Friday, October 29, 2021

Moments by Ryan Marvel




Ryan Marvel

Written by

Steve Sheppard


I believe that we each live our lives in a sequence of moments, all things change, all life moves forever onward, it’s about surfing the rapids of our lives, and not swimming against the flow of the tide that we must try to do. Here on Ryan Marvels latest offering entitled Moments, we have that aforementioned statement in music, and it is this sojourn of many musical places we can now go.

We start with the first open door of tone called Rays; this is an idyllic presentation, and one that depicts a fresh day full of optimism and hope as the rays of glorious sunlight filter in through an open curtain.

Our next piece called Commencement leads us off on a veritable exploration of life’s rich tapestries, the changes within the song, and those repeating motifs and gentle chord structures are indeed like life, ever changing, with a wistful melody of simplicity.

We all reflect on our past and those times that hold special moments good or bad for us, and for me this next track offers up much with regard to healing those sadder sequences of life, and entitled Yesteryear. The slow tempo and thoughtful progressions are almost dramatic in stature, but mournful in mood and texture.

As previously stated the one thing that is certain in life is Change, here is a track that reflects that oh so very perfectly, at times new age piano is combined with a little jazzy ethic, and I even found a slight hint of Keith Emerson in the weave too, “Change” indeed was the correct title for this one.

We move ever onwards and as we do so we come across a composition entitled Growth, something we all do if we have learned the lessons that life throws at us, here Marvel gifts us a gentle musical narrative, one that seems to pull back and forth like a summer tide.

This for me was a personal favourite, and called Empty Stage, I was taken back in time and reminded perhaps of Shakespeare: “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts”. The grand classical elements are here, a possible soundtrack even, and a flourishing almost Baroque performance from the artist too.

Moments is a truly inspiring slice of solo piano, if this is your genre then fall in love with it you will, especially on tracks like Farewell. A deep and moody opus can be found here, perhaps to allow one to drift off onto a bed of reflection with, this was strangely enough, one of those pieces that I had to stop writing and just listen to at least three times, each time I did so I felt the narrative and direction change, creating a new flow, whilst paying homage to the last.

As we move forever deeper into this musical woodland of wonderment, we come across a beautifully light reverie entitled Spirit, the texture and chords here are so calming and soothing, and with each note played, beams of light and hope stretch across the room of potential.

There is an energy of the dance within this next happy composition entitled Equinox, the upbeat nature of this arrangement is sublime, and would be a pleasing grin to anyone looking to be lifted; almost anthem like in presentation, here is a track that will raise the rhythms with ease.

Way over in the deeper waters of the album we can find a vast arrangement entitled Stargazing. Ryan Marvel has really embraced the subject matter here completely, his blissful performance is one to wander across the universe with; a wondrous open feel that stretches on musically into infinity and beyond can be found here.

Our penultimate offering is called Goodnight and quite brilliantly played by the artist, a calming serene mood is manifested here, one that will allow you to rest your head on the pillow, close your eyes, and drift off down the stream, perchance to dream.

To conclude this crafted collection of creative compositions, we end with Sleep, I adore the gentle presentation here, the tranquil tones will ease the heart and quieten the mind, this is also a clever performance by the artist too, and his use of a slight pause and repeating notes and structures, brings forth a truly restful and crafted last offering.

Moments by Ryan Marvel could well be one of the best solo piano offerings in this style, that has been released this year, in my view it is the artists best work to date with ease, an album full of thoughtful and professional performances, beautifully produced and presented, this is a story book of life, wrapped up in one wonderful solo piano performance.

1 comment:

  1. Steve... Thank you so very much for these thoughtful and poignant words. Appreciate hearing how the music hit your ears and heart. Many thanks 🙏