5/22/2014

New Age Instrumental Review: Jennifer DeFrayne-By a Wire

Release Date: April 29, 2014
Label: Little Hartley Music

By a Wire is Jennifer DeFrayne’s debut album, but not the first time she has embraced the call of music in her life. A self-taught pianist, she was urged on by friends and neighbors to pursue her dream. Inspired early on by the natural landscape of her home in Laurium, Michigan she began the love affair with music that has carried her through thick and thin. Produced by Fiona Joy Hawkins and Will Ackerman at his Imaginary Road Studios, this first step to living her passion finds DeFrayne more than shining through a cloud covered sky. She is the silver lining and a ray of sunshine for so many. This album is a jewel for any connoisseur of New Age instrumental music. 

 “Hope Floats” is a melodious vision of the inner light that shines within us all. It illuminates our hearts in the darkest nights of the soul. Hope helps us turn from the shadows and bear up in the face of despair. As I listened to this piece, I couldn’t help but think of what it must have been like to have the ability to play music taken away by a stroke and have to learn the basic living functions all over again. The force of will and sheer determination to embrace the world and turn her skill into helping others is a lighthouse in the storm for not just her, but anyone who has suffered a trauma as DeFrayne has. Do hard things. Make a difference. Each note is a victory. Each finger stroke a poke in the eye to giving up. 

“By a Wire” is a journey from the bottom of a dark well. Melodious and inspiring, this piece illustrates the will to prevail over some of life’s toughest situations. Indeed, sometimes we are only hanging on by a wire, swinging in the wind with nothing to catch us if we fall. DeFrayne hung on Tarzan style and came out swinging. Her music became the route she had taken most of her life-she used it to bring herself back from the brink of despair and uses it to help others do the same. This piece is artful and the composition one of beauty and substance.

“Sunrise to Sunset” is a walk on the beach. It is lifting your face to the sky, heart joyful just to be alive and here. Right now. It is letting your toes squish in the wet sand and letting the tide rush over your ankles. Golden rays of sunshine warm your cheeks as the waves of piano music drift over you like water. Elements of French horn add eloquence to the piece that makes it resonate. The dusk comes but you are no longer afraid of the night. You walk on into whatever will come, secure in your place in this world. The music tapers to a close and you smile.

DeFrayne spans the emotional range with By a Wire. Her music speaks of the deepest parts of our souls as human beings. After suffering the loss of family members and a debilitating stroke while she was a young mother, DeFrayne lost the ability to coordinate her fingers with the music in her mind. She was determined to grab onto her life’s blood and reclaim it as her own and now with By a Wire she has done just that. This debut album is one that shows just what a person can do if they believe enough. Love really can set you free.

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Hope Floats, By a Wire, Sunrise to Sunset

Dana Wright, Sr. Staff Writer New Age Music Reviews

May 22, 2014
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

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