and the new age flavor will give it an ambiance and texture that allows for a crossover appeal to several audiences that would find a deep appreciation for what is being presented in the eleven tracks.
 
I chose “Within Whispers” to add to my New Age Music Reviews Spotify Playlist for its simplicity and stunning beauty. It was like walking on a cloud in my mind’s eye. The track draws you in immediately and provides that deep breath and subsequent exhale of relief and comfort. This is what music such as this can provide to a listener. That is but one example of many that you will enjoy on Red Sky Prairie.
 

For a debut, I do not think it could be any better. If this was a veteran artist releasing their second, third, or fourth release, it would be praised as a major accomplishment. I think that says it all.

http://www.newagemusicreviews.net/2019/11/sharonfendrichredskyprairie.html

September 30, 2019

Red Sky Prairie is the beyond impressive debut album from Sharon Fendrich. Calling Fendrich a “pianist/composer” only scratches the surface as she also produced the album, wrote lyrics for the five pieces that have lyrics (in five different languages, no less!), orchestrated the music and traveled to The Netherlands to record and mix the album at Kerani Music Studio with Arno Op den Camp, the engineer behind award-winning neoclassical artist, Kerani. Born and raised in Eugene, OR, Fendrich started her music studies at the age of three. Exposed to symphony orchestras, opera, ballet and other stage performances as a child, she continued piano and choral studies through college at Tufts University. After college, she continued to explore music composition while working in marketing, development and production roles for the La Jolla Music Society and the San Diego Chamber Orchestra in California. With a background in classical and ambient music, Fendrich brings a wealth of experience to her original music and makes it sound effortless. Red Sky Prairie offers eleven tracks that can provide a soundtrack to listeners’ dreams and memories. In addition to Fendrich on piano, there are four Dutch soloists: violinist Wilfred Sassen, cellist Joep Willems, flutists Helen Hendriks and Ies Muller, plus Russian vocalist Anna Emelyanova.

The album begins with ‘L’dor Vador,” which translates from Hebrew to “generation to generation.” A gently-flowing piece for piano, voice and strings, it lets you know right away that this album is something special. “A Secret’s Song” is a tribute to James Horner and his theme, “Somewhere Out There” from An American Tail (1986). Without lyrics, the piano tells the story as the other instrumentalists support and enhance it with grace and expression. A few sections have an interesting meter change that keeps them just slightly off-balance but not at all uncomfortable.

“Within Whispers” begins with the sound of the wind and becomes a delicate duet for piano and Irish flute. The second theme goes somewhat darker, brightening again for the third – one of my favorites. The title track opens with the sound of thunder but quickly becomes peaceful. With the piano in front, strings dance around and intertwine with the melody. The piece was inspired by a vision Fendrich had of a place suspended in time where emotions are free to be felt, expressed and remembered. Visual and performed with deep emotion, it would be exquisite in a film – another favorite.

The lyrics for “Song Of the Dove” are in Esperanto (an international language created to bring together speakers from diverse countries) and tells the story of the flight of the dove of peace and the tremendous weight of responsibility it carries. “Never Alone” is a haunting piece for piano and voice. Sung in Spanish, English and Yiddish, the lyrics link the stories of the Latin American refugees trying to enter the US in 2018 and the Jewish refugees of WWII. “Last Tears” is a piano/violin/cello trio that offers closure as the intensity of grief starts to ease and the person grieving accepts that some of the sorrow will always remain. The heartfelt emotion expressed in this piece soothes like a long, loving hug that lets you know things will be okay in time.

“That September Day” pays homage to 9/11/2001. It begins as that morning did, with the hope and promise of a new day. Then everything changes. The lyrics express the shared fear, sadness and anger we felt in the days that followed and then end with: “Together we found a way that September day” – a message that reminds us that together we can overcome just about anything.

