K. Ryan Brown
2007 / K. Ryan Brown
is a very impressive debut by K. Ryan Brown. Will Ackerman agreed to produce the recording at his Imaginary Road Studios based on a rough demo, and started working with Ryan at the ripe old age of 16. Unlike many of Ackerman’s recent piano productions, Ryan’s is all solo acoustic piano. The overall tone of the album is quietly somber, but the music is full of deep emotional intensity and has a maturity that belies Ryan’s young age. The pieces are a bit abstract and more ambient than melodic, but his expressive playing communicates beautifully. It is very possible that Ryan Brown will become an important voice in contemporary piano - he is certainly off to a promising start!
The title track begins the album. This piece has a real sparkle about it that suggests a sense of wonder and beauty. My favorite track is “Stonebridge,” a piece where Ryan often uses the damper pedal to create the feeling of vast space. Too much pedal can drive me up the wall, but he has used it to great effect here. The dark mood of the piece feels like a soliloquy to me, full of passion and introspection. “Hidden Rooms” has a sense of mystery and a feeling of seeking something just out of view. “TiI Then” is a gentle farewell to a loved one, a little bit shy and bittersweet. “Where the Ocean Meets the Earth” conveys the majesty of the ocean as its waves flow over the shoreline or crash against the cliffs. The sparkle of light dancing on the water and the rhythm of the ebb and flow of the waves are very effectively portrayed. “Lovers’ Quarrel” is very dark and turbulent - almost Russian in its intensity. The title “Dancing Turtles” evokes an interesting and amusing image, and the piece has a slow pace that is kind of heavy and somewhat ungraceful - very enjoyable! “On Comes the Night” is another beauty with an unhurried tempo. As the piece progresses, it feels like looking up at a vast night sky as the darkness descends, watching the stars becoming brighter and more intense and listening to the quiet. The pace becomes even slower at the end and just trails off, perhaps suggesting sleep - another really great piece!
K. Ryan Brown should be able to make a real impact on the music world - especially with someone with Will Ackerman’s clout in his corner. Be sure to check out what this young man has to say via the piano! Eden
can be purchased and samples are available at kryanbrown.com