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Land of Nod

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Customer Reviews

Beautiful in its elegant simplicity

I love this album. My tastes tend toward complex music, yet this collection has captured my imagination. These are simple, elegant melodies with sparse accompaniments perfect for relaxation, and yes, even sleep. Sentimental without veering toward cloying sweetness. Beautiful harmonies that don't shock, yet are far from boring. Highly recommended for quiet moments and for those needing rest!

From MainlyPiano

I have been aware of Richard Dillon’s association with the Whisperings Solo Piano Radio community of artists for several years, but "The Land of Nod" is the first time I have actually heard his music. What a treat! Dillon started taking piano lessons in elementary school and continued through high school and college, earning under-graduate degrees and then a Master of Music degree. Based in the Seattle, WA area, Dillon composes and arranges music, teaches a select group of students, and volunteers his services to local churches.

"The Land of Nod" is a collection of fifteen original solo piano lullabies, a few obviously geared toward children (or the child within all of us) and others that are very peaceful but a bit more sophisticated. The music is wonderful for relaxation and to help with sleep, but I have found it to also be a very welcome and unobtrusive companion while working on the computer, fading into the background when I need to focus fully on what I’m doing, and beautifully expressive when I can zero in on the music. This quietly compelling music is played simply but very expressively, giving it plenty of substance. In other words, the music isn’t spare because of a lack of playing chops, but is intentionally designed to soothe and relax. I don’t advise putting it in your wake-up alarm!

"The Land of Nod" begins with “The Land Above the Sky,” a gentle piece that overflows with innocence and wonder, with a sweet version of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” woven into it. “No More Tears” expresses the soothing warmth of a mother comforting an unhappy child, but it could also be the bond of understanding between adult friends - poignantly beautiful. It really is amazing how much emotion “Jouet Triste” (“Sad Toy”) conveys with such simplicity - a favorite. Who hasn’t ever fallen asleep in a favorite rocking chair? That gentle motion is captured in “Rocking Chair” - sometimes a little faster, sometimes almost stopping, and rocking at a steadier pace. “Kainehe” is another favorite with its changing themes, bittersweet spirit, and occasional outbursts of passion. “La Luna” is one of the more ambient of the fifteen tracks - very open, unstructured and peaceful. “Looking Glass River” makes wonderfully effective use of the damper pedal to create feelings of open space and a shimmering atmosphere. As the piece evolves, it becomes more majestic and then softens to a dreamier feeling - another favorite. I love the mysterious quality of “Shadows On the Wall” and the fantasies it evokes. It isn’t scary or threatening, but piques the imagination. “Papillion” is a very fitting nod to Erik Satie. I have played a lot of Satie’s music, and this could easily be attributed to him (or his ghost!) - love it! The title track is a dreamscape set to music, again effectively using the damper pedal to create a dreamy sense of open space and perhaps floating gently on a cloud. “Moonrise” perfectly describes the magic of watching the moon as it slowly ascends into the night sky - gorgeous!

I am very happy to have finally discovered the music of Richard Dillon and look forward to exploring more of his music. "The Land of Nod" is highly recommended!

Review from Journeyscapes Radio

Richard Dillon is a Seattle-based pianist and composer who began taking piano lessons as a child that continued through high school. He eventually earned four college degrees with three of them being in music and currently plays piano in his church’s worship band. Working within a musical style that he describes as ranging from neo-impressionist to Celtic, Richard cites other pianist-composers such as David Nevue, Joe Bongiorno and Neil Patton as among his greatest influences. Comprised of fifteen solo piano compositions spanning fifty-two minutes, his latest album, Land of Nod: Lullabies for the Listless, is a lovely collection of broadly low-key, lullaby-like tunes.

“The Land Above the Sky” gently opens the album in the higher register, immediately conveying a sense of innocent wonder as it softly sails along like a ship in the night sky. At about the halfway mark the composition sweetly slips into a variation of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”, a universally beloved lullaby that couldn’t be more fitting as the instruction for what lies ahead. “Jouet Triste” (meaning “sad toy” in French) is among the most notable compositions on the album and seemingly alludes to a childhood memory. Here, the delicately wistful lead melody is supported by a repeating up-and-downward climb on the keys throughout. “Kainehe” is another highlight that begins at a slower pace in the lower register, eventually quickening up with a cascading melody played by the right hand, before winding down and repeating again. “La Luna” likewise imparts a gentle melody of quietude conveyed by sparse piano notes, which seemingly recalls that of moon-gazing on a lone evening. The aptly-titled “Sleepyhead” creates a warmly sentimental conclusion to the album with a tender melody that evokes a sense of deep peace and comfort.

Offering a thoroughly relaxing and restorative experience, Land of Nod mostly consists of unobtrusively gentle passages expressed by Richard’s careful and deliberate touch on the keys, as opposed to showcasing more conspicuously fancy finger-work throughout. A most appropriate album to play for soothing the little ones, adults are sure to benefit equally from these lulling compositions as well!

Land of Nod, Richard Dillon
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: New Age, Music
  • Released: Mar 17, 2014

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