Red Sky Prairie is an album that truly needs to be heard. Do your ears, mind and soul a favor and check it out! It is available from SharonFendrich.com, Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby as well as many streaming sites.
September 30, 2019

https://mainlypiano.com/reviews/sharon-fendrich-red-sky-prairie

August 28, 2019

Pianist and composer Sharon Fendrich offers eleven warm, delicate, and delightful pieces on her new album Red Sky Prairie. Her lavish compositions are a mixture of contemporary themes with just a hue of cinematic undertones. Many of the tracks feature the rich, melodic voice of Anna Emelyanova. She gives the album a touch of the seraphic. In addition, joining Sharon’s delightful piano arrangements are Helen Hendriks on flute and Ies Muller on Irish flute. Joep Willems plays cello and Wilfred Sassen plays violin. Over all the light ensemble pieces are a testament to the texture and beauty that make up the fabric that is America’s heartland. Each of the works are vignettes that were created by memories in Sharon’s life. Through her amazing music, we are witness to her deepest thoughts and most vivid impressions.

L’Dor Vador is a musical chronology. It is the history passed on from one generation to the next, sometimes in stories, sometimes in song. This time it is song. Sharon not only connects with her past in this soaring ballad, but perhaps, her future as well.

A Secret’s Song is an inviting piano foray into places unknown. The cello in the background is like the voice of an old friend. The mysteries of the memory, the yearnings of the heart, or the very soul of a lover can be discovered by the connection to the music. Sharon’s song is nostalgically warm and sublimely comforting.

Within Whispers is a slow, calming piece. Flute and cello balance with the piano in a spiraling number softer than the wind, but stronger than breath. The introspective tune is contemplative in its complexity. The music has movement, like a river of thought running through your mind. Unhindered, clear, ever flowing.

A clap of thunder, a storm in the distance and the title tune Red Sky Prairie begins. Through Sharon’s magnificent melody, you can imagine endless plains, clouds that take on the vermillion hues of dusk, and if you listen closely, you can hear her joyful tidings on the wind. Fendrich’s neo-symphonic tale is bold, breathtaking, and perfect for getting to know the stories of her heartland journey.

Never Alone is a prayer. Simple and from the heart, it is sung in Spanish, English, and Yiddish. “Help us and Save us. I Beg You. Guide us to safety.” Even the most simple of prayers requires a fervent heart and this prayer has that in every note. Sharon’s tune is solemn making Emelyyanova’s voice reverent and with tremendous passion.

Any reference to September is obvious in our history here in the United States. Sharon’s tune, That September Day is sad. Not quite two decades later, tears still fall, hearts remain unmended, and memories are still etched with an acid so much stronger than grief. This heart wrenching song is a lamentation with a modicum of hope, something we need each and every day.

I liked all eleven cuts on Red Sky Prairie. There is a gentleness about the album as if every song was touched by a special kind of love. It is something rare these days. The mix of vocals and instrumentals offered enough variety that made you not only listen more, but also listen more closely on the next go around for every nuance that Sharon Fendrich tenderly cached in the notes. 

August 31, 2019

AV:  Generally what is it about music that draws you to it and what does it contribute to your life?

SF:  Music has a power that I believe is the closest thing in existence to true magic. Within a few measures one can be smiling and dancing, or teary-eyed in remembrance. Music’s influence is so pervasive in our lives that we don’t even realize when it’s working its spell. It’s this boundless strength that fascinates me. For thousands of years music has been used for motivation, healing and wonder. Once the soundtrack came into being it magnified music’s potential exponentially. All you need to do is watch a movie for a few minutes without music, then with, to feel the difference. The ability for a human to learn how to wield this magic through pen or baton is alchemic.

Music has been with me for as long as I can remember. My mother’s lullabies, my grandmother’s German nursery songs, the prayer for lighting the Hanukkah candles, all are in my DNA. As a listener, the sounds of Chopin, Enya, Secret Garden, 2002, Clannad, Ludovico Einaudi, David Lanz, and so many more, have been with me at both the darkest and brightest times. Music often heals me faster than any other cure, as it clears the path to inner peace. As a composer and performer, music gives me wings to express feelings I can’t get across in words and gives me a hand to extend to my listeners.

