Change Is in the Wind (2021)
“Ann Sweeten takes us all on another instrumental new age journey on Change Is in the Wind. This is the fourth release I have covered in her catalog.
“Ann has defeated breast cancer twice and is now battling leukemia. It makes me wonder why so many people have to go through so much suffering in their lives. It is for a reason, that is what many people will say, and even those going through it. It is about acceptance, healing, and moving to the next phase of your spiritual development, here on earth or another level of existence.
“With that thought in mind, I think artists such as Ann Sweeten come from a place not all of us can understand. Although there are physical issues, we all deal with, some are more serious and life-threatening than others. In that very moment of realizing your life is once again being threatened, the enlightened will look at it as another opportunity to grow and get stronger. That is exactly the choice that Ann made recording this album.
“While reading all of her notes in the CD pamphlet I realized that there were so many things I could relate to. She mentioned sitting in her garden and a butterfly and hummingbird came to visit. She immediately looked at it as one of nature’s gifts and god’s messengers. I have always felt that way about wildlife I “coincidentally” came across, and no I do not believe in coincidence, I see these beautiful creatures as a reminder of the beauty and life that surrounds me.
“This has everything to do with the music of Ann Sweeten. The appreciation, connection, and the awesome beauty of god’s gifts that are given to us while we are here. It is important to me to know about the artist and their music, what drives them, where their energy is coming from, and what is the process that gets them to the end of an entire recording. I find out a lot of this on my Podcast’s however just by listening to the music, reading a bio on a website, or the liner notes, I have a lot to think about before I listen, and then it changes my entire experience.
“Ann and her Steinway Baby Grand Model B will sweep you away into another time and place, the mists of time melt away, and your feelings are engaged and pictures will enter your mind. This music moves me in a way no other genre can. It takes away any preconceptions of what I will hear and allows me to flow with the music and feelings that are happening. And yes, it is meditative and healing, her music has always had that effect on me.
“What My Eyes Can’t See is one of the most prolific tracks she has ever created. And interestingly enough it connects to What Blooms Beneath The Snow. It is untouched beauty yet to blossom as we wait for the snow to melt and the sun’s rays to provide the warmth to initiate the growth. Life is like that in many ways. In some ways perhaps the disease that this amazing woman is currently dealing with has brought about something she now can see, and the growth is beginning because another part of her physical being is going through yet another change. I can see how she weaved all of these titles with meaning into her gorgeous representation of instrumental piano work. The spiritual essence of this individual is alive and well in this music and as she created it, presents it to us all, she is healing as well. This is her gift to the world and with that, we all must appreciate what is before us and take advantage of the beautiful sound and expressions being delivered through those ivory keys.
“I think there has been Change Is in the Wind for several years now. The awareness is getting stronger with each passing day on a global level. For me, I count my blessings every day. When I realized what was going on with Ann it changed my entire perspective on my own life. Even though there is gratitude present, I believe there could be more. We all need to give each other as much understanding and opportunity to express our true feelings and love for each other. Music like this gets me into the right space where all of these thoughts come to me one at a time for yet another moment of consideration. Music without words can be more powerful than heartfelt lyrics. Ann Sweeten has mastered that artistry and Change Is in the Wind is another documentary of her amazing life and talent.”
-Keith Hannaleck (New Age Music Reviews)
“When I first listened to pianist Ann Sweeten’s latest album, Change Is in the Wind, I heard something slightly different. This is important as Sweeten has one of the most recognizable styles to her composing and performing, that being a flowing melodicism, laced with gentle melancholy, contemplative reflection, and a genuinely sweet romanticism colored by amber-tinted regret and sadness. Change Is in the Wind introduces a new flavor of subtle optimism and sense of contentment as if Sweeten has released a deep breath, exhaling out some of her past tragedies, and embracing where they have taken her. Reading the liner notes (copious and personal, as always), it appears my perceptions were, as they say, “spot on”. While her usual musical motifs flow through the album’s ten tracks like a gently coursing stream, there are moments of lightness and even subtle happiness. Sweeten is joined by stellar guest artists (Nancy Rumbel, Eugene Friesen, Charlie Bisharat) and once more she recorded her piano tracks at Imaginary Road. Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton helped helm this release, along with Ann herself (all three share some of the production credits). Throw in a gorgeous cover photo and you have another great album from this prolific and talented artist. It’s winner in every regard.”
-Bill Binkelman (Wind and Wire)
“Sweeten’s brilliant compositions are enhanced via meticulous performances. Her smooth melodies flow nicely as she delivers tasty instrumental efforts that take New Age music to a new level. Opening with the flow of “Arctic Dance,” yet exploring with “What Blooms Beneath the Snow,” the significance of “May 24, 42 Years Ago,” and hits the halfway mark searching for “What My Eyes Can’t See.” Second side gems shine via the haunting “One Last October,” trailed by the memory of “Forever Sunday,” the ivory-tickling beauty of the title track “Change Is in the Wind,” and ends appropriately with the strains of “Silver Lining.”
-Bob Morello (Boston Post-Gazette)
Brilliant piano performances – Ann Sweeten – Change Is in the Wind
“It’s been a couple of years since I reviewed Ann’s “Before Today, Beyond Tomorrow” album, but on her new release, she (as always) turns in totally brilliant piano performances…”
-Dick Metcalf (Contemporary Fusion Reviews)
“Change Is in the Wind is an album of original, instrumental music by pianist and composer Ann Sweeten. Guest contributions from musicians Nancy Rumbel (English Horn), Eugene Friesen (Cello), and Charlie Bisharat (Violin) enhance the extraordinary soundscape, created out of the drive to share light and hope. Soul-stirringly beautiful, Change Is in the Wind is a treasure for both personal and public library instrumental music collections.”
-James Cox/Midwest Book Review
“The ‘neo-classical’ and ‘instrumental’ categories are incredibly broad. The character of the music, the instrumentation, the proficiency of the performers… you really get all kinds. Getting the attention of the listening public, breaking out from the pack, may be a difficult proposition, but *standing* out once observed is inevitable if you’ve got the goods. Ann Sweeten has got the goods. She has more than a dozen albums to her credit, and on September 3rd, 2021 she will release her latest, the lovely Change is In the Wind.
