"I walked into the funeral home and as her father hugged me, he whispered, 'You’ll never know what your work with my daughter has meant to me.' My experience of helping this wonderful child and her amazing family was the defining moment of my journey as a music therapist and musician. Never before had the healing and transformative power of music been so clear. It’s memories like this that inspire me as an artist to share my music with others..."
- Ryan Judd
Awards and Accolades
An Open Sky (2018)
Billboard Top Ten Charting Album for 56 weeks (September 2018 to October 2019)
Winner of ZMR music award for Best Instrumental Acoustic Album of 2018
Top-10 ranking on ZMR radio chart (December 2018)
Top-10 ranking on Amazon's list of Best Selling New Age Relaxation albums (November 2018 to present)
Top-10 ranking on Amazon's list of Best Selling New Age Meditation albums (November 2018 to present)
Reviews of Soaring Together (2021)
It is so remarkable to find that exceptional artist that can create a totally unique musical “voice” as a guitarist. Ryan Judd is that artist.
Michael Whalen - Two-time Emmy® award-winning composer, recording artist, and head of A & R and General Manager at Myndstream
BT Fasmer of New Age Music Guide
“Heaven is all around, translated to sound,” Michael Hedges said. Listening to Ryan Judd’s “Soaring Together” – which features Kristen Miller on cello – heaven seems near, almost close enough to touch. It is impossible not to be amazed by Judd’s unique guitar technique and elegant compositions. It is also a highly versatile relaxation album. It works just as well for sleeping as for thinking, dreaming, and creative work. That is rare and a statement of the album’s calming and inspiring qualities. “Soaring Together” is an album that takes off from the first note – and stays there. (Read the full review at https://newagemusic.guide/new-releases/ryan-judd-soaring-together-feat-kristen-miller-review/)
Steve Sheppard of One World Music Radio
The combination of two artists in this global pandemic, one that keeps us separated from each other, for them to come together to create a performance that manifests something quite beautiful and soothing, is a rare, yet blissful occurrence these days, yet the partnership of Ryan Judd (Acoustic guitar) and Kristen Miller (Cello) is one of those delightful moments, and it is creatively called Soaring Together.
Soaring Together ... is an album that is as easy to listen to, as a summer sunrise is to watch rise above the horizon. Soaring Together is one of those albums that has a timeless quality to its refrains, and will be, without doubt, a go-to album by those who wish to kick back and relax, and to relieve the stress and strains of the day. Here is an album that fits most occasions and moods, and each season of the year we pass through; a guaranteed hit for this crafted pairing with ease.
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
Ryan Judd returns in 2021 with Soaring Together. My introduction to Ryan and his music was the 2018 release An Open Sky. I was very impressed by how beautifully matched his acoustic guitar playing was with Kristen Miller’s cello. Once again that duo presents ten tracks of absolute blissfulness.
Judd’s delicate touch on his guitar and the sound of the nylon strings produce a very pleasing sound. The way his sound melds with Kristen’s cello is a match made in musical heaven. And the end result is like you are actually in another dimension or your own personal heaven, that suddenly became your reality thanks to the music.
I love the cover art and how the title shows you how we all can start Soaring Together. This is the kind of message that hits home rather readily when you look at the layers of colors in that picture. This is interpreted through the music in layers as well. As I always say, it is all in how you perceive the image and music being presented. What I hear in this instrumental acoustic new age meditation are all three of those elements joining hands to create this amazing soundscape for each listener to get some relief from stress, worry, exhaustion, all of those negative aspects of many lives these days. When you are weary of fighting those battles during the course of a 24-hour period you need something to pull you out of that void of negativity. This is music to soothe the savage beast of energy stealing emotions.
It is indicated in the artist's one sheet that he felt deep love and loss which is translated in the music. This can be heard in the tracks if you listen intently. On the other side of that is the joy and a child’s wonder to reflect upon. How often does an adult look through the lens of a child? I would think very rarely. For me it is being with furry friends or watching the simplicity of nature in front of you, like the wind in the trees, a bird singing, any number of things bring about that sense of wonderment I felt as a child. It really is not that hard to find, you just have to uncloud those emotions and flip that internal switch from being a serious adult to a care free innocent child. Everything becomes clear, focused, and unencumbered by the responsibilities of your life weighing on your shoulders.