AV:  How important was it that your parents exposed you to so many live music events as you grew up in forming your musical interests?

SF:  In hindsight, this exposure was probably the most important part of my musical upbringing. As a child sitting through opera, ballet and symphony events, I often felt like it was a test of endurance. Little did I know that neuro-pathways were forming at lightning speed. My ears were learning the nuances of music while my heart was learning the power of musical expression. When I’m told that something musical I do is a “gift” or “natural”, I know better. It’s because my father dressed me up, took me to the big concert hall, got me a cookie at intermission and showed me the stars on our drive back home. That was the foundation of my musical instinct.

AV:  Three years old is pretty young to be starting musical studies. Tell me about your memories of starting to study music at such a young age and what that did to motivate you to pursue music throughout your life.

SF:  At that age music is about learning to feel and move with it. My earliest memory of learning music was probably age three or four attending early education music classes at the University of Oregon. I remember using my whole body to express rhythm, and using sticks to count and pace out sound. Consciously nothing was happening that instilled an interest in the lifelong pursuit of music. In truth, I had many days and even a few years in my youth where I battled with staying with music. No one wants to practice scales every day. But around age 14 when I was given my first Chopin nocturne, well, that changed things. That’s when I realized my musical training had lit a path before me to express who I had become and who I would be.

AV:  Has your interest mainly been classical music or did you have periods of experimentation as you became more proficient in your music?

SF:  My musical training is classical. Through college I studied classical piano, theory, orchestration, conducting and composition. Since the age of 16, however, nearly all of my pleasure listening and playing has been New Age and neo-classical. I took up voice study again a few years ago and have incorporated opera, musical theatre and jazz into my training. I’ve never really wandered far from my classical roots, though; my compositions are firmly neo-classical.

AV:  When did you start composing your own music and were you happy with the results of those first attempts to write music?

SF:  My first pieces were written in college as part of theory and composition study. Yes, I was content with my work back then. It was difficult for me, though, to fit into the bounds of the structure of a lesson because I would always want to venture away to where my ear was calling me to go. I remember how thrilling it was to write music for quartet, orchestra and even a student film. The biggest struggle came with developing the musical ideas to fit within what the average ear would expect to hear, to write in a way that was free, but all the while keep the listener engaged. That balance remains a struggle with each note I write.

AV:  What is the difference between neo-classical and classical music? Why did you choose neo-classical music to focus on?

SF:  Classical music is often used to refer to all western art music, played by traditional orchestral instruments, written between 1600 and the present day. Classical, however, is a distinct sub-period of this, from about 1730-1820. It covers the music of Mozart, Haydn and early Beethoven. Composers during this time adhered to predetermined rules that outlined the structure of a piece of music. I’m actually more fond of the music of the Romantic period which came next, and saw composers breaking free from strict expectations in pursuit of personal expression. That period featured composers such as Chopin, Puccini, Brahms and Liszt.

Traditional neo-classical music was written between about 1920 to 1940 and brought composers back to a more rigidly defined expectation when it came to balance, clarity and emotional restraint.

The sub-genre of neo-classical under the broader umbrella of New Age music is different yet. And to be more confusing, there is a neo-classical sub-genre under modern classical as well. Generally, current neo-classical composers have had classical training in music theory and in their instrument. The music is generally quite melodic, has a foundation in classical harmony, and combines the use of traditional symphonic instruments with electronic ones.

Some of my favorite artists, Secret Garden and Ludovico Einaudi, fall solidly into neo-classical. I’m blessed that there’s a genre where I can combine my passions for classical and New Age music. Classical gives me loose boundaries, traditional sounds and instruments that the western ear expects. New Age adds natural sounds plus magic, other-worldliness, and fantasy.

AV:  Your new album is called Red Sky Prairie and according to your website the album is “grounded in Classical and inspired by New Age” music”. Could you talk to me about what “being grounded in classical” means to you in terms of the compositions on Red Sky Prairie and what kind of inspirations you take from new age music.

