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Album Review: A Sandpiper's Dream
Mark Moore
Cover image of the album A Sandpiper's Dream by Mark Moore
A Sandpiper's Dream
Mark Moore
2003 / Mark Moore
54 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
A Sandpiper's Dream is a gorgeous collection of original piano solos and ocean sounds composed and performed by Mark Moore. Most of the music is very flowing and soothing, creating a mood of peace and contentment. All of the song titles follow a theme of the ocean and the life around it, and the ocean sounds run through some of the pieces as well as between them, making this more of a concept album than a collection of music with varying themes. The music is direct and uncomplicated, allowing the listener to slip right under the music’s spell, but it is still fresh and interesting after many playings. Some of the music reminds me of fellow Floridian pianist, Wayne Gratz, who had a hand in the demo recording.

The CD opens with the title track, a gentle almost ambient piece. Delicate yet determined, this lovely piece is a good indicator of what the rest of the album will be like. “Sandcastles” is light and fanciful, kind of like light dancing on the water. “Slow Dancing On the Beach” is the longest piece on the album at almost 8 1/2 minutes, and exudes warm contentment and tranquility. Ocean sounds weave in and out of the smoothly flowing piano as do sweet birds chirping - it doesn’t get any more blissful than this! “Twilight at Anna Maria” is one of my favorites. Leaving open space between the early phrases of the piece gives a sense of calm. As the piece unfolds, it becomes slightly darker with the contrasts of a smoothly flowing left hand and a brighter, slightly percussive right hand. The opening theme returns and then trails off - a very evocative and beautiful piece! “Ormand Beach” is another beauty with its gently shifting tempos and open spaces - very reflective. “Red Sky in Morning” is somewhat more dramatic, using synth string washes to enhance the mood. “Tropic Isle Inn” is my other favorite. It is basically quite simple, but Moore throws in some interesting runs on the piano that remind me a little bit of Michael Dulin’s work that sounds simple but is actually quite difficult. This is an exceptionally nice piece. “Aqua Marine” is almost a duet with piano and ocean sounds, and it works very well. In some passages, the piano has the lead and the ocean leads in others - interesting! “Ponce Inlet” closes the album as it began, full of warmth and a feeling of calm contentment.

A Sandpiper's Dream is an exceptionally nice album if you enjoy the sounds of the sea along with the piano. Highly recommended for relaxation and unwinding - don’t try to wake up to it, though! Samples and sales are at markmooreproductions.com.
February 17, 2006
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