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Brian Kelly | Butterfly Rapture

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New Age: Solo Instrumental Easy Listening: Instrumental Pop Moods: Featuring Piano
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Butterfly Rapture

by Brian Kelly

Dazzling, jubilant, and moving solo piano music.
Genre: New Age: Solo Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Piano Escapade
4:49 $0.99
2. Room for Sky
3:23 $0.99
3. Flowers at Her Feet
2:33 $0.99
4. Lilac Horizon
2:22 $0.99
5. Chasing a Breeze
3:23 $0.99
6. Spiral Moon
2:08 $0.99
7. Hills in Bloom
3:09 $0.99
8. Niko's Delight
3:20 $0.99
9. Playing My Heart
3:44 $0.99
10. View from the Swing
4:10 $0.99
11. Winter Aura
5:23 $0.99
12. Butterfly Rapture
3:37 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
BRIAN KELLY is an American composer, pianist, and recording artist who has released three contemporary piano instrumental albums and published two sheet music songbooks.

Brian's latest release, Butterfly Rapture (his first solo piano album), is a collection of twelve neoclassical pieces with jazz, gospel, and Celtic influences. The work gives voice to his playful, sophisticated musicality and dazzling playing ability.

Brian’s previous album, Afterplay, was awarded second place in the “Best Instrumental Jazz Album” category of the Just Plain Folks Music Awards and “#2 Contemporary Jazz Album” by Independent Music Awards. Afterplay ranked third on the New Age Reporter Top 100 Radio Chart for three months in a row (November 2008 thru January 2009) and was chosen as a “Best of 2008” pick by Audiosyncracy.

Brian's debut album, Pools of Light, charted #1 on the ZMR world/newage/ambient international radio charts for two months in a row (June and July 2005) and garnered him a “Best New Artist” nomination in the 2005 Lifestyle Music Awards. Pools of Light was voted Top 10 Best New Age Albums of 2004 by Kathy Parsons of Solo Piano Publications.

Brian was Keyboard Magazine’s Annual Reader Tape Contest winner for the recording of his composition “Todd Pond,” which is included on the flexi-disc Soundpage in the February 1990 issue. His music has been featured in television (Travel Channel, BBC Worldwide, MTV), film (NBA Entertainment), in-flight programming (United, JetBlue, Continental, Southwest), and receives airplay from radio stations and satellite music networks around the world (Music Choice, XM Radio, Pandora). His sheet music songbooks, published by Skylight Music, include: Pools of Light Solo Piano Songbook and Tomorrow’s Daydream Solo Piano Songbook.

Born in New York City, Brian grew up in Palo Alto, California. He began his piano studies at age 8, creating pieces for his mother who played classical piano at home and violin for a community opera company. Brian has extensive experience as a stage actor and singer, having performed in numerous plays and musical theatre productions, including several leading roles at TheatreWorks and the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre. He studied music composition with Roland Wiggins at Hampshire College and Lewis Spratlan at Amherst College; improvisation with members of the world-fusion group Oregon (Ralph Towner and Paul McCandless) and pianist Art Lande at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado; and jazz piano with Andy Laverne in New York City.

Brian is a graduate of Hampshire College, a voting member of The Recording Academy, and currently resides with his wife and their two tuxedo cats in the San Francisco Bay Area.



to write a review

Steve Sheppard

From One World Music Radio
There is nothing like starting the day with music and today I get to sample the delights of Butterfly Rapture by Brian Kelly. The album opens with the lively Piano Escapade, while the tempo is up-beat; there is a real up lifting segment cleverly woven into the composition that creates some beautiful imagery, this is very stylishly performed indeed.
Room for Sky, this is one of those pieces that seems to manifest an emotion all of its own, the performance is vast and whilst the tempo is up-beat, it also retains sense of longing and with only two tracks into the release, Brian Kelly has already shown us a very distinctive style, one that at times reminds me of Isadar.
The powerful beginning to the album continues, but this time using a wonderful picturesque performance of Flowers at her Feet. I guess my feelings and emotions are still with the loss of Keith Emerson, but on this piece Kelly’s style really reminds me of those magical moments when Keith became the incredible creator of solo segments for the band, this is a really stunning composition, and one of my favourites.
Now for something completely different and in fact this almost borders at times on the classical, we now hear a delightful track called Lilac Horizon. This piece is played so beautifully one can almost see fields of Lilac blowing in a gentle summer wind.
The next track fits well with the preceding one and is called Chasing a Breeze. However that gentle summer wind I referred to in my last paragraph has now become a frisky early morning Breeze, the energy and performance once more allows our imagination to create a picturesque back drop, packed with vitality.
At the half way point we come across a piece called Spiral Moon, the beginning of this composition was so revealing, one could see the moon appear from a late night cloud and then starts beginning to emerge from the heat of the waning day.
It’s spring here in Cyprus; there is a glorious sense of colour everywhere and in this arrangement we see that very sense in the performance from Brian Kelly, this is one track that drifts back and forth as we take in this awe inspiring sight.
It’s time for a dedication, as we listen to Niko’s Delight, smooth and gentle tones are carefully and respectfully played, with an elevated sense of energy towards the latter part of the piece, which lead us right into the open arms of the next piece called Playing My Heart, this is one lush arrangement that is also incredibly sensitive and played from that heart centre, the performance is played with a meaningful intent, with a good deal of passion as well; a complex, but entirely captivating track this one.
View from the Swing, I love titles like this, makes me feel like I have walked into an art gallery and in a way I guess we have dear reader. Here is a track that seems to reinvent itself from memories past along the way and in a way could be seen as an anthem for happy childhood thoughts perhaps. Brian Kelly has a signature sound that is totally unique and one can really appreciate that most on this piece.
We now knock at the last but one door of the album Butterfly Rapture, and listen to the penultimate piece called Winter Aura; it does indeed feel like we have gone through all four seasons during this journey, I listened to this one several times and each time its mournful repose thrilled me, again Emerson in style, but creative beyond belief and so incredibly performed, manifesting a little winter magic with the wave of a hand and a build and progression of complexity like never before, perhaps we have a new genre, Progressive Piano?
The last port of call for us the title track itself, Butterfly Rapture. We end with the majesty and grace that the opportunity of a title track deserves, the melody is charming and the performance light, but yet again incredibly skilful and deeply thoughtful.
Butterfly Rapture is an album that crosses borders on several genres and even creates new ones, this is one of the most exciting and unique albums I have heard for quite some time and as such I can completely recommend Brian Kelly and Butterfly Rapture as an album you seriously should get as quick as possible.

