Art on the Piano
Reviewed by Pam Asberry
Release date October 18, 2019
Born in Owensboro, Kentucky, Holly Jones began studying violin at age three, piano at eight, and creating compositions on the piano by nine. Years of training, including many years of private study as well as private piano and composition lessons at Indiana University, followed. Holly’s solo piano debut album, “Traveler” was released in 2003. Her second album, “Storyteller,” was released in 2016, followed by the orchestrated version of “Storyteller” in 2017. A physical therapist in Edmond, Oklahoma, Holly has an inherent understanding of the healing power of music. With her fourth release, “Art on the Piano,” Holly has created a self-described “neoclassical impressionistic study that is relaxing and healing for the listener.”
The album opens with the spectacular “Blackberry Sky.” Profound in its simplicity, musical ideas drifting back and forth between the sparkling upper octaves and the darker lower registers of the piano, this piece takes me back to childhood days lying on soft grass experiencing the ever-changing shapes of the clouds overhead. “Butterfly” is a stately, elegant waltz, the left hand accompaniment gently undulating like the wings of a butterfly as it rests on a beautiful flower. “In the Quiet” is restful and meditative and brought to mind a favorite quote from Blaise Pascal: “Think about some of the problems of our daily lives, and how many of them would be eased if we could learn go sit alone, in a quiet empty room, with contentment.” Pensive and brooding, the title track, “Art on the Piano,” brought dark blues and grays to my mind’s eye, creating a mood both somber and tinged with hope. “Stillness of Brilliance” is almost a waking dream, cheerful yet peaceful.
Have you ever had the experience of looking at a beautiful painting and being moved to tears without quite understanding why? That was my experience upon hearing “Cry for Happy.” Both the recognition of beauty and the crying have a healing effect on the soul! “Jellies” moves with the ease of jellyfish swimming in the ocean, gliding effortlessly through the water in a way that is utterly captivating. Dark and languid, “The Room” features a haunting melody over a slow, broken chord left hand accompaniment; “Repose” is calm, peaceful and contemplative, like sitting in a front porch swing at dusk. “Walk with the Trees” is as restorative as a stroll through a fragrant forest. “Light on the Water” has a bit of a Celtic lilt and is a musical depiction of light glittering on ripples of water, bringing the album to a delightful conclusion.
With “Art on the Piano,” Holly has achieved her stated goal as an artist: “I wish for my music to reach the truth in each person listening…to help them take pause in the busyness of life and to bring them peace and clarity. As one tunes into the music it is my intention that it provides a setting of peace…but when one listens closer, it can take them away and always to the best place.” Very highly recommended!