Beyond the Horizon
2022 / Thad Fiscella
Review by Kathy Parsons
Beyond the Horizon is pianist/composer Thad Fiscella's ninth solo piano album and picks up where his 2019 album, Through the Rain, left off. I've been reviewing Thad's music since his 2006 debut, Grand Design, and new music from him is always a special treat because of its deep sincerity as well as the beauty of the music itself. Thad draws inspiration for his music from his family, life experiences, and his relationship with the Lord. Classically-trained, he started composing music as a child and studied several instruments in addition to the piano. His music is relaxing and is intended to be music for the background of your life, but it also begs to be listened to fully in order to savor each note as well as the spirit of each piece. On his website, Thad calls it "Music that fits your life and quiets your day." A blending of classical traditions and deeply personal expression, Beyond the Horizon is a heartfelt work of art.
In keeping with the continuation of Through the Rain, Beyond the Horizon begins with "After the Rain," a piece about trust, optimism and hopeful expectation. A steady left hand rhythm supports the gentle, almost fragile, right hand melody - a beautiful start! "Chasing the Sunset" is about time and how quickly it slips away - especially when we are busy "chasing" our various goals and often missing what is most important in life. The piece begins slowly and simply, picking up speed as it evolves, slowing down near the end and then trailing off. "Overcome" is a favorite with its minor-key melody and flowing broken chords. One of the more passionate and intense of the fourteen tracks, it obviously comes from a deeply emotional place. "Beyond" seems a bit more cautiously optimistic - perhaps getting a glimpse of the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. "Clear Skies" goes a few steps farther, expressing a more joyful feeling of optimism as the "clouds" of life begin to clear and let the sun back in. Weathering life's more difficult times is always easier with someone you love, and "Hand in Hand" expresses that so well. A gentle warmth and intimacy run through the piece - kind of a long musical hug. I've listened to this album several times over the past few days, and it seems that "Solace" stops me in my tracks every time. Perhaps expressing the grace of answered prayer or the comfort of getting beyond a difficult period of time, it's another favorite. In "Undercurrent," the melody is very spare and melancholy, but there is a more energetic "undercurrent" running through several sections of the piece, perhaps keeping it afloat. I really like this one, too! The very fluid tempo of "Wandering" feels just like moving around without a goal or destination - very beautiful and soulful at the same time. The love and comfort expressed in "Home" warms the heart and soothes the mind. The simple melody and gentle spirit of "Something Beautiful" express far more than words ever could - honest, direct and from the heart. I hate for the album to end!
I have to say that I think Beyond the Horizon is Thad Fiscella's best album yet. I have enjoyed all of them, but there is something very special about this one. It is available from Thad's website and Amazon as both a CD and/or a download, and to download or stream from Apple Music/iTunes and several other streaming sites, including Spotify. Very highly recommended! I'm really looking forward to sheet music!!!
October 17, 2022
with The Outlaw Ocean Music Project