Ms. Sweeten, a Steinway Artist, does not just perform piano on her albums, she also scores and arranges for a variety of instrumentation, and she clearly has a knack for it. She has an assurance that comes from an intersection of talent and experience; in May 24, 42 Years Ago, for example, she collaborates with cellist Eugene Friesen, but she resists the rookie mistake of feeling the need to lather the entire piece with his presence out of some sense of “making it worth his time” or somesuch. Instead, she adorns the piece with beautiful grace notes from the cello that add depth and warmth to the lower register of her piano. Likewise, in What My Eyes Can’t See it is almost a shock when Nancy Rumbel’s English horn and Charlie Bisharat’s violin join her, punching up the emotion like the exact right pinch of salt in your favorite stew.
“When you commit to reviewing music (or anything else I suppose) you quickly learn that not everything is going to be your cup of tea. You do your best to provide fair and honest analysis despite whatever bias you might have. It is, therefore, an unexpected pleasure when you are given a treat to spend an hour with, and the upcoming Change is in the Wind by Ann Sweeten is exactly that. Whatever your genre preferences usually are, the overwhelming truth is that this album is *good*, and all else is secondary.”
-Patricia Mullen/Facing North
“The material on the release Change Is in the Wind transcends categorization in blending chamber classical and New Age into music of beguiling beauty. ”
“There can be no doubt that Ann Sweeten is one of the most artistic performers of her day… one of the most emotive and descriptive pianists of her age. Change Is In the Wind is a ground breaking and heart-warming release, a game changer of an album.. from the very thoughts and meditations of the creative mind of Ann Sweeten, comes her best work so far, and through that work we can all take note of our own journeys, and allow that change to take place.” Read more…
–Steve Sheppard, One World Music Radio
Before Today, Beyond Tomorrow (2019)
“The Further Evolution from a pianist who has always delivered musical brilliance.”
-Will Ackerman (Founder, Windham Hill Records)
“A small instrumental ensemble with piano offers a nearly unlimited range of textures, sounds, and melodic range. Sweeten takes full advantage of her talented musical guests, but it’s clear when listening that her passions and emotions are the engine driving the music. The depth of heart and soul invested into these songs is pretty mind-blowing, but it wouldn’t be nearly as powerful if the music wasn’t fully supported by top-notch skill and musicianship. Exceptional music, light years above and beyond other neo-classic genre productions.”
-Elizabeth Hazel, Facing North
“Sweeten has vanquished cancer twice and now is faced with a third go round. With the spirit she imbues her new age/contemporary instrumental piano playing with and the friends that are gathered here around her, you can hear and feel why this is the kind of set that could reignite new age back into the mainstream, this is the kind of quality music that Duke Ellington would refuse to label. Simply as good as it gets.”
“With a team of consummate professionals behind her, Ann Sweeten has pulled off a masterstroke of an album, one that will stir your emotions, that will leave you deeply moved, that will inspire you as well perhaps, but hopefully one that will leave you, in total gratitude of this most precious of things that we are blessed with, life.
“Before Today, Beyond Tomorrow in my view is Sweeten’s best work so far, it challenged me to give myself to the moment and the music and at the end I had found an element of healing within its tones. This is an album created by an artist who clearly is in touch with her musical muse, the performances within are pristine, beautiful and emotive, and is an album that if you wish to add something of total quality to your collections, you simply must have at all costs.”
– Steve Sheppard, One World Music
“New Age pianist Ann Sweeten’s album Before Today, Beyond Tomorrow, has been described as ‘a tour de force’ of emotion, technical prowess and prodigious composition. Ann surrounded herself with guest musicians: Nancy Rumbel (English horn), Eugene Friesen (cello), Charlie Bisharat (violin), Premik Russell Tubbs (soprano saxophone), and Trisha Craig (flute). The music on this album was created while enduring the effects of a third cancer diagnosis. In her own words, Ann explains, ‘The world is different, my life is different, my reactions are different, my patience is greater, my capacity for forgiveness as well. Life itself seems so fragile that I hold it like a wounded bird, so that it may grow well within my care and ﬂy free again, carrying music on its wing.’ The result, an emotional roller coaster of ten cuts, including two with hope and resiliency built in, ‘Across the Midnight Sky’ and the title track ‘Before Today, Beyond Tomorrow,’ marking her journey of survival with the mood magic of ‘Beyond the Clouds,’ ‘Like Smoke Through a Keyhole,’ ‘The Empty Swing’ and ‘Philadelphia 22.’ Just a sampling of the excellent music Sweeten created, and her valiant battle for survival.”
– Bob Morello, Boston Post-Gazette
“Ann Sweeten has a story to tell. This incredible woman and musician has suffered through 3 bouts of cancer. I found her words inspirational. She does not want anyone to feel sorry for her, she wants positive support and for people to stop and smell the roses of life that abound all around us.
“I covered the 2016 release Where Butterflies Dance and in 2014 Tapestries of Time So now I am ready for the latest offering Before Today, Beyond Tomorrow.
“Before Today, Beyond Tomorrow is her story set to music. Words are not necessary with such talent at the keys. The eloquence and beauty of piano instrumental music reach new heights for the artist on this release. With everything going on in her personal life she has found the energy and inner spirit to push herself beyond any physical limitations and turn into something positive and wonderful.
“The title track is a gorgeous heartfelt melody flowing like a stream of rhythmic in-sync spirituality. In other words, Ann becomes one with the music and the end result is extraordinary. ‘Philadelphia 22’ is so emotional and full of the grace of the heavens. The power of her rolling piano passages finds its foundation in classical but the soul of the track is all Ann. The addition of the cello, English Horn, and violin give the tracks another layer that brings an additional emotive element and that classical sensibility.
“There is sadness in the music however her piano brings out the joy and positive vibes that are within her and it will heal not only the artist but everyone that hears it. That is the beauty of this music. The story behind it all is incredibly real and it will touch many lives.