This album was so seamless and flowing it was like one track as an entity in lieu of going from one track to another and singling any out. This is why I did not mention any particular track. Every track was beautiful music perfection as far as I am concerned. It all fell together for my listening experience. As the music led me down that path to feeling whole, I listened to it as one because it made me feel clear and uninfluenced by outside forces (noises of car doors slamming, a TV on etc.). I am not sure if that makes any sense to some folks but it sure did to me and that is how I could explain it.
Yes, music can get you to that place and it takes music from people like Ryan Judd and recordings like Soaring Together. So, come along for the ride with Ryan and Kristen because Soaring Together is better than going it alone.
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
January 22, 2021
Interview with Keith Hannaleck on his program, Final On Vinyl
Reviews of An Open Sky (2018)
Review by Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck of New Age Music Reviews
"With the exquisite cello playing of Kristen Miller to accompany him, the album offers 10 tracks of acoustic bliss...
If the instruments are played well and the arrangements are right for the particular instruments it can work very well. In this case, it certainly turns out that way as this duo combine to create some heavenly sounds...
Thanks to more and more people like Ryan Judd and recordings like An Open Sky I have evolved as a listener and spiritually. I am amazed at the power music holds for any listener. There is a lot of thought and effort that goes into making music so important to so many people. So, I say with all of my heart and soul, thank you, Ryan, for what you do for people and helping to make me a better person by listening to your music and reading your story."
Steve Sheppard of One World Music Radio
The art of acoustic is now upon us and a finer and classier collection of soothing compositions you are unlikely to find. Judd has created something reflective, poignant and emotive here on the guitar for us all to dream within for a short while.
An Open Sky is a pleasure to listen too, the melding of tone between Cello and Guitar is sublime, each composition is created with care and attention to detail, but also with a true honesty and a loving sense of compassion. An Open Sky is a beautiful album that will not only speak to your heart, but to your very soul itself and as such, this release should be an album that features in everyone’s musical playlist as soon as possible, you can never have enough beauty in your life.
Review by Kathy Parsons of Mainly Piano
Ryan Judd’s An Open Sky is an incredibly soothing and relaxing album of ten original duets (composed by Judd) for finger-style acoustic guitar and cello - a combination you don’t see (or hear!) very often. Judd is also a board-certified music therapist who specializes in helping children with special needs, and the music for this album was inspired by the healing work he did with a young girl with brain cancer. Not surprisingly, there is a wide range of emotions expressed in the music, but overall, the album is quiet, reflective and very beautiful. Strongly influenced by the late guitarist Michael Hedges, Judd has spent decades dedicating himself to mastering finger-style guitar and creating his own unique style as a performer and composer. The cellist on the album is Kristen Miller, a very accomplished and versatile artist in her own right.
An Open Sky begins with “Looking Back,” a very contemplative piece that clearly demonstrates how effective the quiet simplicity of plucked and strummed guitar strings is when combined with the bowed strings of the cello. Deeply emotional and very expressively played, it’s a gorgeous beginning! If possible, “The Embrace” is even more poignant - especially when thinking about a sweet child (and her parents) dealing with such a devastating illness as brain cancer. The title track is exceptionally peaceful and I think the contrasting plucked and bowed strings are at their most evocative best in this piece. As its title suggests, “Weightless” floats effortlessly on air as it wraps the listener in warm, comforting sounds. “Spanish Sunrise” is a favorite with its warmth and tranquility as well as the suggestion of the sky’s pastel colors at dawn. On “Her Beauty Shines Through,” Miller goes into the deep bass of the cello to create a velvety backdrop for the guitar’s tender melody - also a favorite. “Under the Willow Tree” feels very much like sitting under a big tree on a warm spring day, just enjoying the sunshine and the sounds of nearby birds. “Winter Harbor” expresses a melancholy poignance that comes straight from the heart - a gentle closing to a beautiful album.
Review by Amity Hereweard of Chalked Up Reviews
An Open Sky is Judd’s latest acoustic guitar album that features ten original compositions by Judd performed on a nylon string guitar. The music is beautiful, serene and has a calming mood throughout the album. Judd’s tunes still have energy even though they are relaxing, and you will find yourself enjoying his music. On An Open Sky, Judd has added the rich sounds of the cello to his compositions. Judd’s delicate and elegant finger-style guitar playing supports the soaring melodies of the cello to produce a truly unique sound that is heartfelt and reflective. A soothing timbre softly calms the mind, and soothes the body.