SF:  I usually write in a traditional western music song form such as ABA, AABCA, etc., and I always start with piano and then add symphonic instruments, primarily strings. All of my instrumental and theory background is in classical music, so it forms my foundation. New Age music is full of hope, breath, freedom, peace and inspiration. Its composers have had a profound influence on my listening and composition, and their music has inspired me both at and away from the piano. I feel deeply that New Age music gives me a key of sorts to unlock my feelings and offers a path to healing and self-improvement. As a composer it’s this same unbounded potential that motivates me to write music through which the listener can also find comfort and inspiration on their own journey.

AV:  How long have you been working on the compositions for Red Sky Prairie?

SF:  I wrote four of the pieces on the album for solo piano only, about 20 years ago. In 2016, I returned to the piano and composition after a long hiatus. I brushed off these older pieces and breathed new life into them. By 2017 I was writing new music to complete the album, and began arranging the music into the final form that you hear today. The compositions were completed by the summer of 2018.

AV:  What inspired the name Red Sky Prairie for this album and how do the compositions work together to musically tell this story?

SF: The inspiration for the album came from a daydream I had about a place where the sky was filled with dusty red-orange, luscious hues after the passing of a storm. A hushed early evening breeze had fallen upon a prairie.

I saw myself at various ages residing in a weather-worn white farmhouse, able to feel the emotions of the phases of life. A profound sensation of safety and peace permeated the air in this scene and the feeling has stayed with me ever since. Red Sky Prairie was born. My daydream led to a piece of prose I have in my liner notes and on my website, https://sharonfendrich.com/about/.

Red Sky Prairie is a place of safety and comfort, where emotions can be felt, expressed and remembered. Each piece on the album holds a bit of my heart and the stories I’ve lived, emotions I’ve felt. There is hurt and heartbreak in the album, but there is also hope and rebirth. All of these feelings are safe at Red Sky Prairie. I encourage my listeners to sit with the feelings that the music brings forth in them, to remember that life always has joy and sorrow, and that there will always be another day.

AV:  Musical projects are often joint efforts with other musicians and producers. Who joins you on Red Sky Prairie in creating your musical vision possible?

SF:  The true answer to this question depends on when you start counting. In my liner notes I thank those who have influenced me on my musical journey, all the way back to childhood. But in speaking of the project specifically the deepest gratitude goes to my mixing and recording engineer, Arno Op den Camp. He and his wife Erika are the genius team behind the award winning neo-classical artist Kerani. The musicians I was lucky enough to work with include four Dutch soloists: violinist Wilfred Sassen, cellist Joep Willems, flautists Helen Hendriks and Ies Muller, and Russian vocalist Anna Emelyanova. My mastering engineer Stephen Marsh at Marsh Mastering in Los Angeles has worked with some of Hollywood’s finest soundtrack composers and polished the album to its fine shimmer. I also have eternal gratitude to Bruce Maddocks, a legend in the industry, for his mentorship, who I befriended through a media composers group on Facebook.

AV:  What was the impetus to finally step into the spotlight yourself and perform and record your own compositions and to release them to the public? Was this a daunting prospect or were you and your music ready to make the leap?

SF:  Truth be told, I don’t feel like the compositions are entirely mine. I feel like they have been given to me as a gift by a never-to-be-known entity. I was entrusted with them to give them life, to care for them and set them free. The relationship I have with them is much like that which I have with my children. After a long hiatus from music while I raised my family and rode the bumps of life, my life began to settle. My now husband and I moved into our current home in Portland, Oregon, and my parents sent me the grand piano I had played in my teen years. I finally felt like my soul could breathe again. I dusted off those old compositions and knew it was time to give them the respect they deserve. It was daunting at first. Composition and performance felt new again, and sometimes impossible. But I just kept at it, day after day. Those small steps amounted to a long journey which brought me to today.

AV:  With the release of Red Sky Prairie on August 1 do you feel like a milestone has been reached in your efforts as a musician?