Michael Diamond

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus
The album gets off to a strong start with the opening track, “Piano Escapade.” There is a cinematic feel to this piece and I could definitely imagine it as a film soundtrack. One of the things that impressed me right away was Brian’s sense of dynamics and his ability to move between delicate passages and those that were much more powerful. On the jazzy upbeat “Room For Sky,” Brian displays striking keyboard technique and phrasing which really made me sit up and take notice. Just in the first two songs I got a sense of what he meant when he said: “My music integrates a broad palette of styles and techniques that I blend with the aim of expressing a continuous spectrum of emotion.” The slower, more reflective feel of track 6, “Spiral Moon” provides a bit of a change up from the first five compositions, which are considerably higher energy. On “Playing My Heart,” Brian expresses his more romantic side while exhibiting some jaw-dropping technique in the second half.

It’s hard to classify Brian’s music, although if Jedi master Obi Wan was a musician, he might say: “the jazz Force is strong in this one.” Elements of jazz are found throughout the album, and I’m not talking about smooth jazz, but more adventurous and complex forms of the genre. If I had to choose one word to describe Brian’s playing on “Butterfly Rapture” it would be “passionate.” I had the feeling of him being totally committed and pouring his heart and soul into every song, often digging in with unexpected vigor and intensity. This is definitely not background music. It is powerfully engaging and commands your attention. I am beyond impressed with Brian’s talents as a pianist and composer, and found this to be one of the most unique solo piano albums I’ve heard in a while.

To read a full length feature article on this album, as well as others, please visit: www.michaeldiamondmusic.com

Valerie Leonhart Smalkin

Music to Live By
This CD is deep, moving, beautiful, and changes moods without sacrificing one bit of musicality. My favorite might be the stark cold feel of "Winter Aura" especially in juxtaposition to the richness of the following title song "Butterfly Rapture." Brian dips his toe (fingers?) into an almost stride like swing now and then which comes as a pleasant and refreshing surprise. Congratulations Mr. Kelly, on a superb CD.

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Butterfly Rapture" is SF Bay Area jazz pianist/composer Brian Kelly’s first album since his 2008 "Afterplay" and his first solo piano album ever - something I’ve been looking forward to for a very long time. When I lived in the Bay Area, I had the opportunity to see Kelly play live several times and he became one of my favorite live performers. I’ve also worked with him by proofing some of his sheet music, so I’ve gotten to know his music quite intimately and love it. Overall, the music on "Butterfly Rapture" has an intoxicating energy but also has many quieter, more reflective moments. Kelly started playing the piano at eight years old, so his composing reflects a lifetime in music and feels as natural as speaking. The twelve pieces on "Butterfly Rapture" are a fascinating combination of classical, jazz and new age influences intertwined to give Brian Kelly a unique and original voice.

"Butterfly Rapture" begins with “Piano Escapade,” a bright and lively piece that (for me) expresses the joy and freedom of getting “lost” in the music. It also clearly indicates that this is someone who really knows his way around a piano! “Room For Sky” has a beautiful flowing quality and combines elements of classical, jazz, and new age piano - a favorite. I also really like “Lilac Horizon,” a lyrical beauty with just the right touch of mystery to make it compelling. “Chasing a Breeze” has a carefree energy that goes in different directions like its namesake breeze would do. Lovely images of an abundance of wildflowers and new grasses gently caressed by a soft wind are evoked by “Hills in Bloom” - warm and soothing. “Niko’s Delight” is a multi-movement piece with a more classical structure that begins with a sweet and simple melody accompanied mostly by blocked chords. The second theme is somewhat more agitated yet beautifully flowing - I really like this one, too! As its title implies, “Playing My Heart” is poignant and sincere, a deeply personal expression - and a very beautiful one. “Winter Aura” goes darker to capture the feeling of winter’s chill. Much of the first half of this piece is played in the bass of the piano, becoming livelier and more percussive and then returning to the original theme - cool! Kelly saved the elegant title track for the end of the album. The various runs throughout the piece are crystal clear and intricate while the smoother and more lyrical passages flow effortlessly. It’s a great ending to a great album!

"Butterfly Rapture" was worth the long wait between albums and is sure to inspire and delight! Very highly recommended!