As a reviewer, you never know what is coming. This certainly applies to artists you have never heard of. Sometimes this is fine and you are presented with a nice new addition , but sometimes this is less nice and you have no idea how you can write a review of the music that is not your cup of tea. Yes, as a reviewer you have a hard time in that respect.
Although the latter is of course only a joke. I was quiet for a while when I received the album of Ryan Yard to be reviewed. Why? Well....
What a beautiful cover this album has. What I see is breathtaking beautiful scenery, brilliant shades of color and a beautiful cloud cover. It has something mystical. If this tells us something about the music that we will hear, it will possibly contain sugary, romantic, thirteen in a dozen music, so, no music for this website. I hope it turns out well....
And it goes well, very well, because the music of Ryan, keyboardist and composer from Great Britain, has become a very comprehensive album. This is the third album he created. The entire album has been played by Ryan. Well, played....., he has only used an Ipad to shape this wonderful music. He has cooperated with Justin Towell who played all the guitar parts on the album, and how!! Wonderful how this man knows how to add subtle added value to the album. It is totally instrumental, but you do not miss vocals at all.
However, Ryan is lord and master over The Nature Of Solitude parts I & II. It is artful how someone knows how to use all kinds of apps in order to bring this music to life.
Ryan has played with Rob Reed's live band to perform his Sanctuary albums. This same Rob has made a remix of the album in the form of the song The Nature Of Solitude Edit. None other than Tom Newman (Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells) did the mastering of the album. Ryan is inspired by artists like Jean Michel Jarre, the before mentioned Mike Oldfield and the classical composer Steve Reich. You can hear all artists in this music, and that is really a great experience I can tell you.
As mentioned before, there are only two real songs on the album, real epics. Let's try to put the right words to the paper in what I hear, listening to the album.
The Nature Of Solitude part I starts with babbling guitar sounds, it really meanders and takes you directly into this musical journey, lovely. Then there is space for a theme on flute. When the flute fades away, slowly a choir shows up followed by a beautiful guitar solo after which the flute has a reprise. All of this sounds very harmonious and sweet. Some Kitaro soundscapes pass and then some lovely percussion enters, together with some ambient sounds, really rhythmic. Then another guitar solo enters and together with orchestral sounds it moves on to a bombastic part and even a church organ can be heard, together with the choir again. This part sounds a bit like Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother (1970). Then the organ takes over again, together with the strings, as if the heavenly gate opens. If you have entered heaven and there is a bridge to the acoustic guitar that slowly becomes louder and more intense until there is some piano part, and listen, a reprise of the Atom Heart Mother-theme! Then another flute reprise and a guitar solo. Slowly this song fades to its end. Wow, what a trip, fantastic!
Now you all know how the first song sounds. I like it when something remains to be discovered, so the second song is for you to discover....
For me this album is fresh and fruity and I want more of it, much more!
**** Michel Stolk (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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