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Album Review: A Dream in Paradise
Tijs Ven
Cover image of the album A Dream in Paradise by Tijs Ven
A Dream in Paradise
Tijs Ven
2019 / Tijs Ven
48 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
A Dream in Paradise is the debut solo piano album by Tijs Ven, a pianist/composer currently living in Hungary. The music was inspired by and is based on true events, and “it’s about a dream that became reality.” That dream refers to finding a home where Tijs and his wife could live off the land in a self-sufficient lifestyle. The thirteen original pieces express happiness, optimism and an abundance of love. A self-taught pianist, Tijs creates a very pleasant ambiance with his music. The only thing I don’t particularly like is the piano sound itself. Recorded on a digital piano, there isn’t much variation in the dynamics and the tone doesn’t have the rich resonance of a good acoustic. (A lot of people can’t tell the difference between the sound of an acoustic piano and a digital one, but those who can might find it a little distracting.) Other than that, the music ranges from lively and joyful to more thoughtful and peaceful, and is obviously very personal - a very good first album!

A Dream in Paradise begins with the title track, a piece that expresses the joy and excitement of finding that place where you feel you’re supposed to be. It also tells of some of the difficulties of moving to another country and being in an unfamiliar culture. A few passages in the piece have a slightly Asian sound, and there is a lighthearted little waltz near the end. “Suddenly” is about one of those moments in life where everything changes, when it feels like nothing can go wrong and everything falls into place. Warm contentment runs throughout this sweet piece. On his website, Tijs defines serenity as: “when you feel serenity, you can forgive anything, you feel understanding and compassion, Love and Peace.” The piece “Serenity” expresses those feelings very well. “Cosy Together” captures the essence of “Love, Trust, Peace, Understanding, Safety and Unity.” Blissfully relaxed and happy, it’s a favorite. “Wagging Tales” is an effervescent and enthusiastic piece about two very happy dogs. In the middle section, the dogs slow down and take a short nap, only to become fully energized once again - also a favorite! “Wedding Dance” is a joyful expression of euphoric emotions experienced on that very special day - “the only two people in the universe spiraling and dancing among the stars.” “Round and Round” brings the album to a peaceful close and it really feels like the music is moving in a circular motion.

Tijs Ven’s first album shows a great deal of promise, and I look forward to hearing more of his music in the future! A Dream in Paradise is available from www.TijsVen.com, Amazon, iTunes, CD Baby and various streaming sites. There is also a companion solo piano sheet music book available.
February 2, 2020
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