Running Away Reviews
Wenzel, a former successful research scientist, uses his music to explore major universal concepts as well as philosophies, feelings and adventures that pertain to our daily lives. Musically Wenzel places the most emphasis on piano, which he has played all his life, but he also is a master synthesist and augments his piano parts with the sounds of a wide variety of other instruments (including, on Running Away, flute, guitars, strings, bass and more). Wenzel’s music has great appeal in the new age genre, especially because of the haunting melodies and dreamy arrangements that create a sense of peacefulness and relaxation.
Wenzel also has become proficient as an arranger and producer, and he often brings in other musicians to assist with his vision. On Running Away he is joined by several special guests — violinist Josie Quick who plays on nine tracks (she also appeared on his last two recordings), Jill Haley on English horn and oboe (on five tunes) and percussionist Jeff Haynes (on six songs). Quick is a member of the progressive groups Perpetual Motion, The Coyote Poets of the Universe and the Frontera String Quartet. Haley is one of the early pioneers of new age music with numerous renowned solo and collaborative recordings to her credit. Haynes has played with hundreds of top acts in the genres of new age (Will Ackerman, Fiona Joy), pop (Joni Mitchell) and jazz (Pat Metheny, Cassandra Wilson).
Running Away follows Wenzel’s previous albums Mountains Take Wing (on which he explored earth and nature), A Coalescence of Dreams (centered on dreams and our personal journey), River Serene (a flowing river serves as an analogy for life), Summon the Wind (using the wind metaphor to explore life’s pervasive forces), Distant Horseman (extending thoughts about life to include the entire universe) and What We Hold Dear (music capturing meaningful people, places and moments). He also has a duet CD, Such a Long Time, with singer Anne Cozean. More information on Timothy Wenzel is available at his website (timothywenzel.com). All of his CDs and digital download tracks from those recordings are available at online sales sites such as CDbaby, Amazon, iTunes, eMusic, Rhapsody and many others. Much of his music can be heard at streaming channel sites such as Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music.
His albums regularly receive airplay on hundreds of radio stations and channels around the world, and always race into the Top 10 on the international Zone Music Reporter Top 100 monthly airplay chart. What We Hold Dear went to #2 and Distant Horseman was the #3 album on the ZMR Chart. His last recording, What We Hold Dear, was named by ZMR one of the Top 5 “Best Contemporary Albums” of the year. It also was #1, #2 or #3 on many monthly New Age Music Charts including Got Radio’s New Age Nuance Channel, Montana Public Radio, WAWL, WESS, KCMJ, KYGT, WHYR, WKNH, WMNR, WVUD, WWSP and KZUM.
There is always a visual element within Wenzel’s music which is often inspired by dreams, films, stories and nature scenery. In addition, for each tune he usually seeks out an appropriate piece of artwork which he makes available for viewing on his website. Wenzel also is an avid photographer.
“The title track on my Running Away album was inspired by a fantasy that I think many people have,” explains Wenzel, “the idea of starting a new life, escaping from problems and all your stresses, maybe slipping away to another part of the world and creating a different life, just leaving everything behind. The great thing about art, such as music, is that it can facilitate mental escapism and daydreams.”
Wenzel says Running Away is not a concept album, but “a collection of musical ideas that I feel compliment one another.” However, the theme of going to some other place is not only in the “Running Away” title tune, but is echoed in “Breaking Free” and “Traveling Light.” Wenzel explains that “Breaking Free” is about “changing your life for the better, getting away from what binds you, making a plan for change and then following through with it.” The piece “Traveling Light” reflects “the feeling of not being burdened by too much baggage whether it’s suitcases or the emotional stuff we tote around.”
Many of Wenzel’s albums have pieces about dancing on them. This recording is no exception. “Dancing in the Darkness,” he says, “can be about a couple dancing privately away from the lights and crowd, but in the North where I live we also talk about how the Northern Lights, the aurora borealis, dance across the sky at night.” Another song, “Gazelle Dance,” is Wenzel’s tribute to gazelles and antelopes because their breath-taking bounding reminds him of the way professional dancers can soar. Wenzel also was inspired by people for “A Bit About You” (“when we first meet someone we usually ask them to tell us about themselves”), “A Friend of Mine” (“When musicians get together to make music, they often become friends”) and “Past Presence” (“It can be kind of spooky when you get the feeling that someone from a past era has joined you”).
