$13.00 – $16.00
Available as a physical CD or digital download. The digital download comes complete with the album’s liner notes.
Sweeten has a special gift for translating emotion into musical form. While her music is sometimes categorized as New Age, it transcends that designation for its intensity of emotion. Further to that, it possesses a formal elegance and eloquence that aligns it arguably more to chamber classical.. Sweeten excels at fashioning material that speaks with immediacy to listeners’ inner lives, no matter how different their experiences might be. The opening words of Keats’s Endymion (1818), “A thing of beauty is a joy forever,” come to mind as I listen to Sweeten’s latest fifty-six-minute offering. ..it’s easy to imagine listeners swooning to Love Walks Through Rain and its predecessors decades from now when they present music of such emotional authenticity.
1. Valley Greene
4. The Winter’s Circle
5. Love Walks Through Rain
6. Red – Requiem for an Old Friend
7. The Hills of Riversong
8. The Shadow of You
9. Through Jasmine’s Eyes
10. Out of the Fog
11. Valley Greene Orchestral Reprise
“I have always said that our dogs were the bookmarks in the chapters of our lives, much as my music carries the joy and pain contained in those chapters. Love Walks Through Rain is one such bookmark.
As the Summer draws to an end and the long shadows of Autumn grace the hills, I find it hard to believe so much has changed since last year. In 2021, we lost our Jazzy and 10 months later, our Remy. Jazzy was nearing 14 and her body just gave out on her, though her wonderful and willful spirit was there till the very end. Remy was only 8 and September 28th of last year would be the beginning of Remy’s last 5 months. No one saw it coming, we fought the good fight, until it became apparent, we had to let him go. But during those months, hope took us by the hand and that hope for Remy, that Glimmer, became my muse.
Album Notes (continued)
After that came Love Walks through Rain, Seirios (Dog Star) and Out of the Fog. Seirios is part of The Winter Circle constellation and Orion is also in the constellation: Seirios is believed to be his dog. This star, the brightest star in the Earth’s night sky, is a glowing tribute to one of God’s most wonderful creatures and it seemed fitting, it be a part of this album.
After Remy’s treatment, we had a routine and every night I’d sit on the floor with him, cuddle and talk, stroke his head and hold his paw – it’s a very special memory. But one night in early February, it struck me that he was changing before my eyes: The Shadow of You, was the last piece I would write before he died.”
An angel’s kiss blew across the sea,
A gift from Gloucester, our Remy to be.
He touched our hearts with just a smile,
And life was sweeter, but, for a while.
You journeyed miles through storm-clad skies,
At last touched down and graced our lives.
Three glory years your spirit shone!
And love and laughter – those seeds were sown.
In our hearts joy did abound,
Your gentle voice the dearest sound.
Sweet slumber under sapphire skies,
Cool grasses born to tantalize
Waving in the Summer’s light,
Days of caressing, pastoral delight.
One fateful autumn night, a crowning blow,
To learn that which we could never know.
Through your treatment you soldiered on,
Brave Remy, loved by all here and yon.
Hope kept us afloat as we prayed for time,
And Fall became a Winter’s clime.
A Shadow of you began to appear
And with its arrival, countless tears.
We had done all that could be done;
The race to save you had long been run.
Evening talks, hand and paw enlaced,
I stroke your head and your sweet face.
We didn’t see the hourglass’s sand,
You drift to sleep, we understand.
Only to please, my belov’d Boy Blue,
Only to love in colorful hues.
But God had other plans for you,
As weeks and days dwindled down to few.
Your sweet and gentle soul, God speed,
Look down upon us now, and heed:
Inside our hearts you will reside,
Forever on, as turn the tides.
Star night, star bright, my Remy sleeps tonight.
THROUGH JASMINE’S EYES
With Lilacs’ scent amidst the air,
Breezes caress your face with care.
The sky bursts forth a sapphire blue,
While Jasmine awaits a Godly hue.
One last dish of Haagen-Dazs.
One last ride and one last walk
Now back at home,
We sit and talk.
I hold your paws and kiss your face,
My little husky born of grace.
We cuddle close, hold strong and fast
To fleeting moments while they last.
Coups, quirks, tricks, and antics too,
So full of Mirth and joyful, YOU!
You gave your sweetness to all you met
A selflessness hard to forget.
Yet days of youth are long since past
And the time has come, the die is cast.
A stronger will I’ve never known
A pride so fierce, solid as stone
Through everything you soldiered on,
Your inspiration never gone.
Sweet fleur-de-lis, my Jazzy fair,
Through your eyes, no worldly cares…
Delight and wonder everywhere,
Embracing all God’s earthly wares.
