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Jill Haley — Wrapped in Light
(Coranglais no#, 2021, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2021-12-19

Wrapped in Light Cover art

Jill Haley is a composer, pianist, and double-reed woodwind player, best known for her ongoing series of albums interpreting the natural beauty of America’s national parks (Glacier Soundscapes (2010), Zion and Bryce Canyon Soundscapes (2012), The Canyons and Mesas of Bandelier (2021), and The Winds of Badlands (2019), to name but a few), but after over half a dozen releases in that series, Haley — because of the Covid-19 pandemic — found it difficult to continue her tour of the national park system, though she still wanted to continue composing and recording. This time out, for Wrapped in Light, she got her inspiration from the imagery and words of the Book of Psalms. Throughout, Haley plays piano, which is the foundation of all of the cuts, highlighted by oboe and cor anglais, and on some of the cuts like “Wings of Dawn,” she adds synthesizer orchestrations to the mix. Haley’s husband David Cullen plays bass and guitars where needed, and her son Graham Cullen plays cello. Some might pin the New Age label on this music (whatever that may mean), but in fact I find it to be a more relaxed and gentle classically informed style, especially with the very prominent double-reeds layered over the piano; one may find it to be inspiring and beautiful, though not so mentally and emotionally challenging like some classical piano-based music tends to be. Wrapped in Light is lovely and immersive, the kind of music that will calm the nerves without putting the listener to sleep.

Filed under: New releases, 2021 releases

Related artist(s): Jill Haley

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