Wenzel composed “Dream of Summer” after feeling a warm wind blowing one morning. A dream of a fantastical festive parade from long ago caused him to write “Magical Pageant,” and the idea for “Coronial Rain” came from viewing a NASA video about the sun spewing plasma into its atmosphere and then it raining back onto the star’s surface. Obviously Wenzel enjoys thinking about many things. “The song ‘Makes You Wonder’ came about because I am often asking why something is. I have much curiosity.”
Wenzel spent his childhood in South Haven, Michigan, where he was born and raised. As a boy he divided his time between being outdoors enjoying nature, but also inside playing the piano. “There was always a piano in our house. It was built by my grandfather who worked in a piano factory.” Tim’s mother played piano and encouraged him to play. He started plunking on the keys when he was three and two years later was taking lessons. Wenzel says, “I was deeply into classical music at first, but later I started being influenced by rock’n’roll and what I heard on the radio.” Initially Wenzel enjoyed Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull and the Moody Blues, and later Fleetwood Mac and U2. As he got older he began to appreciate new age music (“George Winston and the whole rosters of the Windham Hill and Narada labels”) and Celtic sounds (Loreena McKennitt, Clannad, Enya and Sara McLachlan).
Music is Wenzel’s second fulltime career following successes in the world of science. “Music and science have always been my two main passions. I see a correlation between them. Scientific exploration is full of creativity and is very much like writing a song. In both cases you start with an idea and then explore the possibilities of where it can lead.” He earned a BS degree in Chemistry at the University of Missouri, then his Masters and PhD in Physical Organic Chemistry at Cornell University. He first served as a post-doctoral researcher in organometallic chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley. This led to a career in research science, first with Union Carbide in West Virginia, and then with Dow Chemical back in Michigan where he still lives. “I primarily worked in making polymers using catalysts. Polymers are a chemical compound of repeating structural units. My work was primarily in polyethylene using a new generation of catalysts to make different plastics. The highlight of my career was when they let me run with a far-out idea I had that led to a major discovery. I headed a team that found a way to make two catalysts talk to each other. It is a powerful technique to make new types of polymers.”
Wenzel says, “On Running Away I enjoyed working with the musicians Jill Haley, Jeff Haynes and Josie Quick, as well as my engineer and co-producer Corin Nelsen, because everyone brought their own special talents, energy and inspiration to the project. The result truly is a team effort with the sum total well beyond the individual parts.” Creative Services
“The smoothness of texture that can be found in a Timothy Wenzel release grows with each passing album, its blossoms with the sun of a new spring morning and it is that very journey through calmness and serenity we travel now, with this brand new and beautiful release entitled Running Away.Timothy Wenzel is a master of creating layer upon layer of sublime and calming music, with the upbeat start of Dream of Summer, to the dreamy melody of Dancing in the Darkness and more, each track, each composition of a Wenzel release is something to truly look forward to, like the title header Running Away, which is a fine example of the artists skill of manifesting a narrative within music that is riveting and packed with style and class.Wenzel is also eager to open musical pathways and corridors that contain something different inside, like the entertaining and dream inspired Magical Pageant, one of my personal favourites, and then the one that really is my life story called, Breaking Free, a composition based on starting again and breaking the chains of all that bind you from making that change.The album contains twelve sparkling tracks all with a distinct mood of their own; each and every piece has a story to tell, it is produced and performed with both a delightful sense of colour and a level of professionalism that is so nice to listen to. The album also contains added instrumentation from violist Josie Quick, percussive genius of Jeff Haynes and the charming tones of Jill Haley on English horn and oboe.Running Away is another top class release from the scientist musician who originated from Michigan; and may well be his most successful offering to date; it is filled with enticing and exciting compositions that does the contemporary instrumental field well, and the sublime fluency and charm of this album will no doubt capture your imagination, and take you willingly along for another magical musical ride.” - Steve Sheppard