SF:  Absolutely. And still, a few weeks later, I’m in disbelief that I did it! With so many setbacks, the passage of years, the need to learn everything as I went along, the financial investment, well, I didn’t know if the day would come that it would be finished. And even then, would listeners welcome it? I feel the power of the milestone each time someone says the music has deeply touched them. And as time passes since the release I realize there’s always another milestone ahead.

AV:  How do you feel about the music in its final form on the album? Are you happy with the end results and were you able to capture the vision you had in your mind when you composed the music during the recording sessions?

SF:  I’m extremely pleased with the music in its final form. My goal was to ensure that the listener would have a fully immersive listening experience, ideally with really good headphones.
I’ve definitely achieved that. To be honest I worked extremely hard on the demos of the songs in my home studio. By doing so I had a really clear picture of what the final product would likely sound like after recording the musicians. And I spent weeks working alongside my mixing engineer to guarantee each note was as I wanted it.

AV:  Were there any of the songs on this album that you are particularly proud of in taking it from vision to finished recording?

SF:  In truth, all of them. They each have a unique evolution and parts of their story that really make me proud. But overall, I would choose Red Sky Prairie, Song of the Dove and That September Day.

I remember the moment I sat down to write the title track, Red Sky Prairie. I could feel the weight of the storm in my arms and just placed my hands down on the piano. My fingers found the notes and it felt like a birthing moment. Then I found the melody and it felt so perfect, like it had been in me all along. I knew I needed a piece that would capture the essence of the entire album, that could hold it all together. And as this one unfolded, it was clear this was it. I worked harder on it than the others, carefully shaping the phrases, the sections, and choosing a full instrumentation. I dream of one day hearing it performed live by a full orchestra.

Song of the Dove, like all of my pieces, began as a piece for solo piano. Someone once suggested I add lyrics. So I did, in English. They came to me as if they’d always been there on the paper. The words put voice to the song’s message. And then as it came time to orchestrate it, something nagged at me. Something was missing. Once I put my finger on it, that it needed a language other than English, I felt like I’d hit the home stretch. I chose Esperanto because the language itself was created to unite speakers from diverse cultures. The song highlights the flight of the dove of peace and the hefty weight of responsibility the bird carries.

The challenge of translating into a language I didn’t speak was exciting and beautiful. I have long loved learning languages and it felt so perfect to combine my two passions. Hearing the finished song feels more like an archaeologist would looking at a relic on display — a piece they found, gently uncovered, preserved and donated to a museum.

The first few bars of That September Day were sketched on September 11, 2001. I didn’t know what to do with myself that day, no one really did. But I knew my fingers could find a way to keep going. That sketch stayed with me for so long. Then in 2017 I pulled it out and said, “let’s do this.” The message that kept coming through for me in writing the piece was how the strength of community held us together and ultimately saw us through. I wanted to make sure that the theme remained a constant undercurrent in the piece, just as community did for us in our recovery. The finished version captures all of the emotions I hoped for and the feedback I’m receiving is exactly what I thought would happen.

AV:  Do you have any plans for live performances of Red Sky Prairie in the near future? Would that information be on your website?

SF:  Not at this time, no. I figure that I would need at least 10 musicians to give the music what it deserves. That coupled with the tech needs just makes the idea prohibitive. But I truly hope that one day Red Sky Prairie can become a live, visceral concert experience similar to those of Ludovico Einaudi.

AV:  Any thoughts you’d like to share with our readers about your music as we close out this interview?

SF:  The New Age genre is huge and covers everything from neo-classical to massage music, and chant to ambient. It’s become an enormous category because composers in the last 50 years have ventured further than ever before. The pace of innovation and sound experimentation has far exceeded the ability of the listener’s ear to keep up. And those who “label” music found New Age a repository where they could put just about anything that wasn’t clearly one of the standard genres. The denigrating misconception that developed decades ago that New Age music is only for elevators or spas, means the New Age community has a lot of listener education to do.

The neo-classical sub-genre in New Age, though in its early stages of growth, has had profound success. Artists have reached monumental milestones in this offshoot so much so that I expect over the coming years it will rise to the top and become a force in and of itself. It’s my hope that because the label includes “classical” that more and more classical listeners will find their way to the music, realizing that just as much as it is an offshoot of New Age, it also has firm roots in Classical.

