It is very rare that so much material is so brilliant. Michael manages to keep heart, mind and fingers working in tandem. ”

Will Ackerman, Grammy®-winning guitarist, producer, founder of Windham Hill Records

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Artist: Michael Borowski

Title: Peace Valley

Genre: Instrumental Contemporary-New Age

Release Date: November 6, 2020

Label: Independent

Website: https://michaelborowski.hearnow.com

Source Link: http://www.newagemusicreviews.net/2020/11/michaelborowskipeacevalley.html

 I have realized over the years that new age music is a lot more than music. It is a belief, a practice, a learning experience, philosophy, spirituality, nature, and our inherent connection to it. If I hear any or all of that in music, I can consider it to be new age or a sub-genre of it.

Along that train of thought, Michael Borowski has dedicated a lot of his time to fighting Alzheimer’s Disease which took his mother’s life. He has a page on his website dedicated to that cause and where anyone can contribute to supporting it. His nature and good heart drive his purpose.

 

Michael is a trained and educated musician with a deep appreciation of classical composers. From that foundation comes a wellspring of thought, energy, and purpose on his solo piano album Peace Valley.

 

There are twelve tracks on the recording with Michael and his piano. This is a solitary form of art expressed through one man and his chosen instrument. I think that raises the bar to create an entire album with just one instrument and capture the attention and imagination of an audience, existing and potential. The level of difficulty must be high. From my point of view, I am concerned that it will become more difficult to find something dissimilar and inspirational with this kind of music but somehow it just keeps happening in a very positive way and I always have a fresh perspective. That says a lot considering how much of this music I hear every year.

 

Michael is a gifted musician with a vision within his mind and heart that he delivers to you the listener. I previously mentioned nature as one of the profound forces in our lives. “First Snow” is one of my favorite tracks and I added it to my New Age Music Reviews Spotify Playlist. The track is beautiful and it captures how a snowfall can start slow then get more intense. This is interpreted beautifully through Michaels’ vision and his fingers to the ivory keys.

 

“Arches” was a good example of how Michael uses the classical leanings as a springboard into his contemporary new-age style and approach. The solitude of what he is doing becomes nonexistent. He has a lot going on through those keys. He sounds like two people playing, one hand is creating the rhythm and the other adding the movement and changes in the piece. I thought it was brilliant. You find a lot of that kind of musical virtuosity going on and that is exactly why he does not require an accompaniment or enhancements.

 

You can find your own Peace Valley wherever you may be with this music. Michael’s valley is a very personal gift to us all if we chose to listen. You could be living in a valley, which I do, surrounded by the majesty of the mountains, or create one in your mind's eye while listening. This is an aural easy chair that soothes the soul. I greatly appreciated and needed to hear this music.

 

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder

November 21, 2020

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Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

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Peace Valley by Michael Borowski
Album Review by Dyan Garris for Zone Music Reporter (ZMR),

New Age CD, and “Spirit Seeker Magazine”

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“’Peace Valley’ is straightforward, melodic, heartfelt, solo-piano that will return you to a sense of peace in short order.” - Dyan Garris

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Hailing from Pennsylvania, Michael Borowski is the son of revered

piano teacher, the late Cindy Borowski-Burns. Michael’s piano journey began at an early age with a particular interest and emphasis on classical composition. After being

inspired by seeing George Winston in concert when he was 10 years old, Michael began composing his own music and went on to study music composition at Temple University.

His new album, “Peace Valley” is 12 tracks of straightforward solo piano, co-produced by Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton, and recorded at Imaginary Roads Studios in Vermont.

The album opens with the gentle, “Firefly,” which perfectly captures the magic of these special, light-filled creatures. Following is “Finding Joy,” and here we have another perfectly paced and peaceful tune. This is not over-exuberant, but rather, just joyful enough to open the heart.

Do you remember that feeling you have when that very first snowfall of the season occurs? Calm, peaceful, wonder-filled, perhaps. . . “First Snow” is delightful and evokes that enchanting feeling. There’s a certain gift of talent and artistry it takes to be able to do this; to illicit and bring forth that perfect soundscape where we are just THERE. Here, and throughout the album, this marvelous artistry shines through like its own snowflake, lightly shimmering in the sun.

“My Father, My Friend” is poignant, gentle, and heartfelt. A melodic piece, this is very emotionally evocative. There’s a gentle gratitude that shines through here.

“Arches” is a favorite. For some reason, this reminded me of a road trip. There’s an uplifting sense of freedom here. As well, this song perfectly showcases Michael’s absolutely fantastic keyboard skills, along with his gift of composition. This is a melodic, fun, upbeat song, perfect for the playlist.