“Another exercise in the beauty of new age music comes from one of the 21st century’s truly talented and prolific keyboardists/pianists Timothy Wenzel. His latest release Running Away is chock full of charming melodies and runs that are bound to steal your heart and soul in their breathtaking delivery.Some in the c-jazz world may ask, “So, who is Timothy Wenzel?” Briefly, this American-born artist has written and performed a great deal of electro-acoustic Contemporary Instrumental/New Age/Celtic music since 2012. His debut album, Mountains Take Wing was selected as a Best New Age Album of 2012 by New Age Music World. His second album, A Coalescence of Dreams (October 2012) received widespread airplay and acclaim, climbing to #6 in the international radio airplay chart by Zone Music Reporter in 2013. His third album, River Serene, also jumped into the top 10 at ZMR. His fourth album, Summon the Wind, was released November 20, 2014 and reached #6 on the international ZMR charts. His fifth album Distant Horseman was released in February 2016 and immediately rose to #3 on the ZMR charts.This latest release is sure to find its way high up on the charts, as well, I predict. Its reach, its tenderness, and its handsome collection of melodies simply refuse to be denied attention.You will hear piano, string, and horn mixes that will find you hitting “repeat” on your player time and again, just to hold on to the deliciously enchanting music that will surely embrace you.Tracks of note are the tittle track, the lead track “Dream of Summer,” “Makes You Wonder” with its most expressive violin lines, and simply too many others to name here on this 12-track work of art. Settle back and drink in all of the majesty of this one.” - Ronald Jackson
“Running Away is the seventh album from Timothy Wenzel, a composer/ pianist/ keyboardist who has also had a very successful career as a research scientist. The first thing that grabs your attention to this album is the stunning cover artwork by Daniel Bérard, who also did the artwork for Wenzel’s previous release, What We Hold Dear (2017). The image of a young girl running barefoot into the dark woods carrying a lighted lantern suggests many things, but is mostly an illustration of the fantasy of escaping ones current reality to start a new life. Not a concept album per se, Wenzel describes it as a collection of musical ideas that compliment one another. The twelve tracks include themes of travel, dreams, and escapism of one kind or another. Engineered and co-produced by Corin Nelsen, guest artists include Josie Quick on violin (9 tracks), Jill Haley on English horn and oboe (5 tracks), and Jeff Haynes on percussion (6 tracks). Wenzel composed, produced and mixed the music as well as performing on keyboards and synthesizers. In addition to the new age and contemporary instrumental genres, Wenzel’s music has strong Celtic and Americana influences. Although it serves its purpose well as meditation and background music, the album should be savored at least a few times with full attention to enjoy the stories it tells as well as the beauty and nuances in the music. Running Away begins with “Dream of Summer,” a warm and inviting piece that features Josie Quick and Jeff Haynes and expresses the “momentary ecstasy” of stepping out into a “fresh new world filled with hope and wonder” - a light and upbeat opener. “Dancing in Darkness” is a slow romantic waltz for violin and keyboard - very calming and peaceful. The sweet and gentle “A Bit About You” celebrates that mix of feelings that comes with meeting someone who just might be that “special someone” and features the magic touches of Haley, Haynes and Quick. Wenzel says of the title track: “I wrote this in the very middle of a cold winter night when I felt the inescapable urge to abandon all that I have ever known and start life over again. Just run away from it all.” A bit darker and more mysterious than the other tracks, it’s a favorite. I love “Makes You Wonder,” which was inspired by several ideas, “but mostly the feeling that life and this universe is not what you think.” Violin and guitar give the piece a laid-back, “folk” feeling, but there is something very compelling about the music. “A Friend of Mine” is a piece with Americana roots and tells of a small group of musicians who gather to spontaneously create “joyous music.” Very relaxed and uncomplicated, it’s easy to see rolling hills and old farmhouses while listening. “Gazelle Dance” is more orchestrated