Holly Jones – Art on the Piano Review
By BT Fasmer
October 17, 2019
In Holly Jones’ music is a quiet elegance that seems contradictory to the world we live in. To be heard these days, you have to be LOUD. Everywhere we go there are noises and a constant battle for our attention. The magic in Jones’ music is that it makes us listen. Her new album is called “Art on the Piano.” It is a collection of 11 gentle pieces, focusing on precious moments and beautiful tableaus. It is art with a purpose.
“Art on the Piano” will be released tomorrow, October 18, 2019.
Born in Owensboro, Kentucky Holly began studying violin at age three, piano at eight, and creating compositions on the piano by nine. Her training includes many years of private study, as well as private piano and composition study at Indiana University. Holly’s solo piano debut album, “Traveler” was released in 2003. As a physical therapist, Holly has an inherent understanding of the healing power of music. Her second album, “Storyteller”, was released in 2016, followed by the orchestrated version of “Storyteller” in 2017.
A Blackberry Sky
The album opener is called “A Blackberry Sky.” You’ll notice right away Jones’ soft playing. It is not that she uses little force on the keys, but the whole expression is refreshingly quiet and light. It makes the listener relax, breathe, and think. There’s a hint of melancholy here that instantly connects with the soul. The melody is gorgeous. In short; “A Blackberry Sky” is a fantastic start to the album!
“Butterfly” is up next. If you close your eyes, you can see the colorful butterfly before your inner eye. The song has the elegance of Debussy or Ravel. I like how the rhythm seems to follow the movements of a butterfly; suddenly still, then flying, before landing gracefully on the next flower. It is a peaceful image.
In the Quiet
Then it is time for some silent reflection; “In the Quiet” starts carefully. There’s a touch of sadness that quickly changes into positive, bright notes. I love the song’s warm and loving atmosphere. There’s a universal truth here; it is in the quiet you’ll find the answers to life’s big questions.
The title track is a fascinating piece. There’s something deeply poetic about the melody; It seems to stop, then it continues, brighter and more alive. It truly is an artwork coming to life on the piano. It is also fine art in a nutshell, how it keeps evolving and unraveling new insights. Take it from me; It is a song you will need to listen to more than once to fully decode.
Stillness of Brilliance
One of the most delicate pieces on “Art on the Piano” is “Stillness of Brilliance.” It is a hopeful song, fresh and uncomplicated as a spring morning. The 5 minutes and 36 seconds seem to fly away. What a brilliant song, perfect!
“Cry for Happy” is a beautiful contrast to “Stillness of Brilliance.” The sorrowful and slow melody instantly sets a different mood. It is not without hope, though. Inside the sadness is a hidden source of joy, something that’s waiting for the right moment. Happiness will, eventually, break free, and tears will be replaced by laughter.
The short “Jellies” is a positive and warm piece, focusing on good memories. Moving on, “The Room” is a song balancing on the edge of melancholy. I love how Jones communicates many different feelings at once. This room is not just a space, but a symbol of times gone by and everything that happened here. Words cannot express these feelings. The piano, on the other hand, tells the story as it really was.
The two last songs, “Repose” and “Light on the Water”, leave you feeling happy and refreshed long after the album is done playing. Notice the wonderful flow in “Repose”. There are so many different twists and turns, before fading into the joyous “Light on the Water.”
In conclusion: When music makes you listen, that’s a sure sign of quality. Holly Jones’ “Art on the Piano” is that kind of music. In order to appreciate it, you have to block out the noises of everyday life. Suddenly you’ll find yourself in a world of music that’s both relaxing and inspiring. “Art on the Piano” is a well-balanced and delicate collection of timeless pieces, proving that real art doesn’t need grand effects or loudness. There is a lot of hope in that statement.