I create music because it allows me to express my personal emotions in a way with which others can instantly identify. One listener’s background can be strikingly different from another listener’s but these differences become irrelevant because the music has unified through a shared musical experience. My relationship with the music allows me to reopen a dream or memory, to sit with it for a time, and then return it to where it will rest inside my heart until I recall it again. It will always be my deepest hope that my music continues to spread its message of hope and comfort as far as the tides will take it.

I encourage listeners to be open to using the music in whatever way their hearts feel is best for them and follow the path it lays before them. If it stirs emotions to the surface, if it lifts your spirit or offers solace, to consider it a gift that is shareable with friends and loved ones. I truly believe that together we can give the music its best chance to bring a bright healing and introspection to our world.

AV:  Thank you for the interview Sharon and thank you for those closing thoughts about the New Age genre and how much music flows into that category from so many sources. It is a lesson that I have been learning over these past 20 years here at Ambient Visions. Genres and categories are only guidelines at best but those terms were never meant to be restrictive as to the music that possibly could fall under that umbrella. The longer I’ve spent with this website the more I realize just how wide that umbrella actually is and how wonderful it is to see people enjoying so many fine compositions from a myriad of traditions and classifications. Again thank you for your time and for your wonderful compositions. May music always guide you and speak to your heart.

http://ambientvisions.com/sharonfendrich.htm

Listener Impressions

Passionate and emotive...a work of musical magnificence. It’s THE best album I’ve heard this year, and I have heard a lot of extremely, outrageously beautiful music this year.
Dyan Garris
NewAgeCD.com
Red Sky Prairie beautifully epitomizes neoclassical new age exquisiteness with its striking combination of gentle piano and voice set to mellifluous orchestral ensembles. A serenely heartfelt album I’d say was long overdue within this wing of the genreRed Sky Prairie is arguably one of the most outstanding neoclassical new age albums this year!
Candice Michelle
AuralAwakenings.com
Sharon Fendrich's album Red Sky Prairie is a game changer to the world of New Age / Neo classical music. This record is one which should not only be heard, but listened to. Each song is constructed with soothing layers, creating a well balanced soundscape. More than a "put it on in the background recording", this is an album whose aural pleasure increases with each listen. I recommend listening on headphones and becoming immersed in this windswept prairie journey.
Bruce Maddocks
Mastering Engineer
*Hans Zimmer’s Original Soundtrack, Pirates of the Caribbean
*Two-time Grammy winner Christopher Tin (“Calling All Dawns”)
For a debut, I do not think it could be any better. If this was a veteran artist releasing their second, third or fourth release, it would be praised as a major accomplishment. The music can interpret the oneness mankind should feel with the nature that sustains usRed Sky Prairie serves as a reminder of that one prolific meaning in all our lives. 
Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
NewAgeMusicReviews.net
Red Sky Prairie is one of the most impressive releases I have heard for many a year, full flowing productions, moving segments of a flourishing narrative that contain a lush multi-instrumental nature. If I could only recommend one album this year onward, this would be it, an utterly sublime, completely charming and passionate release, it really doesn’t get any better than this.
This album is exceptional!! One of the best I have heard in the last couple of years, and right up there with Secret Garden's latest album Storyteller - very beautiful and heartfelt. A wonderful addition to any music library. It will garner plenty of airplay on Shades of Classics!
“Red Sky Prairie” is 2019’s finest debut album and establishes Fendrich as one of the most promising New Age music artists today. . .hands down the best debut album since 2014. Fendrich has the ability to take this genre to new heights.
This is quite simply a stunning debut album. Her ‘stream of consciousness’ writing is both complex and yet utterly charming. She has an exciting future ahead as she takes her place among our genre’s elite!
Red Sky Prairie is [a] beyond impressive debut album. It truly needs to be heard. Do your ears, mind and soul a favor and check it out!
stunning album !
Red Sky Prairie is such a beautiful example of compositional mastery, gorgeous melodies and well constructed harmonies that really show not only a great knowledge of music composition, but a unique creative voice in composer Sharon Fendrich.