and features Jill Haley. Lively and playful in its depiction of the gazelles leaping as they run, there is also a more serious thread running through the piece. The hauntingly beautiful “Past Presence” was inspired by the feeling that someone from a past era has joined you - also a favorite! The album closes with a very different composition called “Coronal Rain.” Inspired by the phenomenon on the surface of the sun where a large body of plasma rises up to rain back down in a graceful arc, this piece is ambient and atmospheric as well as incredibly beautiful. Timothy Wenzel has created another exceptional album with Running Away! It is available from Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby.” - Kathy Parsons
“Timothy Wenzel is a composer and keyboardist with several albums to his name, the latest of which is titled Running Away. As with his previous release, What We Hold Dear, Wenzel has recruited outstanding violinist Josie Quick (one-half of the duo Perpetual Motion) who once again displays her impressive versatility on the strings. Jill Haley also joins the guest lineup this time around in which she lends her complimentary English Horn and oboe wizardry. Yet the most notable step forward Wenzel has taken with this album is in swapping out his past use of drum machines for live percussion by none other than Jeff Haynes; a move that's greatly enhanced his compositions with an overall warmer, more organic and velvety sound. This artistic progression has demonstrably taken Wenzel’s music to the next level, resulting in what is arguably his best work to date. Topping it all off is the co-production, mastering and mixing skills of Corin Nelsen and Running Away easily becomes a redefining moment for Wenzel’s creative expression. Laced with many of Wenzel’s signature Celtic and renaissance elements, Running Away conveys a magical innocence and fairytale-like narrative, which is perhaps even more pronounced than with any of his prior works. Not only is this because Wenzel often infuses his central keyboard melodies with harpsichord-type motifs, but likewise, Quick’s and Haley’s respective violin and wind instruments are very much in-tuned to a Celtic musical spirit on this album. Furthermore, realistic sounds along the way of whimsical fairy flutes, elvish vocal tones and the occasional woodsy breeze all collectively enhance the experience of fey-like enchantment; it’s as if Wenzel and team all changed into Renaissance attire and leaped in a fairy ring to dance and play along. Another thing I especially enjoy about Running Away is that it bears a similar essence to some of the more Celtic and renaissance-themed works of David Arkenstone and Medwyn Goodall. So if you’re a fan in particular of those artists I’d certainly recommend checking this out. Already one of my favorite contemporary instrumental albums of the year, Running Away is a fantastic musical direction for Timothy Wenzel that remains true to his familiar sound. I’m highly impressed with his selection of additional musician and production recruitments, which have further helped to bring-out his artistry and spotlight his talents even more!” - Candice Michelle
“Dream of Summer introduced by Josie Quick on violin begins this delicious new album from Timothy Wenzel, Running Away, a piece which sets the scene to ‘run away’ from the cares of everyday life, if only for a while.Each of the songs is vastly different, presenting a wide range of influences with Dancing in Darkness reminiscent of medieval times and the unique tones of instruments long forgotten, raising the image in the mind of ladies and gentlemen delicately dancing the hours of darkness away.Jill Haley on Oboe and French Horne, Jeff Haynes adding a touch of percussion with Jodie Quick on violin come together with the piano/synthesiser to produce a wonderful, refreshing piece in A Bit About You, as if Wenzel is asking, tell me a bit about who you are, tell me more, let’s get ready to run away.And then comes Running Away, the wonderful title track which is a gleeful piece which absolutely encourages taking time out, running away from everyday life, if only for a little while, pausing to refresh and enjoy the richness that is life.The following track titles Makes You Wonder, if Travelling Light, to go to a Magical Pageant, with a Friend of Mine, where you can Break Free, dance the Gazelle Dance, making Past Present are simply glorious, with a dash of vocals changing the ambience of Magical Pageant. Thank you, Timothy Wenzel for that lovely segue, not just in the words but also in the music which offers the freedom to enjoy a fantasy of beginning again, painting a new picture without leaving home, unless that is what you choose to do!Coronial Rain was inspired by a NASA video where the sun spewed forth plasma, which then returned appearing to be like raindrops bringing life once again to the star. Such is the journey of life when Running Away to return refreshed to continue on your journey.As always with Wenzel’s music there is an element of the unexpected; on this album it is a Celtic, Medieval influence which has a distinctive, intriguing and most uplifting, happy-go-lucky vibe making this album a real treasure.” - Janet Mawdesley
