On the eve of her audiophile release of “Into the Mist” (Blue Coast Records/Sony Hi-Res Audio), Australian Pianist & Singer Fiona Joy reflects on a busy year having completed several Australian concerts with her Blue Dream Ensemble at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre and the Sydney Women’s International Jazz Festival after returning from the third major tour of China.
Press release by The B Company – thebcompany.com
Additionally, Fiona’s 2016 release Signature Synchronicity is nominated for Best Piano Album and Album of the Year in and global airplay ZMR Awards. The album so far has won two categories in the Independent Music Awards, a Finalist in the International Acoustic Music Awards, Hollywood Music in Media Awards and the USA Song-writing Competition.
In China Fiona Joy is nick-named The Piano Angel, not just for her romantic, melodic songs and lush arrangements, but also for her gracious and mesmerizingly ballet-like performance style in concert. A prolific composer, she has always been interested in creating music that evokes images, emotions and stories. Her recording schedule for 2017 includes Blue Coast Records solo piano release (SACD/CD/DSD) Into the Mist and FLOW – the debut album by Fiona Joy, Lawrence Blatt, Jeff Oster & Will Ackerman. FLOW will be a ground-breaking release by a New Age group of successful artists inspired by the iconic music of Windham Hill.
It follows that her upbringing was filled with music. She recalls that her father embraced Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music, playing Jesus in the Tamworth Musical Society production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Her classical piano training is evident in her thematic and melodic compositions. Ravel’s “Bolero” emerged as an early influence, she says, adding, “I loved it, I played it over and over and deconstructed every part. George Winston, Prokofiev and Mendelssohn also intrigued me.”
In 2015 Fiona contributed to a GRAMMY-winning album and traversed three continents, performing solo on a grand tour of China, entertaining in the U.S. at the ZMR Awards and at the audiophile Mecca, T.H.E. Show, closing out the year in Australia at the Sydney Women’s International Jazz Festival with her renowned Blue Dream Ensemble. Once home, she attracted the national TV show ‘Lateline’, which ran a feature lifestyle piece on her life and music. (https://youtu.be/6RCTtmkwdSI)
In 2014, a version of Fiona’s song “Grace” was chosen for a GRAMMY®-winning album that also reached #1 on the Billboard charts, and in 2013, her evocative piano and ethereal vocals earned her the global broadcaster’s choice and honor as the Best Instrumental Piano Album for600 Years in a Moment at the ZMR Awards, whose airplay charts she also graced at #1 for several months with Signature Solo. Fiona Joy also placed as Runner Up for Best Instrumental Song in the International Acoustic Music Awards, nominated alongside Pete Seeger for Best LIVE Performance Album in the Independent Music Awards, and she was an ARIA Finalist in Australia in 2008.
As a forward-looking artist, Fiona is interested in pioneering new musical concepts and recording techniques to better serve her highly-interactive fan base. She frequently appears at audiophile conferences, and is signed to Blue Coast Records for high-fidelity recordings; owner/producer Cookie Marenco is considered and leader in the field, partnering with Sony Music to deliver hi-res music to discerning audiophile consumers. Marenco says, ”Fiona’s melodic solo piano and masterful performances are the perfect music to debut the kind of clarity double DSD audio brings to the home listener. Her music is a cross of George Winston’s simple melodies and Ludovico Einaudi’s musical sophistication.”
Producer of 4 of Fiona’s albums, Will Ackerman, founder of both Windham Hill Records and Imaginary Road Studios, embraced and encouraged Fiona’s music years ago, stating, “Fiona’s Blue Dream album was the most ambitious project of my entire career and resulted in one of the most remarkable collaborations this genre has ever known. Blue Dream is unique and I’m as proud of it as anything I’ve ever worked on in my 35-year career of GRAMMY® Awards and Gold/Platinum records.”
As a collaborator, Fiona has worked with Will Ackerman, Lawrence Blatt, T-Bone Wolk (Hall & Oates), Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel, Dire Straits), Jeff Haynes (Pat Metheny), Eugene Friesen (Paul Winter Consort), Heather Rankin, Charlie Bisharat (Shadowfax), Rebecca Daniel (ACO), Jeff Oster and many others. In 2014, she and Ackerman co-produced the successful debut album of Jennifer DeFrayne, who won Best New Artist in the 2015 ZMR Awards for her album By A Wire.
When not recording or touring, Fiona is busy directing the entrepreneurial side of her music business, an effort which is crucial to the success of every independent artist. She manages her growing record label, Little Hartley Music, and promotes Fiona Joy Jewellery, her new line offering the upscale Swarovsky crystal-adorned bracelets and foot jewellery that she wears while performing barefooted in concert. When not on the road, Fiona escapes to her peaceful home in a small rural village in Australia.
Make sure to visit fionajoy.com.
Photos by Anthony St James.