Before Today, Beyond Tomorrow will leave an indelible mark upon your soul. After reading about her tribulations, the music took on a stronger significance. Just knowing what Ann has been through, her great attitude and the messages she delivers in the music, it would give anyone pause. I heard the birds chirping last night and looked at my wife and said ‘Hear them chirping? They sound so happy.’ That is the purity of nature and all the sounds, smells, and colors that are all around us. I am so grateful for that kind of awareness and the gift of this music, that heals and takes me to another level of reality.
“This kind of instrumental music envelops you in a cocoon of tranquility that cannot be retrieved during a normal busy day. This surely is music made for those seeking healing that goes beyond words.”
-Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck, New Age Music Reviews
“Decidedly unique piano beauty Ann Sweeten – BEFORE TODAY, BEYOND TOMORROW: I have been reviewing Ann’s enchanting piano work for many, MANY years now and can honestly say that her new release is the most emotionally engaging keyboard adventure I have listened to in 2019… she put this together after a third cancer diagnosis (Leukemia), yet still is able to convey a sincere hope for the future…
“In addition to Ann’s marvelous keyboards, you will hear Nancy Rumbel doing English horn; Eugene Friesen on Cello; Charlie Bisharat’s Violin, Premik Russell Tubbs playing Soprano sax and Trisha Craig on Flute… compositions like ‘Vanish‘ (which mourn our – mutual – loss of the Arctic ice & so many species) will bring a tear to your eye, I’ve no doubt… a totally engaging and emotional tune!
One of the quotes from Ann in the liner notes that struck me with absolute power is – ‘I submit that despite odds against me in a world we no longer understand, there are forces at work to keep me here, to keep giving my music to the world‘… as you listen to the opener, ‘Across The Midnight Sky‘, you will hear why I found that comment so striking… despite hardships and knee-bending blows in life, our friend Ann’s piano brings hope to those who need it.
“Of the ten sonic wonders Ann offers up for your enjoyment and enlightenment, it is ‘The Empty Swing‘ that gets my vote for personal favorite… it’s only 4:26, but will give you clear images of how (and why) Ann created the beautiful song! Most Highly Recommended.”
-Dick Metcalf, Contemporary Fusion Reviews
Positive, Warm, Relaxing, Empowering New Music from Pianist Ann Sweeten
“Ann Sweeten is an outstanding new age musician who has given us 14 albums over a two-decade-plus career, and each one has been a treasure. Her newest outing is Before Today, Beyond Tomorrow, once again co-produced by noteworthy new age legend Will Ackerman, and featuring musical guests that include new age luminaries such as Nancy Rumbel on English horn and Eugene Friesen on cello and Charlie Bisharat on violin.
“Sweeten is a pianist (a Steinway artist) and composer who knows exactly what the new age music audience wants, and she gives it to them. This is beautiful music that is relaxing and soothing, balm for your soul.
“I love her song title imagery: ‘Beyond the Clouds’ (one of two tunes where she accompanies herself on synth), ‘The Empty Swing’ (great back-and-forth with the English horn and violin) and ‘Like Smoke Through a Keyhole’ (the only track with a flute).
“This music is beyond heartfelt. The notes seem to come from somewhere deep down inside of Ann Sweeten, and fortunately for us, she lets them out into our world. Each note is like a sip of herbal tea or a vitamin supplement adding warm feelings, positive reinforcement and resolute strength to our lives. Thank you, Ann.”
–Magle International Music Forums
PIANIST ANN SWEETEN GIVES THE WORLD ONE MUSICAL GIFT AFTER ANOTHER
“Pianist Ann Sweeten has been putting out albums for the past 22 years (mostly ensemble recordings, but with the occasional solo piano pieces), and each one has been memorable. She has become a new age music stalwart, a beloved composer and performer who can be counted on to always deliver the goods. Her melodies are always terrific, even if they don’t always follow a strictly pop or even classical pattern. They simply work. They make you feel. She has a real love for nature and especially animals, and that feeling often comes through.
“Her latest album is titled BEFORE TODAY, BEYOND TOMORROW and is influenced by her fight with several types of cancer. But the music she makes is not a downer, but is all positive, just like her attitude toward life. She looks at every day as a gift to her and she turns those feelings into music that she passes along as one gift after another to us.
“Her piano playing is great and is augmented with special guest musicians Nancy Rumbel (English horn), Eugene Friesen (cello), Charlie Bisharat (violin), Premik Russell Tubbs (soprano saxophone), and Trisha Craig (flute). These are top level musicians. Their interplay with Sweeten’s piano is right on the money and quite moving, especially the piano-English horn duets and the piano-cello interaction.
“This is delicate, emotional, relaxed music from a remarkable lady and her friends. Seek it out online and take a listen. It’s a keeper.”
“…After fourteen solo albums featuring her harmonious blend of instrumental piano magic, Ann Sweeten is truly a piano heroine to take note of. A mix of meditative emotions, superb piano technique and smart composition, Before Today, Beyond Tomorrow features several esteemed artists backing up Ms. Sweeten’s piano visions, including Nancy Rumbel (English Horn), Eugene Friesen (Cello) and more. For those suffering or in pain due to life’s many tribulations, Ann Sweeten’s latest piano masterpiece, Before Today, Beyond Tomorrow is a worthy sonic elixir.”
-Music Web Express
“Possessed of one of the most recognizable “voices” in piano music today, Ann Sweeten always finds a way to never repeat herself. Her characteristic flowing melodies, accented here by guest artists, e.g. Nancy Rumbel and Eugene Friesen, manage the difficult task of merging fond remembrance and subtle sorrow, both imbibed with deep, rich romanticism. This album, though, is a product of unimaginable personal tragedy, as Sweeten recently received her third cancer diagnosis (this time for leukemia). Throw in the loss of two of her beloved dogs in the same recent time period (all this documented in her, as usual, personal liner notes) and one must stand in wonder at her strength of will as well as her talent.”
-Bill Binkelman – Retailing Insight Magazine
Flying Solo Silhouette (2017)
“Some artists just have that something extra kind of special sauce that puts them in a category all their own and Sweeten is at the head of that class. A masterful solo piano outing, this is bar-raising instrumental music that hits the target as squarely as possible. Killer stuff throughout for the real muso.”