“Over the last few years, Timothy Wenzel has become one of my favorite New Age Artists. His music is perfect for meditation or my morning or evening yoga. It also just great to have on when I’m reading.The first of Timothy Wenzel’s albums that I listened to was Summon the Wind. You can read what I wrote a about that album here. Next came Distance Horseman,. For that album click here. Timothy’s 2017 was What We Hold Dear, and while I have listened to the album and enjoyed it, I have not written about it.So that leads us to Timothy’s new album Running Away.About Running AwayRunning Away is Timothy’s seventh album, comprising twelve tracks of beautiful music ranging from soft and Celtic to more energetic themes. The genre is not just New Age, but rather encompasses Celtic, Americana and Contemporary Instrumental.Here’s what some folks have said about the album….Another exercise in the beauty of new age music comes from one of the 21st century’s truly talented and prolific keyboardists/pianists Timothy Wenzel. His latest release Running Away is chock full of charming melodies and runs that are bound to steal your heart and soul in their breathtaking delivery.” Ronald Jackson, The Smooth Jazz Ride.“Dream of Summer introduced by Josie Quick on violin begins this delicious new album from Timothy Wenzel, Running Away, a piece which sets the scene to ‘run away’ from the cares of everyday life, if only for a while. Each of the songs is vastly different, presenting a wide range of influences…” Janet Mawdesley, Blue Wolf Reviews.About Timothy WenzelOne thing that always has amazed me is that music is Wenzel’s second full-time career, Initially, he was research scientist for Union Carbide and Dow Chemical. He has PhD in Physical Organic Chemistry from Cornell University. During his career he was issued about 50 U.S. Patents. Wenzel sees a correlation between his two main passions – science and music. He says.“Music and Science have always been my two main passions. I see a correlation between them. Scientific research is very much like writing a song. In both cases you start with an idea and then explore the possibilities of where it can lead.”Wenzel’s primary instrument is the piano. He is also a master of the synthesist and augments the piano parts with a wide variety of instrumental sounds including: violin, cello, flute, woodwinds, harp, guitars, bass, drums and percussion.Additionally, he uses wordless vocalizing of men’s and women’s choirs. And he does it all so well!The Guests on Running AwayOn Running Away Wenzel is joined by several special guest musicians. First and foremost at least for me, is Josie Quick. Ms. Quick plays violin on nine tracks on the album. (She also appeared on the last two albums) Jill Haley an early pioneer of new age music provides English horn and oboe on five tracks. (Note to self check out both Haley and Quick’s other work). In addition to these two great musicians Jeff Haynes provides percussion on five tracks.More About Running Away....The title track on “Running Away “ on my Running Away album was inspired by a fantasy that I think many people have” explains Wenzel “the idea of starting a new life escaping from problems and all your stresses, maybe slipping away into another part of the world and creating a different life, just leaving everything behind. The great thing about art such as music is that it can facilitate mental escapism and daydreams”Wenzel says “Running Away is not a concept album but a collection of musical ideas that I feel can permit one another. However the theme of going to some other place is not only in the Running Away” title tune, but is echoed in “Breaking Free” and “Traveling Light”. Wenzel explains that breaking free is about changing your life for the better getting away from what binds you, making a plan for a change, and then following through with it. The piece “Traveling Light” reflects “the feeling of not being burdened by too much baggage whether it’s suitcases or the emotional stuff we all tote around”Finally, Wenzel says”On Running Away I enjoyed working with musicians Jill Haley, Jeff Haynes and Josie Quick. as well as, my engineer and co-producer Corin Nelsen, because everyone brought their own special talents, energy and inspiration to the project. The result truly is a team effort with the sum total well beyond the individual parts.”Final ThoughtsThe Bottom Line is that the end result is a great album that is going to be in my music rotation for a long while.” - E. K. Karn