“Dear Son,” starts off with a lower register emphasis. If there were lyrics, which there aren’t any here, one can almost hear them in their head anyway. I think this is loving and brilliantly done.

I believe the tender, gentle, and melodic “Cynthia Ann” is a loving tribute to Michael’s late mother, Cindy, who suffered from Alzheimer’s for 12 years before succumbing. Michael is, by the way, a strong advocate for finding cure for this horrible disease and frequently plays concerts to help raise funds to this aim.

The title track is peaceful and interesting, with plenty of space to find your own peace. Michael creates a steady rhythm with the left hand, lower register in the delightful, “K.” This has got an engaging melody, is upbeat, and perfectly composed and executed.

Are you familiar with that sort of heavy feeling that might surround you when pulling yourself up and out of bed for an early morning start? Focused in the lower register, “7am Start” is that.

“The Bricklayer’s Beautiful Daughter” was written by Will Ackerman and performed beautifully by Michael. Just lovely.

The album closes out with my ultimate favorite on this recording, “Morning Cycle.” I just love this and it’s definitely another for the playlist. It’s just over 4 minutes of a great melody and a great sense of peace in the valley. Lovely, all.

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Peace Valley

Michael Borowski

2020 / Michael Borowski

51 minutes

Review by Kathy Parsons of MainlyPiano.com

As its title suggests, Michael Borowski’s Peace Valley is twelve tracks of solo piano tranquility. Eleven of those tracks are original compositions, and the twelfth is an arrangement of Will Ackerman’s “The Bricklayer’s Beautiful Daughter.” The album was recorded at Imaginary Road Studios and was produced by Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton. Ackerman is quoted as saying: “I’ve known and produced a lot of piano players in my life .... as a producer I live for finding someone who doesn’t sound like anyone else. This is true of Michael. He’s a damned good player, but even more importantly, he puts his heart in everything he does. … one of the best…” No small praise from someone who has worked extensively with the likes of George Winston, Philip Aaberg and Liz Story, to name a few.

Michael Borowski was born in a suburb of Philadelphia, PA and is the son of a prominent piano teacher in that area. He started playing the piano at the age of four, and was inspired to start composing after seeing George Winston in concert when Michael was about 10. He studied music composition at Temple University and later toured nationally as a keyboard player in a number of bands.

Peace Valley begins with “Firefly,” a light, sparkling piece that dances gently and freely around the piano keyboard - a beautiful opener! The recurring main theme of “Finding Joy” has an almost hymn-like quality and then becomes somewhat more thoughtful and ambient. This isn’t a giddy kind of a joy, but a joy that lasts and sustains itself - an exceptional piece! “First Snow” begins with a flurry of notes that suggest the wind blowing snowflakes around before they settle on the ground. There is a hushed quality in the music that suggests the profound quiet that comes with a snowfall. The piece builds to more of a major snowstorm with lots of movement and excitement and then quiets to the end - gorgeous! “My Father, My Friend” is a warm and heartfelt tribute to a very special relationship and is another of my favorite tracks on the album. “Arches” picks up the tempo for a swirling and colorful “ode to joy.” “Dear Son,” has a strong lyrical quality that suggests that there might be words that go with the song. The title track is about as peaceful a piano piece as it can be. Very open, gentle and relaxed, it paints a beautiful picture in soft pastel colors and makes you want to be there. “7am Start” is another favorite. It begins in the bass half of the piano in a spare, ambient style, building gradually as the piece evolves, staying very ambient as it suggests the quiet stillness and solitude of an early morning. “The Bricklayer’s Beautiful Daughter” first appeared as a guitar solo on Will Ackerman’s 1981 album, Passage: Pieces for Guitar and also works beautifully as a piano solo. “Morning Cycle” could refer to a number of things from a bike ride to a routine of some kind, but the peaceful energy that propels it is serene and graceful, bringing the album to a contented close.

Peace Valley is a beautiful antidote to the stress and worry of 2020 and is available from www.MichaelBorowskiMusic.com, Amazon, Apple Music/iTunes and streaming sites like Spotify.

December 9, 2020

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I’ve known and produced a lot of piano players in my life .... as a producer I live for finding someone who doesn’t sound like anyone else. This is true of Michael. He’s a damned good player, but even more importantly, he puts his heart in everything he does.....one of the best...”

Will Ackerman, Grammy®-winning guitarist, producer, founder of Windham Hill Records