John Burke | Orogen

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George Winston Keith Jarrett Ray Manzarek

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United States - Georgia

Other Genres You Will Love
New Age: Contemporary Instrumental New Age: Solo Instrumental Moods: Solo Instrumental
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by John Burke

John Burke challenges common preconceptions of piano music with his rich, cinematic, and powerful style.
Genre: New Age: Contemporary Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Arise
5:44 album only
2. Spring Tides
4:11 album only
3. The Traveler
4:49 album only
4. Autumn Blaze
4:44 album only
5. Batholith
8:43 album only
6. Riverswept
6:35 album only
7. Foot Traffic
3:48 album only
8. Windflower
6:32 album only
9. Earth Breaker
3:27 album only
10. Orogen
5:09 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Orogen (n.): A region of the Earth's crust where mountains are formed. Within each composition, an underlying melody gradually reveals itself. Forged by musical forces and shifts throughout the album, this subterranean melody ascends to unveil a symphonic mountain range.



to write a review

Darla Bower

Reviewed by Enlightened Piano Radio
John Burke is a composer/pianist who has composed film scores, directed musical theater and boasts a varied musical experience as a talented composer/pianist. Orogen is his sixth release. The definition of Orogen is: “a region of the Earth’s crust where mountains are formed.” Loving mountains as I do, I couldn’t wait to hear this CD. On the inside of the cover the liner notes say: “within each composition, an underlying melody gradually reveals itself.” So the notes and title set the musical expectation of an evolving compilation of melodies where by the end of the album the mystery of the melody is fully revealed.

Orogen opens with the track Arise. This piece has a very energetic melody with a faster tempo. With a majestic rock feel to bring the piece into being; Arise is a welcoming ascent into the musical experience that forms mountains made of music. Spring Tides, the next composition on this album, is a motivating melody to set the mood for accomplishment. Almost more of a dance in its feel, this brisk piece really got me moving! Another favorite on the album is Autumn Blaze. The melody line in this piece is played with the left hand, above and then below the right hand, which keeps the tempo steady with an energetic pattern at the center of the piano. Like each piece we've heard so far, this song boasts of technical mastery, energy and skill.

Batholith starts out as a quieter melody and slowly builds in crescendo of musical enjoyment. This piece drew me in as the listener to see what new the height the melody would fly me to. A bit more ambient than the others, this piece changes its feel throughout. The melody line goes from being pronounced, to being molded into the textures of the piece. Batholith is the longest song on the album at 8 minutes and 44 seconds, but held my interest for curiosity to see how it would end. The ending draws the piece to a gentle yet majestic close. It did not disappoint, I loved it!

Riverswept was yet another favorite. I could almost feel the angst and swell of a river as the melody both ebbed and flowed. The melody smoothly transitions into the combination of technical skill and wooing the river to flow masterfully as his fingers sweep over the keys. I could easily imagine the water traveling swiftly and sweeping me away. After the river crests the ending flows perfectly into a gentler reverie. Windflower ended up being my absolute favorite on the entire CD. This composition teases the listener with an enchanting melody. I loved the softer sounds this piece offered. Windflower is the most reflective piece on the album, luring the listener with its peaceful and charming resonance. John uses jazz chords and fluctuating tempos throughout this piece to create the gentle experience of a sun filled afternoon in the countryside. The melody sings into the upper register toward the end, bringing it to a graceful conclusion. Simply beautiful!

In Earth Breaker you could almost feel the mountain ranges pushing toward the surface of the earth as the melody cascades over the keys. The mountains are almost pushing this fast-moving melody toward the surface of a mystical and challenging shift. This composition is also a bit different from the others in that there are traces of romantic era chord progressions and techniques used, a nod to the great masters. The lower register brings this regal composition to a surprising and unexpected closure, a truly unique ending to an innovative piece! The title track Orogen has more of a pop feel, and brings the album of ten embracing solo piano pieces to an inspiring and energetic close.

Throughout the entire album you can hear the skill and technical accomplishment of this composer/pianist. I definitely could hear the influence of George Winston in this album, combining some elements of jazz seasoned with concise new age style. I highly recommend Orogen for those who enjoy engaged listening and well composed musical complexity. I will be adding Orogen to my list as motivating music to conquer the day.

Orogen is available on, Amazon, CD Baby and iTunes. For more information on John Burke, please be sure to visit his website.