ABOUT THE CD Winter Moon, the debut release by violist/composer Rhonda Lorence, is an elegant, multi-layered marriage of new age and neo-classical. The global influences evident in her arrangements are subtle and varied, from Celtic to Moroccan, Asian to Eastern European. They crossover classes as well as cultures, integrating gypsy and gentry. A cathartic concerto to altered consciousness, Winter Moon is the soundtrack of the soul. When asked about her creative process, composer Rhonda Lorence acknowledges an intentional spiritual aim for her music. 'I think the most important thing is that it inspires someone to fully listen, feel and experience the complexity of emotions embedded within it.' Winter Moon is a compilation of sensations which demands more of the listener. Infused with passion and underlying tension, these compelling neo classical compositions require repeated listenings to dissect the strata of instrumental angst and wonder. The first composition and title track, 'Winter Moon,' opens with a softly percussive harp-like flutter that falls gently upon the ear as the first viola theme rings out in a lush mid-range lament. Amidst sprightly chimes, the viola establishes the initial theme, and is soon accompanied by a cascade of warm strings. The viola is freed to explore variations on the theme, dancing through divergent harmonies to the constant rhythmic 'snowfall.' Suddenly all is quiet, and the second movement begins. The theme is echoed, but now joined by livelier percussion as it morphs into a Moroccan promenade. The now uplifted theme returns in exuberant triumph, bouncing off the rhythm until the viola finally settles down, fully spent, and drifts off into the falling cadence once again. Whether you listen casually or critically, you will discover nuances in this composers artistry that fill you with wonder and enchantment. You will, in fact, feel the intricacy of emotions embedded within Winter Moon, as Lorence's stories become your own. ABOUT THE COMPOSER Rhonda Lorence is a world-class violist and composer, one that the world may have never heard if not for a quirk of fate. As a child, Rhonda was encouraged to pursue music by her mother, and often played around on the piano, experimenting with different musical patterns. Then in the fourth grade, Rhonda witnessed a musical presentation featuring stringed instruments at a school assembly. Inspired to take up the violin, she enrolled in the music program the next year. But destiny dictated a slightly different direction. Because the school had no more violins to loan, Rhonda instead began learning the viola, the larger and mellower shoulder-mounted instrument, with the promise of a violin when it arrived. When that day came, Rhonda was already smitten with the viola, and rejected the stringed little sister despite it's greater popularity. Indeed, fate had altered 10-year-old Rhonda's musical course. In junior high school, a music teacher encouraged Rhonda's viola work and believed she could play professionally. Lorence took this to heart, studied well and received a music scholarship at the University of South Florida in Tampa, where she graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Music Performance. She has since traveled the world, playing viola with orchestras, operas, ballets and pop artists. Highlights of Lorence's 20-year career include tours of Japan and Korea with the Mantovanni Orchestra; a stint as principal violist for the Naples (FL) Orchestra; performances with the Russian Ballet Orchestra and Tampa Bay Opera; and numerous show performances with legends such as Tony Bennett, Dionne Warwick, Henry Mancini and Burt Bacharach. Currently, she is playing her original compositions with her quartet, Amari Dolce, and performs professionally with other quartets. Lorence still tours with orchestras such as the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players. Rhonda's compositions are also an articulate expression of her artistry as a sound engineer and producer. She recorded and mixed her debut CD, Winter Moon, using Sonar 4. Her mastery of layering multiple tracks, blending vocals, synthesizer, and playing all the accompanying strings is a testament to her diverse and fluid talents. The musical landscapes of the compositions aim to engender an introspective process. The artist says of her music, 'It is intended to add to the emotional exploration of the inner life.'