SUPERB SOLO PIANO PERFORMANCES FROM LONGTIME CHAMPION ANN SWEETEN
New age pianist Ann Sweeten has turned out a spectacular list of quality recordings for the past 20 years. Few new agers even stick around 2 decades much less keep the level of quality that high. Her original compositions are always melodious and interesting and entertaining….an amazing artist who rightly resides at the pinnacle of both new age music but also modern piano performance. If you want the best, have a helping of this.”
MASTERFUL SOLO PIANO MUSIC
“Ann Sweeten is an excellent pianist as she has demonstrated time and again on album after album that have consistently risen to the upper echelons of the main new age airplay chart around the world. Now she returns with her first solo piano album of original compositions, Flying Solo Silhouette. This is as good as it gets in this genre. There have been a whole bunch of solo piano artists on the new age music scene over the past 20 years, but few approach the competency, talent, exquisite touch, melodic sensibilities and verve of Ann Sweeten.”
-Magle International Music Forums
“Flying Solo Silhouette is Sweeten’s best work so far without doubt, this is an album that has everything the legions of solo piano fans will adore. She has manifested an album that has emotion, colour, movement, a softness of touch and intensity when needed. You will know I listen to many in this genre, but this has to rate as being one of the best I have heard for quite some time. I am sure that the radiant professionalism and outstanding skills shown within this album will also be acknowledged by those sensible enough to purchase it, this is pure class.”
-One World Music Radio
“Ann Sweeten is one of the top Pianists to emerge in the past 20 years. In the past 20 years there have been many new age pianists who have burst forth and gone, but few have come along as talented as Ann Sweeten, who has continued to put out quality original piano material time and again, and those albums have consistently placed in the Top 5 on the International Zone Music Reporter Chart. If you buy lots of solo piano albums, after awhile you start to get highly selective because just how many solo piano albums does anyone need in their collection? But if I had to recommend one to add this year it would be this recording because Ann Sweeten is one of the best piano talents we have. She deserves to be listened to, and you certainly won’t regret it. Quality, like cream, rises to the top. Skim off some of this bliss.”
-World’s #1 Music Forum!
“Each of the pieces is reflective of the emotion so named in the title, which through the medium of her immense skill at the keyboard, are brought to life in an elegant and thoughtful manner. Sweeten has not been without her share of life changing challenges, surviving breast cancer twice and now battling Leukemia, which undoubtedly reflects in the tonal quality of the music. There is something additional that can only come of experience and survival, which in itself brings another dimension, a deeper understanding to living life to the full, which is reflected in the emotion of her music. Soothing and soft, the works simply keep on getting richer and better as she progresses through the beauty that can be found in the smallest of life aspects which are to be discovered in Dawn on Red Mountain, Veil of Tears, Afterglow andDecember Snow: each individual and yet related in an intangible moment in time. Her music is laced with hope, love and joy; it is exquisite and dainty. Created from what could almost be considered Divine Intervention, Flying Solo Silhouette is perfection. On Wings of Lightcompletes this delightful sequence of compositions which are to be, will be and should be, enjoyed time and time again. Perfection.”
-Blue Wolf Reviews, Australian New Age Lifestyle Publication
“The tracks are like a string of cabochon jewels on a bracelet. The music is rich and fulfilling. Sweeten’s romantic sensibilities are expressed through refined melodic and harmonic content.”
Where Butterflies Dance (2016)
“Ann Sweeten is one of those rare performers who plays with her heart on her sleeve; she produces emotive soundscapes that really hit home hard and on this her latest album, that bar has yet again been raised further. Where Butterflies Dance is ambitious and has been co-produced by the master of new age music, Will Ackerman, and as you can see, has a plethora of other musicians who have added their magic to this musical moment of genius. Where Butterflies Dance is Sweeten’s best work so far; she has pushed the boundaries, she has seized the moment and rightfully so, has created an album that is both beautiful and deeply meaningful. Ann Sweeten has gone for it, and her courage and commitment and her passion will win you over with ease. This is one album you don’t have to think about getting, just do it, it is outstanding.”
Steve Sheppard – One World Music – 5 Stars
“In addition to Ann’s impeccable talents as a pianist, composer, and arranger, the unseen, but deeply felt, spiritual dimension that she brings to her music takes her elegant compositions to another level altogether. This latest release by Ann Sweeten, like the butterfly itself, is a thing of delicate beauty in motion, symbolizing grace, transformation, and renewal. After 12 albums, Ann’s music continues to evolve into greater and greater levels of refinement and creative expression. Where Butterflies Dance is an inspired work of art from one of the genre’s premier pianists.”
Michael Diamond – Music and Media Focus – 5 Stars
“Ann’s piano playing is gorgeous throughout this album, that is the best way to explain it. There is a flow and natural rhythm like what mother earth so generously gives us all. A heartbeat of life that pulsates, ebbs and flows like the tides of the sea, the music will capture you as you fall into it without even knowing it….magical.”
Keith Hannaleck – New Age Music Reviews – 5 Stars
“Inspired by themes of nature, and specifically, the butterfly, Where Butterflies Dancedually captures the essence of human emotion and life’s experiences, conveyed by the butterfly’s universal symbolism of beauty, love, hope, death, rebirth and transformation. Ann’s piano playing is at once dynamic yet restrained, with a uniquely artful style that often reminds me of a constant gentle stream, cascading over stones and all its subtle nuances. Where Butterflies Dance is a thoroughly outstanding album and the compositions lingered in my mind long after the listening experience had concluded. Deeply passionate about the environment and its many afflictions, Ann so eloquently conveys a message of environmental awareness through her music, expressing her passion with originality, sentimentality and immaculate beauty.”
