12 Songs, 50 Minutes


Ratings and Reviews

5 out of 5

8 Ratings

8 Ratings

Music you can see!


Joseph's music is so picturesque, you could close your eyes and watch it.

Hauntingly Beautiful!

Shoshana Michel

Castle Moon is a collection of piano solos that is hauntingly beautiful. Although these pieces are on the 'darker side', they are neither somber nor heavy. They are flowing and have a mystical touch to them. It is easy to imagine a majestic castle complete with knights and fair maidens. Joseph's skill as a pianist and composer is remarkable and the close connection that he has to both the piano and his music is apparent. Castle Moon would be perfect to listen to while relaxing, meditating, doing yoga, or unwinding before bed. It is the perfect background music that won't get lost in the background. Although I enjoyed all the tracks, 'Night Runner', 'Moon Shadows' and 'Moonrise Romance' were among my favorites. Add Castle Moon to your musical collection and let it take you to where your imagination and soul want to go.

From MainlyPiano


"Castle Moon" is the fifth solo album from pianist/composer Joseph Akins, one of my favorite artists. Darker than most of his previous albums, Akins wanted this one to be the antithesis of his much lighter and more carefree "A Southern Sun" (2013), which was nominated as “Best Piano Album - Solo” by Zone Music Reporter. "Castle Moon" has already been nominated as “Album of the Year” by Whisperings Solo Piano Radio, so it’s being received exceptionally well, as it should be! The twelve tracks include Akins’ arrangement of the theme from “Game of Thrones” and a solo arrangement of his “1001 Nights,” which appeared on his 2009 "Spirit Touch" as an ensemble piece with percussion, electric bass, and strings. Along with being a gifted pianist/composer, Akins is a professor of recording industry at Middle Tennessee State University and holds advanced degrees in jazz piano and electronic music as well as a doctorate in education. Over the past several albums, Akins has been exploring the idea of a Southern (US) style of piano music, giving him a very distinctive sound that also contains elements of classical music and jazz. I have loved all of his previous albums and feel the same way about this one! I also need to mention that the cover artwork is stunning! Matt Strieby of Newleaf Design is amazing!

"Castle Moon" begins with the title track, a flowing, dreamy piece that hints at influence from David Lanz’s earlier music - no copying, just some influence. Sometimes buoyant and adventuresome, sometimes softer and more serious, it’s a great beginning! “Night Runner” goes somewhat darker and is something of a fast minor-key waltz after the slow introductory passage and at the end. The middle section is more flowing and features some of Akins’ “southern” touches that are uniquely his own. “Gypsy Dreams” is based on an exotic scale that Akins loves to improvise and write with. Slow, dark and very mysterious, it’s a beauty! “Moon Shadows” also hints at some “Lanzian” influences that are graceful and heartfelt. I really loved the first version of “1001 Nights,” but this new one is a mind-blower. Using the strings of the piano to create an exotic sound that is very un-piano-like, Akins creates a mood of very dark mystery that is intense, sultry, and magical. This is one of my favorites of all of Akins’ pieces! “A Nocturnal Waltz” evokes images of a couple slow dancing, illuminated only by moonlight - very romantic! I love the graceful and very peaceful “Star Dance.” Sweet and playful, I’m really looking forward to the sheet music for this one! “A Starry Night” was born when Akins was improvising while looking at a painting of nighttime scenery. Dark rolling bass chords punctuated by bright twinkling flashes in the treble create a very vivid picture. “Moonlight Romance” is a tender and calming love song - perfect contentment under a moonlit sky. Sigh! “Twilight Lullaby” brings this wonderful album to a delicate close, overflowing with warmth and love, and expressing a perfect peace.

"Castle Moon" is quite different from Joseph Akins’ previous albums, and yet it is definitely “him,” expressing a somewhat different side of his creativity. Very highly recommended!

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