It’s been a wild ride, but my debut solo piano album Airborne is done and out!

Eleven months ago, I was inspired after returning from two GRAMMY Camps and had a bold idea: I was going to release a thirty-five minute solo piano album by the end of the following summer.

At the time, I only had one piano piece (“Airborne”) that I felt was good enough to record.  I had already committed to producing an EP for singer/songwriter Lily Garay that fall, too.  And there were college music school auditions in February to practice and prepare for.  Suffice it to say that the prospects of releasing a full-length album were not good.

I was determined to record on the C7

I was determined to record on the C7

It seemed crazy to be thinking about recording another album—especially for piano, because it’s so hard to record it well.  Using a keyboard sample was never an option for me, though.  I was intent on miking my acoustic C7 and make it sound professional.  I knew that I was starting the hardest project I’d ever done, but that didn’t stop me from starting.

Along the way, as expected, I faced tremendous challenges.  I took apart (and reassembled) a piano, finding out more about the sostenuto mechanism than I ever wanted to know.  I picked up and applied some acoustical physics to make my sheetrock-walled, 15’x16′ recording room work.  I made clean edits that I never could’ve imagined as possible.  I learned the value of rest, as I struggled through overuse injuries.  I realized experientially that sometimes my best compositions come with deadlines, and I wrote more music this year than any other.

Sometimes letting go and uploading the project is the hardest part...

Sometimes letting go and uploading the project is the hardest part…

Readers, friends, and fans, I’m going to take this post to thank you all of your support, encouragement, and prayers along the way.  Though I say Airborne was a solo album, in many ways, it was not.  I never could have done this without the guidance and feedback of my piano teachers and other mentors, or without the skills I learned at GRAMMY Camp or Camp Electric over the years.  Thank you to each and every one of you who have been a part of the journey!

Most of all, I thank God for giving me these gifts, and for the grace to allow me to pursue them and make it through this last year.  Soli Deo Gloria!


So finally, have a free listen to my album.  I’d love to know what you think about it.  And if you enjoy what you hear, please download it on iTunes here.


About Shelby Rawlings Blalock

I'm a 22-year-old composer, pianist, audio engineer, student, and GRAMMY Camp 2012 alum––a Charlottesville native making my way in Nashville! I write music for orchestra and small ensembles, but my debut solo piano album Airborne is available now on iTunes.

2 responses »

  1. […] I, the person who spent her entire senior year of high school composing, recording, and editing a solo piano album?  Whose compositional output was 70% solo piano until a year […]


  2. Dirty Killa Phenom says:

    It’s brilliant! I’m so envious! I brought a copy on Itunes UK. Good luck with it.


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