“‘Running Away’ is Timothy Wenzel’s seventh album and true to the curious name; it does generate a lot of imagery. It is like he has given you an easel, a canvas, and a paintbrush and asks you to draw what you feel like…your dreams, your fears, your hopes, your innermost feelings, and aspirations. All of us are running away from one place to another, physically; from one thought to another, mentally; and maybe from one phase of existence to another, spiritually. He invites us to take his music as a companion and roll on. Being an aspiring poet, I always dwell a little more on the names of the tracks while reviewing any particular album and ‘Running Away’ has interesting ‘lead-ins’ I would say for track names…like a prodding question or a thread-end of a poetry line that you catch while musing on something around you. Check for example ‘Running Away… (from bad things; hallucinations; or fears); ‘Makes you Wonder… (what’s your life’s goal; why you are born; or what I need to do to sort my life); ‘A Friend of Mine’…(visited me like a fresh breath of air; brought the much needed space of a leisure talk; or I lost, and now things look blank); ’Breaking Free’… (from your shackles; what limits your creativity; or to soar high). I mean the possibilities are endless and so are the scenes weaved by Timothy’s music. A listener will get ample imaginative layers to let him/her float into a world of his/her particular disposition at the point of time. I listened to the album in my car, in my laptop’s speakers, and then with JBL headphones…well, the music does carry you along to other worlds. There are 12 tracks in the album and various session artists have lent their expertise to various tracks–Jeff Haynes, Jill Haley, and the very talented violinist Josie Quick, who has brought a very rich emotive texture to many songs with delicate sounds of the violin. Each song tells you a story or lets you write your own. What I love in the album is that it is a package–all the tracks are not of one genre, and you get a taste of various instruments, moods, and styles. While ‘Dream of Summer’ is a lilting melody, the ‘Gazelle Dance’ is an energetic and powerful electronic number, and ‘Coronal Rain’ borders on the ambient scene with radiant flute pieces.My favorite song is the title song ‘Running Away’. It has a beautiful rhythm and a lot of intrigue. A perfect collection of tracks for traveling and driving, and equally evocative for meditation and relaxation, ‘Running Away’ is must-have for a genuine music lover, and I congratulate the artists for being the channels to deliver such a wonderful sonic experience! ” - Vivek Kumar
“Outstanding contemporary instrumental Timothy Wenzel – RUNNING AWAY: I have reviewed MANY albums from Timothy, most recently in issue # 154, where he got good marks from me, to be sure. His newest release features several other players… in order to get a clear sonic awareness of his skills, I (most STRONGLY) recommend that you watch the video below (set to the song “Traveling Light” from the new album)… …Timothy has a LOT of videos posted, so be sure to SUBSCRIBE to his YouTube channel to visually enjoy his very unique talents.On his new adventure, Timothy’s marvelous keyboards and synths (as well as flute, guitars, strings, bass and more) are joined by Jeff Haynes on percussion, Jill Haley on English horn and oboe and Josie Quick on violin… one of the most striking tunes on the album is “Makes You Wonder” – already one of my favorite songs (yet) in 2019… gentle, yet full of the wonder of life!Another performance that really caught my ear is “Breaking Free“, which Timothy says is “about changing your life for the better, getting away from what binds you”… the song swirls ’round, touching on many aspects of your being as you listen to it… much like the living of life, I’d say; I just LOVE the strings woven in at around the 3:48… a truly beautiful celebration of becoming unchained.It took me two full listens through the dozen sonic marvels offered up for your aural enjoyment to choose the closer, “Coronal Rain“, as my personal favorite… Timothy weaves synth voices with a sensitivity and creativity that many other artists can only hope to achieve. If any song merits an award – it IS this one!I give Timothy and his fellow players a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) score of 4.99 for this most memorable sonic journey.” - DIck Metcalf