Our special bond, a treasure trove,
Filled with gifts you gently wove.
You gave me love, laughter and smiles
For Thirteen years – the sweetest miles.
A gentle soul so genuine and true
A noble spirit with eyes of blue.
Fly free at last my little dove,
Go with God to Peace above.
And tho’ for now, we are apart,
Forever I will hold you in my heart.
And then one day, my Jazzy dear,
We’ll meet again and Skies will clear;
My tears that flow like falling rain
Will ebb, and we will sing again.
God Speed my Little Husky, I love you so.
“Not long ago, we had a majestic Red Maple in our yard and we had tended it for close to 40 years as it graced us with shade in summer, flaming leaves in Autumn, shelter in Spring and strength in Winter when its branches seemed to reach for the falling snow. All our dogs have always loved to lie beneath.
As with all life, there comes an end and sadly the tree became diseased and was taken down. This beauty was over 200 years old, 45’ in height and 12’ in circumference. It broke my heart to see them cut it down and dig out the root ball which weighed over 5,000 pounds. This tree witnessed so many lives over two centuries, the thought is staggering. “Red” – Requiem for an Old Friend was written in its honor.
In closing, I decided to name the album, Love Walks Through Rain, because it well describes this chapter of my life. There has always been plenty of love, tho’ fret with many storms such as battling Cancer for over 20 years. But Love keeps you going and I have been blessed in that: my husband has always been right by my side. Love is the steady gait as we seek to navigate life’s ups and downs. And my love for my dogs and their love for me, will always warm my heart and cocoon my soul.”
Performances In Order of Appearance
Steinway Baby Grand, Model B
Charlie Bisharat – Violin
Glimmer, The Winter’s Circle
The Hills of Riversong,
Valley Greene Orchestral Reprise
Tom Eaton – Bass
Glimmer, Red – Requiem for an Old Friend,
Out of the Fog
Premik Russell-Tubbs – EWI, Soprano Saxophone
Seirios, Love Walks Through Rain,
Out of the Fog
Eugene Friesen – Cello
Seirios, Red – Requiem for an Old Friend,
Through Jasmine’s Eyes,
Valley Greene Orchestral Reprise
Nancy Rumbel – English Horn
The Winter’s Circle, Red – Requiem for an Old Friend,
Through Jasmine’s Eyes, Valley Greene Orchestral Reprise
Will Ackerman – Guitar
Out of the Fog
Love Walks Through Rain is a treasure for connoisseurs of instrumental music, highly recommended.. The music is deeply emotional, inspirational, and spiritual, drawing inspiration from the love that sustains through tough times.
Ann Sweeten’s album “Love Walks Through Rain” is a poetic and magistral project, showcasing her unmistakable signature in the realm of classical music. From the enchanting melodies of “Valley Greene” to the otherworldly orchestral reprise, this instrumental opus embodies a decidedly unique style, effortlessly embracing classical, jazz, film scoring, new age, and popular music elements.
With a career spanning over two decades, Sweeten has established herself as one of the most prominent figures in contemporary instrumental music. “Love Walks Through Rain” builds upon Sweeten’s already impressive body of work, showcasing her growth as an artist while maintaining her distinctive style. Upon listening, one hears Ann’s lifelong classical training front and center, her fingers effortlessly dancing across the keys, turning emotion into musical light. Listeners will be swept away by this album’s emotional depth and its ability to touch the very core of the human spirit.
When I am penning this review, I am still a captive of the magical spell of her new album ‘Love Walks Through Rain’. This enamoring composition is deeply moving instrumental piano music, a masterly accomplishment. Ann Sweeten’s versatile musical abilities and her masterly expertise in playing the piano have made this spectacular work possible like a miracle.
Listening to Love Walks Through Rain is as easy as taking in a breeze, the instrumental piano magic just flows, eventually bringing a full spectrum of the quiet emotions. Every track is unique, and each note brings a history. What I hear is music that reaches beyond New Age, and leans toward a classical piano crossover and neo-classical, a sound that, somehow transcends spiritual levels and transports the listener to a higher plane. Ann helps us feel all emotions with this album.
Ann Sweeten’s gloriously composed and performed album Love Walks Through Rain is a project that will make you wish we were back in the 90s, when the multi-faceted Steinway artist first started hitting the Top 5 on the NAR and ZMR radio charts – and creative packaging, art direction and liner notes were as much a part of the artists’ expression as the songs on the album.
