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

Michael Borowski

Peace Valley

Peace is where you find it. And there seems to be a world full of people joining the search. We can take some comfort in our music. I recommend these twelve scintillating stories carefully crafted with not words, but music on Michael Borowski’s recent piano offering, Peace Valley. Trust me, it’s a place you will want to seek out and visit often. These are solo piano contemporary pieces that grab a moment in time and hold them in echoing notes like ripples on a disturbed pond. This is my first encounter with Mr. Borowski’s music and after listening to and enjoying it, I’ve signed up for the frequent listener program. The first cut is called Firefly. Having the privilege to live in a place in Tennessee where the fireflies make their early summer dance every year, I understand the music completely. Michael’s tune sets the stage for the sweet smell of honeysuckle on fresh vines and the starry night that is eclipsed by the million and one tiny flashes of nature’s own neon green fireworks. Some say it is for mating purposes. Don’t they know magic when they see it? It starts as a single snowflake. Then a sprinkling. Then the all too familiar flurry. Borowski’s tune is called First Snow. The wind is cold, yet not piercing. Tomorrow, when we wake, everything will be covered and we will witness that big white blanket. Clean, fresh, white linen landscapes for the new day. Carpe nix diem. When we fathers look at our sons, we look into a mirror of the future. And we hope that the image owner ends up strong and happy. So simple a wish is the theme for Dear Son,. This musical missive is all those hopes and dreams bundled up with loving care into a few hundred notes. Borowski’s song is a melody created with warmth, hope, and love. The title tune, Peace Valley has a paucity of notes. The message however, is resoundingly rich and beautiful. The whole scenario is one of pastoral splendor. Time slows down, warm, sunny days are de rigueur, and peace is assured to all ye who enter here. This poignant score offers a rare sense of calm we need in our frenzied lives. There is one cover on the album that Michael renders is fine form. It is a signature tune of legendary guitarist Will Ackerman’s called The Bricklayer’s Beautiful Daughter. It is one of those tunes that I can name in four notes. We watch from above as she dances and twirls. Our hearts keep the beat. Beauty in motion. It is waltz of a different color that has a dizzying effect on the soul. Well done, sir. The final tune, Morning Cycle is one of those songs that sound like they could be used as a cinematic intro. Energetic phrases full of sunlight and warmth. The music suggests a fondness for those rituals that are performed every day. Mostly in the same way. But it also suggests that there is a blessing to be found in everything. Maybe it is more like a celebration. Good morning world. I have to mention that the production values on this recording are incredibly engineered thanks to Tom Eaton who doubled as the co-producer along with Will Ackerman. But you can always tell an Eaton job. I enjoyed every tune on Peace Valley. You can put this music in the background of your life or you can bring it forward and live in the moment. Your choice. From house painter to bar room piano player, it is obvious that Mr. Borowski has paid his dues. Highly Listenable. - R J Lannan, Artisan Music Reviews

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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