Candice Michelle- Journeyscapes – 5 Stars
“Ann Sweeten has done a wonderful job of putting together a recording that offers a lot of reflection, introspection, and musical picture painting. ..reminiscent of something written by the great impressionists…out of the ordinary…”
Donovan Johnson – Enlightened Piano
“Ann Sweeten has one of the most instantly recognizable piano “voices” in contemporary instrumental music, characterized by a fluid melodicism wedded to a discernible melancholic/tragic romanticism. Where Butterflies Dance, her latest effort, co-produced by Sweeten and Will Ackerman, features terrific contributions from folks such as violinist Charlie Bisharat, cellist Eugene Friesen, and flutist Trisha Craig. It is Sweeten, though who anchors it all with her sensitive, emotive piano performance, infusing each of the 10 tracks with her unique emotional resonance.”
Bill Binkelman – Retailing Insight
“The music on this album is touching to the core…beautiful!”
Donna Hughes – Spirit Seeker
“Sweeten’s music is always warm and lyrical reflecting her love of nature, staunch environmentalism and animal activism. Ann Sweeten’s efforts to change the world with her music are both commendable and compelling… elegant and graceful… achingly beautiful.”
Kathy Parsons “New and Exceptional” MainlyPiano.com – 5 Stars
“…the key element is how evocative Sweeten’s music is, no matter an individual song’s tempo, mood, or accompaniment.”
Zone Music Reporter
“Ann’s music has a way of giving the listener a sense of comfort and optimism. Where Butterflies Dance is quite emotional, but the ten tracks always sound soothing…it is music in which bones and hearts mend at their own pace.”
Zone Music Reporter
Tapestries of Time (2014)
“Ann’s beautiful piano work is simply stunning on this new CD eleven fresh pieces that will soothe your ears and your mind for the duration! The opening track, “Afterglow”, is worth the purchase price; I love this one. I’ve reviewed her work for many years now, and found this new CD to be her crowning achievement; if you’re not totally captivated by “Hypnotique”, you should go watch basketball or the latest episode of “Cops”. It was the title track, “Tapestries of Time”, that caught my vote for personal favorite on this one. the recording is flawless, and the emotions roll right through her fingers. For listeners who must have some keyboard in their lineup, this gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.99. Get more information at Ann’s website.”
Rotcod Zzaj, Rating: Most Highly Recommended
“Having reviewed Ann’s previous album, In the Wake, her musical evolution is evident in the deeply personal and heartfelt compositions of Tapestries of Time. The sensitivity she brings to each piece draws the listener into a musical world of emotionally inspiring melodies and rich visual imagery for the mind’s eye. While the focus of the album is on “time”, what I was most struck by was the sense of timelessness that is evoked by Ann’s elegant compositions, artful arrangements and flawless performance.”
Music and Media Focus, Rating: 5 Stars
“Ms. Sweeten has the fingers of an angel and the heart of a warrior. She has won her own personal fight with cancer and helps others to do the same, all the while trying to protect the animals that get thrown in the middle. Some people are heroes. They don’t wear capes but they do fly. Ann Sweeten is one of those. Music is her super power and she uses it with dead on laser accuracy. Beauty, grace and selflessness come out of every note. If you want an album that will take your breath away, you won’t want to miss Tapestries of Time.”
Muzikreviews.com, Rating: 5 Stars
“Having such a stunning success, Ann Sweeten does not stop in her creative work; she goes further and her music becomes more profound, emotional… there is so much poetry in the music of Ann Sweeten. All her compositions are exquisite and bright. Listening to Tapestries of Time you can easily plunge in the inner world of the artist, full of deep and sincere emotional experiences. Ann Sweeten is a virtuoso pianist and her arrangements are truly perfect. The music is filled with contemplation and love..”
“Very many acoustic threads have woven this bright musical tapestry which depicts the fullness of Ann’s life, calling forth surprisingly subtle, harmonious, and delicate music. It must be noted that Ann’s friends bring many bright colors to this album. All these musicians have worked together before, but Ann’s talent elicits a pure chemical reaction from their collaboration, which is capable of bringing forth an entire world of genuine emotion and luminous feelings.”
“There are certain musicians that I really look forward to receiving an album from and I am happy to say Ann Sweeten is one of them. After the outstanding “In the Wake” we now have an utterly brilliant release called Tapestries of Time, this takes Sweeten beyond her previous work and into the land of musical Narnia with an album that leaks quality through every pore. Tapestries of Time by Ann Sweeten will entrance you and will woo you with its delicate magnificence and with its splendor. It is an album of pure graceful intent and exquisite beauty and should you have the good sense to purchase this album, your musical heart will love you forever.”
Steve Sheppard – One World Music
“Ann Sweeten’s CD “Tapestries of Time” is such a gorgeous treat. Melodic, moody, touching. This is music for the soul. This is a lovely disc, one to play when you need to draw upon inner strength. Enjoy!
Lee Armstrong, Rating: 5 Stars on Amazon
“Pianist Ann Sweeten possesses one of the most easily recognizable musical motifs among all the pianists recording original compositions today. The elegant simplicity of Sweeten’s compositions and her astute control of nuance and tempo will beguile you, along with the spot-on additions from the various other artists.”
Bill Binkelman, Zone Music Reporter
“…Tapestries of Time begins with “Afterglow,” a gorgeous opening… Tranquility permeates this piece so thoroughly that it can instantly soothe and relax, letting the listener know from the first notes that this is no ordinary piano album. Sweeten has a delicate touch that perfectly expresses the grace and elegance of her music… beautiful collection.”
Kathy Parsons, MainlyPiano.com
“Tapestries of Time is composed of beautiful piano music… a wonderful creation to listen to. Her piano talent expands and brings forth yet another musical vision.
Judy Wolf, Spirit Seeker
In the Wake (2011)
“Warm, loving music that absolutely envelops the listener. You get so caught up in the music, that you are swallowed up in it. Gorgeous music.”
WMNR, Fine Arts Radio (New York, Connecticut)
“..beauty incarnate”, “a joy to hear”
Muzikreviews.com.com, Rating: 5 Stars
“In The Wake is a showcase for the skills that have elevated Ann Sweeten to such lofty musical heights. Her music is both contemplative and emotionally evocative, providing a world-class listening experience.”
“…elegant music… exquisite piano artistry…”
Music and Media Focus, Rating: 5 Stars
“In my opinion Ann is among the best performing pianists on the planet today.”
