Album Review of Ring Around the Moon by Richard Dillon

 

Richard Dillon is a Seattle-based pianist and composer who began writing solo piano music about four years ago. Citing fellow pianist-composers David Nevue, Joe Bongiorno and Neil Patton as some of his greatest musical career influences, Dillon’s own style ranges from neo-impressionist to Celtic. Originally released in 2014, Ring Around the Moon is comprised of 13 original solo piano compositions inspired by the winter season.

 

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The first three tracks on the album are pensive and minor-key, beginning with “Groundhog Saw His Shadow”. A lovely opener gently played in the higher register, it calls to mind a new moon night in the deep of winter. The subsequent title piece, “Ring Around the Moon”, is carried by a lightly twirling melody throughout that lends it a touch of nocturnal mystique.

 

One of my favorite pieces on the album is “Midnight Sleigh Ride”, which boasts sparkling, resonating piano chords that seemingly conjure images of snow flurries on a magical winter’s night. The ensuing “First Snow” is another highlight that brings-to-mind an early morning snowfall upon a wooded landscape.

 

The second-to-last track on the album, entitled “Whiteout”, is a lightly cheerful and upbeat tune that follows another set of more contemplative, slowly-drifting compositions. And finally, “Hot Cocoa by the Fire” provides a tender conclusion to the album, effectively bringing-to-mind that of cozying up by a fireplace to keep warm while reminiscing upon winter seasons past.

 

Overall reflective and peaceful, Richard Dillon mostly plays these pieces with a gently hesitant touch while lending a bit of jovial playfulness to a few of the compositions. Effectively taking the listener on a thoughtful journey amid the colder months of the year, Ring Around the Moon makes for great listening all winter long! ~Candice Michelle

 

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