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Album Review: Scribblings
Greg Ryan
Cover image of the album Scribblings by Greg Ryan
Greg Ryan
2010 / Red Scarf Records
23 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Scribblings is the debut recording by 20-year-old Welsh composer/pianist/harpist Greg Ryan, and what an impressive debut it is! With a background in classical music as well as jazz, new age, and pop, this young artist has already established his own recording studio and has worked on the soundtracks of several films. Some of the pieces have a raw energy similar to Dax Johnson’s and some have the graceful flow of a harp. To have come into his own distinctive voice so young is amazing and I’m really looking forward to following Greg Ryan’s very promising career.

Although Scribblings is a rather short CD at about 23 1/2 minutes, the pieces seem to be the perfect length and the quality is exceptional. Each track is a standout in its own way, and there is no filler or weakness at all. The first track is “Mountain Rain,” which begins with a simple introduction and then opens up to the vibrance and exhilaration of pure sweet mountain rain. With this first piece, Ryan has already established a very large “wow” factor! “Up in the Air” begins with atmospheric keyboard sounds, and then the piano takes over. The main theme is wistful and somewhat melancholy - simple and beautiful. The other two themes are a bit darker and more intense between the lovely main theme at the beginning and end. “Euphoria” starts with a burst of energy and never stops moving. The occasional punctuation of the tympani in the background increases the drama. “Rain” has an dynamic flow on the left hand and a more percussive right to once again demonstrate why the piano is the perfect instrument to depict rain. I love “Flying,” which incorporates keyboard touches here and there for color. Again very energetic at the beginning, there is a variety of themes woven together to create a fascinating tapestry of sound that ends quietly and peacefully. “Where They Met” is a tender and romantic love song. “Snow” suggests the magical playfulness of snowfall and then the quiet beauty of snow on the ground, alternating themes and ending with the lighthearted first theme.

What a great album! Scribblings is available for download from Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Samples are available from gregryan.co.uk. Very highly recommended!
October 25, 2010
This review has been tagged as:
Debut Albums
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