Zzaj Productions, Rating: Most Highly Recommended
“As usual, Sweeten’s compositions are striking and beautiful, complemented by Sweeten’s gorgeous performances. Some of her playing is simple and understated, and some of it is very complex and involved. But it is all effortlessly and expertly controlled, evidence of a true maestro at work.”
The RajMan Review
“A delicate jewel in a Renaissance background… outstanding technique; No wonder her previous “piano offerings” have been consoling and almost aurally healing thousands of hearts so far. Brilliant!”
Nuovi Talenti Musicali
“Sweeten’s graceful touch and fluid playing style are beautifully expressed… the sound quality of the music is flawless… sure to be another chart-topper for Ann Sweeten!”
“I have the antidote to a riotous life, or perhaps normal life just getting too much. It is the sweet sounding piano of Ann Sweeten. This composer/musician has the gift of making albums of melodic peace and calm that will wrap around you like that favourite duvet and give you a hug.”
The Borderland (UK)
“Ann Sweeten has one of the more distinctive and recognizable musical signatures among all the piano/keyboard players recording in New Age music today.”
The Zone Reporter
Just This Side of Spring (2009)
“From start to finish, Just this Side of Spring is an outstanding work of composition and execution…”
MuzikReviews.com, Rating: 5 Stars
“Classically trained pianist, Ann Sweeten pulls from her deepest emotions on Just this Side of Spring.beautiful and powerful album.”
Accent on Tampa Bay Magazine
“Falling in love with such a unique sound, a sound that Ann Sweeten has created, makes you feel like a light-hearted bird everytime.”
John Shelton Ivany – National News Bureau
“Ann Sweeten is one musician widely recognized for her classic style, setting a high standard in quality among many pianists. Her classic signature sound gives new meaning to the term music appreciation. Having authored a number of Piano Solo reviews in the New Age genre, I promptly identified an admirable level of richness and depth in tone I rarely hear in many piano solo albums. Stylish tonal qualities held in even the quietest patterns give complex sequences and a prolific feel of realism within every individual phrase.”
New Age Music World
“Superb Piano works – beautiful and calming. Ann Sweeten uses her very talented hands to paint an image of emergence into my favorite time of year, and does so without ‘tricks’ or ‘gimmicks’. MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.”
“A very soothing collection of music, ideal for relaxation and meditation, but it also has that emotional depth and edge that lifts it above mere easy listening.”
Musicwatch, the borderland.co.uk
“Pianist Ann Sweeten’s latest album, Just this Side of Spring, offers a refreshing change of pace from the usual solo piano genre. Rather than show off her chops with an obvious display of thunderous chords and lightning-quick melodic runs, the award-winning Steinway Artist instead chooses to focus on quiet, introspective compositions that are thoughtful and contemplative.”
Raj Manoharan, Freelance Writer
“A contemporary pianist/composer, Ann will win the hearts of many with this unique new-age, neo-classical collection. She has the astounding ability to paint a vivid picturewith her soft, lovely stylings. The album overall is unique and memorable. It is full of beautiful melodies, both pleasant and melancholy. Ann’s not your typical pianist, however. Her brilliant use of tension keeps you on your toes and her passion truly melts your heart.”
“Ann Sweeten is perhaps one of the most decorated pianists of the past decade. Serious classical undertones… Sweeten’s play is temperamental but disciplined, full of a fire that surprises. Ann Sweeten is more than your typical pianist, writing themes that challenge both herself and her listeners to hear more and be more.”
“Stylish and sophisticated, Ann Sweeten has always presented a fine mix of New Age music with her well rooted classical themes. This time around Sweeten has added a low calorie sweet factor and the results are simmering with splendor.”
SoloPianoPublications.com – Michael Debbage
Grey Sky and Bittersweet (2007)
“Sweeten’s playing is strong and confident, but also feels tender and vulnerable as she looks within for answers to life’s questions. In a few words, this is a gorgeous and emotionally powerful album.”
MainlyPiano.com – Kathy Parsons
“Ann Sweeten possesses a remarkable talent. A musician whose extensive classical training is immediately apparent, she is also someone who writes from a great emotional depth. As her producer it is a joy to hear someone who exploits the entire potential of the piano, finding both dynamics and beauty in all 88 keys. Her pieces have a broad stylistic range and yet create a cohesive program of music very distinctively hers. This is a brilliant recording from start to finish.”
Will Ackerman, Founder of Windham Hill Records, Grammy Winning Artist/Producer
“On her latest release, Grey Sky and Bittersweet, pianist Ann Sweeten eschews what had previously been one of her strong suits, i.e. deft use of electronic keyboards to complement her melodic piano compositions, opting instead for an acoustic approach. Sweeten carries the listener slowly and genteely into an autumnesque landscape of muted colors, fading light, and reflective moments. Her piano playing has never been better, …superb on both collaborative and solo pieces.”
NewAgeReporter.com – Bill Binkelman
“Ann Sweeten is a classical pianist/composer/arranger. Grey Sky and Bittersweet was produced by Grammy winner Will Ackerman. On it Sweeten will enamor listeners with her prowess on the piano and the wide range of melodies that are present.
“Water diamonds” runs the gambit in terms of the speed Sweeten portrays on the piano. She tickles the ivories both expeditiously and slowly, giving the song a whimsical feel at times, as well as a more rushed one. This change in musical acceleration might invoke thoughts of a rippling fountain.
On “Autumn’s Last Caress” the piano work continues its silky tone along with intermittent pauses in the intro. The intricate construction of this track will undoubtedly bring a smile to the face of any listener as they envision hearing this song while watching leaves descend from trees during this season full of life and renewal.
With the title track, Sweeten brings forth sensory piano work with a pronounced melody that some listeners might find a touch on the sad side.
Ann Sweeten’s Grey Sky and Bittersweet is an album that showcases her classical instrumental training and gift for composition. On each song, Sweeten exhibitis a smoldering fire and profundity that will certainly transcend to listeners.”
TheCelebrityCafe.com – Sari Kent
“From radiant solo pieces to delightful ensemble works, Ann Sweeten’s new album Grey Sky and Bittersweet has it all. Great music for us dreamers.”