For any fan of beautifully composed evocative music - this is for you! Red Sky Prairie transports the listener to just that place, you can almost feel the wind on your cheeks and see the scenic views. It’s hard to believe this is her debut album, you can really tell she has so much to say through music, and knows how to say it. Fantastic!
Be ready for sumptuous, harmonically rich glimpses into a world of musical nostalgia. You won’t want to leave.
Sharon's music invites you into a world of memories, dreams and myth. Her carefully sculpted melodies and ambient textures guide listeners through imaginative worlds that are brimming with reverie and longing. Sharon has a really stunning range of ideas, emotions, and sonic worlds. The pieces all have such a natural sense of breath and phrasing.
The music brings back memories and I can easily imagine storylines to match the music in my head. I have a vivid imagination and my mind is constantly in overdrive. This music has helped me calm down and focus on just the sound around me. I'm also fifteen and this music is amazing for background stimulations during homework and while I draw.
Sharon Fendrich's music on RED SKY PRARIE induces a sonic bath of angelic and serene moods. The selections on this release have a very peaceful and relaxing sense of lulling the listener to a pensive state of mind with very pretty overtones.
This is a beautiful album. Melodies and harmonies blend with rich orchestration (with special kudos to the solo cello parts) to leave the listener with a lovely mix of music that proved to be both comforting and provocative. The combination left this listener wanting to listen again.
I'm not normally a New Age music fan. But this music is not only beautiful and a place of refuge, each listening reveals more depth. The music offers succor and emotional complexity that the genre doesn't normally provide. Both the piano and vocals are stunning.
I reviewed her debut album and was knocked out by the beauty and serenity of the music, masterfully performed and executed
Music for the Soul!
I absolutely love this album! I keep playing it over and over. The compositions stir the heart. The piano and other instruments are perfect. And the voices are straight from heaven. So glad I purchased it. Music for the soul!
Love the whole album! Beautiful work!
Simply Beautiful and Haunting
Soothing and achingly beautiful entwined. This will feature heavily in my 2019 soundtrack. And 2020. And 2021...
Beautiful!
Can’t stop listening! 5 stars ! Love love love !!!
The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of
Lovely, peaceful settings from great musicians and a thoughtful composer.
Worth listening, very inspiring
Loved the music, is inspiring, is delicate and relaxing. You can listen it over and over and you will discover new sounds, new instruments and tones each time
Uplifting
Uplifting and calming at the same time - I love the subtle, surprising changes in melody and chord progression. The whole album is delicious, but the title track 'Red Sky Prairie' is my very favorite!
Nourish Your Spirit and Your Soul !
This is a beautiful, meditative, straight to the heart album. The music is vibrant and rich without being over-produced. I highly recommend this entire album!
Beautiful, calm, rich music for the soul.
This is a very special album. Every piece is beautiful in its own way. The tone of the album is tender and calm. I keep it in my car, so when I find the traffic stressful I turn on Red Sky Prairie and find my stress level immediately reduced. It works every time and I love it.
Right up there with other New Age Neo-Classical all-stars!!
Completely amazed that a new composer can be right up there on the same level as Secret Garden, Enya, Loreena McKennitt, Helen Jane Long, Einaudi and the rest of the New Age legends. I’ve been captivated by the genre for over 25 years and get super excited every time there’s a new album by my favorite artists and groups.

I recently read a review of this album and it was compared to Secret Garden’s latest album so I had to check it out. I was SO pleasantly surprised to be immediately taken by the gorgeous melodies, passionate performances and unique, yet natural, compositions.

It’s probably really tough for new composers to break into this genre and be competitive but Fendrich has done it and I’m so excited to have a new artist to follow and support.

If you love classical music or New Age music, amazing piano, violin, cello and voice, do yourself a favor and get this album. You’ll be so happy you did!
Close Menu