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Customer Reviews

Review from Journeyscapes Radio

CandiceMichelle1,

Irish Mist is the tenth album from Seattle-based pianist and composer Richard Dillon, as well as the follow-up to his likewise recent solo piano release, Land of Nod. Rich in both ancient myth and tradition, the Emerald Isle has long been a source of fascination for many people and common inspiration among composers, painters and poets. Dedicated to Dillon’s mother, who recently passed away at the age of ninety-eight, the album elegantly showcases fifteen gentle compositions, which are imbued with a touch of nostalgia and often possess a subtle Celtic feel.

The opening piece, "Irish Mist", is both delicate and lullaby-like as it gently tiptoes about in the higher registers. Tending towards the lighter and subtly sweet side of the atmospheric spectrum, Dillon’s music exudes a warm innocence conveyed by a simple elegance that seemingly evokes imagery of home, family and childhood memories. Continuing in this homebound mode is “Máthair Éireann (Mother Ireland”, which feels evocative of being in an old-fashioned manor or parlor as it recalls a bygone era. One of my favorite pieces on the album is “Shadows on the Wall”, which conveys a sense of solitude, observation and contemplation, as it proceeds in minor key on the higher register. The most notable standout on the album is perhaps “Into the Mines”, which begins with a whistling sound and accompanying machinery that re-emerges throughout its course. Susan Burke plays a lovely violin melody in tandem with a flowing piano arrangement, which further lends the piece a distinctively Celtic flavor. Likewise, there’s a melancholic essence about this composition, one that seemingly alludes to that of labor and hardship. Also particularly noteworthy is “Mother’s Eyes”, a most heartwarming and tender composition that feels wistfully nostalgic. Undoubtedly an ode to Dillon’s own mother, a lovely black-and-white photo from her youth also appears on the album’s inner sleeve in a gesture which I found to be particularly touching. Another favorite is the aptly-named “Deidres Dance”, which concludes the album with a beautiful ballet-like melody that’s also laced with a Celtic bent.

Overall low-key yet expressively melodic, I found Irish Mist to be an even more engaging and enjoyable listen than its similarly soothing predecessor. Unobtrusive and down-to-earth, Richard Dillon mostly extends a softer touch to the keys of his lovely melodies, which are sure to bring comfort and relaxation to both adults and children alike!

From MainlyPiano

KathyPiano7,

"Irish Mist" is pianist/composer Richard Dillon’s tenth solo piano album and is dedicated to the memory of his mother “who blessed everyone around her for 98 years.” All fifteen pieces on the album are gentle, warm, and melodic, and several have a sweetly nostalgic feeling. It’s a wonderful album for winding down, relaxing, or to have in the background while reading, working or any other quiet activities. Susan Burke appears on violin on one track. The album was recorded at Piano Haven Studio on a Shigeru Kawai grand piano and was mastered by Joe Bongiorno. The piano sound is rich and gorgeous!

Based in Seattle, Richard Dillon started playing the piano as a very young child and earned three of his five college degrees in music. He started composing music about four years ago and is a part of both Whisperings Solo Piano Radio and Enlightened Piano Radio.

" Irish Mist" begins with the title track, a very delicate and expressive musical gem that sets the quiet mood of the album and then trails off “into the mist.” “Mathair Eireann (Mother Ireland)” evokes images of rolling green hills, rocky shores, and days gone by - something of a folk song-without-words. “Smiles” lightly dances on the piano keys with a gentle warmth and grace. “My Bed Is a Boat” has a beautiful bittersweet melody and a softly moving rhythm. A few passages are a bit more turbulent, as I’m sure some nights sleeping on a boat would be! “Shadows On the Wall” has a haunting, mysterious feeling that is also very melancholy - a favorite. The lighthearted “Freckles” is a playful charmer. “Dying of the Light” has a very peaceful, dusky feeling that can envelop you like a warm blanket - another favorite. “Into the Mines” is very different and includes the sounds of antiquated mining equipment that dates back to the days when mining was done by hand. This fascinating piece also includes Susan Burke on violin and has a very strong Celtic spirit. The simplicity and sincerity of “Wild Mountain Thyme” tell a story that creates visions of a peaceful landscape without the use of words - beautiful! Tender and poignant, “The Long Goodbye” shares a deeply personal experience in a way that only music can. “Deirdre’s Dance” brings this beautiful and loving tribute album to a quiet close.

I fully expect that "Irish Mist" will be nominated for a number of awards for 2017 - and very deservedly so! It’s a beauty from the first note to the last! Highly recommended!

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