NewAgeReporter.com – R. J. Lannan
A Place in the Sun (2005)
“‘Classically trained pianist Ann Sweeten has an ear for nuanced melody and a tremendous talent for bringing such magic to life,’ says New Age Retailer. ‘Exquisite piano playing… radiant bliss.’ Grand pianist and composer Sweeten has been hearing kudos like this throughout her career, which now encompasses six albums, countless awards, and lots of touring…”
Need – New England Entertainment Digest
“This is a beautiful recording that was inspired by a series of unfortunate events in Ann Sweeten’s life. She has captured her memories of those events, the beauty of nature, cherished pets, and her recuperation from breast cancer in such songs as “A Place In The Sun,” “Castles In The Air,” “Echoes,” and “Ashes” among others…”
Sounds of Timeless Jazz
“I remember reviewing Sapphire Days, and hoping that the next release by pianist Ann Sweeten would come soon. I am pleasantly surprised with her latest offering A Place in the Sun. Not only is it delightful fervent fare…”
New Age Reporter.com
“This month marks a little variation from the usual band review that is done for Intrigue. I had the pleasure recently to speak with Ann Sweeten, a critically acclaimed pianist, composer, producer and recording artist from Massachusetts …”
Intrigue Magazine/Sunset Media
“I first listened to this album without reading anything about the composer/performer. I always do this, to see what resonates within my inner self. I want no filters between what my ears hear, what my mind perceives, and what my soul appreciates. The music was soothing, relaxing, calming. I could imagine receiving a lovely massage to the refrains. I could also imagine using the music as a wonderful backdrop to a period of meditation. I could just sense the reverence in the notes…”
“This is pianist and keyboard player Ann Sweeten’s sixth release and her winning streak remains intact as a place in the sun is yet another quality offering from this artist. What makes the recording especially noteworthy…”
Wind and Wire, KFAI-FM
“Ann Sweeten is an extremely talented woman in the music industry. Not just a musician, but a composer, arranger and producer, Ann is a pianist whose abilities are unrivalled. Technical composition, only to be expected from a background in classical, is blended with originality and passion, delivering pianist perfection.”
Sapphire Days (2002)
“Ann Sweeten is the proud author of a beautiful album titled Sapphire Days. The talented pianist offers up a ‘bakers dozen’ of instrumental, musical poetry from her heart. Check out gems for the heart and mind from environmentally related cuts as, Walking With the Wind, the haunting Thin Ice, the all encompassing Canopy of Stars… Outstanding album!”
“Ann Sweeten’s Sapphire Days is quite simply one of the most graceful and quietly soothing albums I’ve heard.”
Solo Piano Publications
“Very much on the beam new age piano work, this set is well-textured and engrossing throughout making Sweeten a sure bet to be one of those left-field sensations everyone thinks came out of nowhere. A winning adult music bet.”
Midwest Record Recap
“Elegant, mellow grand piano music, accompanied by a synthesizer, bearing calm, joy, and a touch of sadness, flows from this CD and makes the heart grow calm. Classically trained and internationally celebrated musician, Sweeten doesn’t intrude on her musical creations, except to be the channel through which they flow as they celebrate Earth, the sun that blesses it, and all her creatures. The music bears hints of the musical masters’ phrasing in the music. I hear notes of Barber, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Brahms; seagulls over the water; a sparrow in the grass; her dog, Shazu, beside her, the sun on her shoulders. This CD is a blessing of sound.”
“If you haven’t heard Ann Sweeten’s music before, you are in for a treat because of her beautiful melodies and command of the grand piano.”
“Sweeten’s music is as intense and passionate as it is reflective and relaxing. Solid technique and a penchant for emotion.”
Sound of Timeless Jazz
“If you’re inclined to just kick back and take in some beautiful and relaxing keyboard compositions, Ms. Sweeten’s CD is one of the best piano albums we’ve heard. You can very clearly hear that she’s been classically trained, but her playing style is relaxed enough to convey freedom from convention… You can’t call this music ‘Jazz’, nor can you pigeonhole it as ‘New Age’… because it’s purely/simply ‘Ann’. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for any/all listeners who need something that affirms how much beautiful music, and the mem’ries it can bring, can mean to keeping us all civilized.”
“Sapphire Days, Ann Sweeten’s newest title, continues her tradition of releasing deeply peaceful piano-based instrumentals. As a composer, arranger, and producer as well as an inimitable pianist, Sweeten crafts contemporary melodies that soothe frayed nerves as they heal the spirit. In addition to her sublime work on the piano, Sweeten adds a delicious layer of synthesizers to several tracks. An exceptional choice for gentle movement, yoga, meditation, massage…Sapphire Days is a wonderful gift for the heart.”
Sedona – Journal of Emergence!
“Over the course of four previous releases, Ann Sweeten has crafted a signature sound. From the first time I heard her music, I realized she had a certain way of composing evocative piano music and using her synthesizers to color the music with enough texture to add just the right amount of drama and feeling. It’s a rare talent. Sweeten uses her consummate skill in balancing the acoustic and the electronic. For comparison’s sake I’d draw a similarity to Danny Wright of a long time ago when he displayed the same ability to blend piano and keyboards in an equally impressive way. However, at this point in time, it is Sweeten who sits at the top of the hill when it comes to this subgenre of gentle new age music.”
Wind and Wire
“Above all else, Ann Sweeten is a passionate human being. She just happens to have an exquisite talent to speak her world experiences through her piano compositions.”
“This is a gorgeous listen… lovely instrumental piano.”
Collected Sounds – A Guide to Women in Music
“Very melodic album… the style is almost ‘old school’ classical… .exceptional… “
“This is beautiful contemporary instrumental piano. Her last non-seasonal recording went to Number 3 on the national New Age Voice airplay chart meaning it was one of the most-played albums of modern instrumental music in North America. Ann is quickly becoming the equal of popular pianists such as George Winston, Suzanne Ciani, David Lanz… .With songs inspired by animals and different aspects of nature, Sapphire Days has melodies that quickly sound familiar as they reach out and affect the listener in a primal and earthy manner.”