Stated simply, Love Walks Through Rain is one of the most heartrending, emotionally hard hitting piano driven albums in years, showing us that, even amidst the shadows of melancholy and heartbreak that seem to be a necessary part of the journey, life is still very much worth living.
Brilliant Heartwarming Piano Album
Love Walks Through Rain is an exceptional work of art. Ann is one of the best at story telling through her musical composition. If you simply enjoy connecting to nature or you have recently experienced deep grief from loss you will be soothed by the compassionate perseverance that is transmitted through these sounds. With the greatest joy in life, we often experience the greatest loss. But, most of us would agree that we would do it all over again, if we could, because it is love that makes life worth living. This message is conveyed strong and clear throughout the album, including in the beautiful poems, of the liner notes. Ann’s many fans will be delighted with this new work, evidence that her energy is strong despite her heroic battle against cancer and leukemia.
“Artists deal with challenges of all kinds, but pianist Ann Sweeten’s have been extraordinary in that regard. As someone who’s battled cancer for over two decades and leukemia for six, she is both a warrior and survivor. The latter diagnosis arrived in 2017 during the writing of what would become her fourteenth album, 2019’s Before Today, Beyond Tomorrow. The recording that followed it in 2021, Change Is in the Wind, was created in the wake of her father’s passing. Her husband and dogs have helped her endure such difficulties, despite the fact that two of those beloved creatures, Remy and Jazzy, also passed away during the past two years.
In many ways, Love Walks Through Rain plays like a natural extension of Change Is in the Wind. Like it, the new album was engineered, mixed, and mastered by Tom Eaton, with production credited to him, Sweeten, and Will Ackerman. Many of the musicians on the earlier release re-appear, with Sweeten’s magnificent sounding Steinway Baby Grand, Model B augmented by the violin, cello, and English horn of Charlie Bisharat, Eugene Friesen, and Nancy Rumbel, respectively; Premik Russell-Tubbs (EWI, soprano saxophone), Eaton (bass), and Ackerman (guitar) also contribute.
Sweeten has a special gift for translating emotion into musical form. With yearning so affectingly intimated by its upward melodic trajectory, the opening “Valley Greene,” for example, seems to overflow with gratitude, the solo piano melodies here suggesting humble appreciation for the joys she’s experienced, the loves she’s enjoyed, and the pleasures life has brought (at album’s end, a chamber treatment of the piece appears, this one augmenting the keyboard with violin, cello, and English horn). When the vocal-like cry of Bisharat’s violin joins her piano on “Glimmer” and “The Hills of Riversong,” the ache of Sweeten’s material takes on an even greater poignancy. Reflecting the deep connection she shared with her dogs, the compositions expressly written in their memory, “The Shadow of You” and “Through Jasmine’s Eyes,” are informed by the love they gave.
In “Seirios,” Sweeten’s intricate keyboard embroidery is enhanced by the dialogue conducted between Friesen’s cello and Russell-Tubbs’s flute-like EWI. It’s his resonant soprano saxophone, however, that partners with her for the dream-like evocation “Love Walks Through Rain,” while Rumbel’s English horn helps bid fond farewell in “Red—Requiem for an Old Friend” to a majestic tree on Sweeten’s property that had to be removed. Near album’s end, Ackerman’s nylon string guitar blends beautifully with Russell-Tubbs’s soprano sax and Sweeten’s piano on “Out of the Fog.”
While her music is sometimes categorized as New Age, it transcends that designation for its intensity of emotion. Further to that, it possesses a formal elegance and eloquence that aligns it arguably more to chamber classical, even if her melodic compositions are song-like in length and structure. They’re often introspective, but they’re never hermetic; on the contrary, Sweeten excels at fashioning material that speaks with immediacy to listeners’ inner lives, no matter how different their experiences might be. The opening words of Keats’s Endymion (1818), “A thing of beauty is a joy forever,” come to mind as I listen to Sweeten’s latest fifty-six-minute offering. The future can only be speculated upon, yet it’s easy to imagine listeners swooning to Love Walks Through Rain and its predecessors decades from now when they present music of such emotional authenticity.”
“I’ve had the joy and honor to have worked with Ann Sweeten for 16 years now. In that entire time I’ve never known her to settle for anything less than brilliance in her composition and performance…one of the most talented pianists and composers on the scene today. One thing I admire greatly in musicians are those who possess a singular musical “voice”..they sound like themselves and no one else. Ann Sweeten is certainly one of those. Love Walks Through Rain, continues to beguile with brilliantly played melody. The accompaniment of some of the most remarkable players in the world only adds to the breadth of what Love Walks Through Rain gives to her fans. Ann’s best work to date.”