The Crystal Tower Magazine
“A brilliant pianist, Ann’s music will make you rich in seeing things that you didn’t see before. It makes you look inside yourself and reach for your inner child.”
“Her heartfelt piano expertise pays tribute to working in harmony with nature. For a relaxing, yet fulfilling experience, listen to this CD.”
Accent on Tampa Bay: Music Tracks
“Ann Sweeten is ripe with emotion throughout this recording and every note is played to perfection, effortlessly enlightening the listener. Each song is a jewel unto itself and I am so honored to have shared this CD with you.”
“From the cover artwork to the music inside, this is one of the most relaxing, soothing, and enjoyable piano albums I have ever laid ears on. The music is beautiful in every way with its soft wispy bellows of sound and stirs of emotions. Sapphire Days has a classical piano touch that is smooth, soft and enlightening. An excellent album..”
Space Junkies Magazine
“Sapphire Days is an opportunity to slow down and to enjoy the beauty in life. It is a call to just be. Immediately upon hearing the delicate notes I could feel a Higher Power within each song. It is hypnotically intoxicating. Sweeten is a gifted and anointed spirit to be sure. I highly recommend the contemporary songs of Sapphire Days to those who love the piano, those who need peace of mind, and to those who are moved by musical genius.”
“Sapphire Days is pure musical poetry, falling softly on the ear and gently on the soul. Classically trained pianist Ann Sweeten has created an album whose melodies blend magical nuances of passion and serenity to bring the majesty of nature to life. My experience was one of soul renewal as I melted into the magnificent beauty of these heartfelt solo piano compositions. This CD is truly a treasure. I could listen forever.”
The Light Connection
“Sweeten brings an air of sensitivity to the classical piano, and she really captures the sense of Sapphire Days in this CD. Perfect for romantic evenings or for bringing cheer to your day.”
“Classically trained contemporary instrumental pianist, composer, arranger and producer, Ann has a lot of talent. This is outdoors music played with eloquence and gentle sophistication very close to the heart.”
“Perfect for the romantic evening or even if you’re just alone wishing for one; some very beautiful chording and orchestration… a lot of it reminds one of the old classic movie days, ‘here’s looking at you, kid,’ that sort of thing.”
“Ann is quickly becoming one of the most popular new pianists around, much in the same vein as George Winston and Michael Jones.”
“Sapphire Days is both inspiring and life-giving.”
Past and Present
“Ann Sweeten aims for your heart and hits the target! Magic abounds… “
Christmas Presence (2001)
“Classically trained pianist Ann Sweeten has an ear for nuanced melody and a tremendous talent for bringing such magic to life. Sweeten has a gentle, subtle touch on the piano, and she also is a master of the synthesizer and sampled sounds. Exquisite piano playing.. Reflections is pure poetry on the piano. Customers looking for a sublime, piano-based contemporary-instrumental album can be pointed toward the radiant bliss of Reflections”
New Age Retailer
“Passage is a lovely album…and the overall effect is like sinking into a featherbed of music.”
Wellness Magazine – Music for Massage
“Ann’s work is emotional. Intense passion…a fulfilling listening experience. Gentle and moving.”
“One soothing and beautiful song after another. Ann has a solid command of technique and rich melodic sensibility. She aims for your heart, and hits the mark every time.”
Wind and Wire
“After playing Passage a number of times, I am still struck by the sheer magnificence of Sweeten’s compositions. Sweeten maintains her musical integrity with touching compositions that bring a deep sense of peace to those who really listen – exceptionally lovely music.”
New Age Retailer
“Tender, heartfelt solo piano compositions reminiscent of George Winston…Through her delicate fingering, the listener finds a gentle respite from the stresses of a busy day in this musical sanctuary that provides the blessed gifts of relaxation and peace. So lower the lighting and drift slowly and gracefully through these melancholy remembrances of the “Passage” from fear to love. Recommended for lovers of solo piano music”
Omega New Age Directory
“A soothing musical gem of original compositions, Prism warms the senses…Instrumental majesty…sparkles with tranquility.”
“A mesmerizing collection of New Age compositions.”
North Shore Magazine
“Sweeten captures the music that is alive in the world and shows the gentler, purer side that we don’t always hear, nor always look for. The stories she plays tell volumes. This music is perfect to listen to when you want to wind down after a hard day, or as background music for meditating. The plenitude of emotion she displays will enlighten you.”
“If you’ve yet to discover the sounds of Ann Sweeten, hop on her bandwagon of fans now because this is one artist poised for national fame.”
“Pianist Ann Sweeten composes gentle mood music. The titles as well as the music itself are reflective and relaxing. If the piano, by its very motion and harmony represents the human spirit, then the synths must represent Nature. Clouds form and move on, water trickles downstream, the wind blows gently across the meadow, and wildflowers sway with the breeze.”
L.A. Jazz Scene
“Prism delivers…carries you into the clouds.”
“A proficient pianist, she exposes pieces of her heart and soul for the world to share in…make sure you’ve got a dry hanky close by.”
Live at the St. George (2014)
“If I had to choose one word to describe Ann’s performance and the evening’s event it would be “elegant”. The grandeur of the venue was a perfect setting for the elegance of Ann Sweeten seated at a Steinway Concert Grand piano dressed in a stunning jeweled backless evening gown. In addition to the visual splendor, the word elegant equally applies to her compositions, playing style, and on-stage persona, which was both highly professional and emanating creative expression with style and grace. Watching her in performance only deepened the appreciation for her musical artistry that I had developed in listening to her CD’s. An Evening with Ann Sweeten is a rare opportunity to see and hear one of today’s finest pianists, present her original compositions in a magnificent setting; a flawless concert of exquisite music performed by a consummate musician.”
Michael Diamond – Music and Media Focus
“Intensity and rapture were foremost in my mind as I watched Ann Sweeten on stage at the St. George on Staten Island… the touch of a master… Each song was performed with the grace and style that has always been her trademark. All in all it was a concert to remember and a joy to the eyes and the ears.”
Dave Butler – Inner Visions Syndicated Radio Show