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Richard Dillon | Land of Nod

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New Age: Solo Instrumental New Age: Relaxation Moods: Featuring Piano
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Land of Nod

by Richard Dillon

Every night we enter a wondrous world, a place of Alpha waves, a domain between sleep and wakefulness. This CD contains fifteen lullabies composed for solo piano in a variety of styles, keys, and tempos and is designed to take you to The Land of Nod.
Genre: New Age: Solo Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. The Land Above the Sky
3:42 $0.99
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2. No More Tears
2:29 $0.99
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3. Jouet Triste
2:59 $0.99
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4. Rocking Chair
2:59 $0.99
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5. Kainehe
4:48 $0.99
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6. Marmalade Skies
4:21 $0.99
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7. Sea of Forgetfulness
3:32 $0.99
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8. La Luna
2:10 $0.99
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9. Looking Glass River
3:34 $0.99
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10. My Bed Is a Boat
3:09 $0.99
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11. Shadows On the Wall
3:30 $0.99
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12. Papillon
2:38 $0.99
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13. The Land of Nod
3:00 $0.99
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14. Moonrise
4:19 $0.99
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15. Sleepyhead
4:21 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The Land above the Sky

This song came to me in a dream. As usual, I am enjoying the music when something inside of me realizes that I’m dreaming. I quickly get up, scrawl down notes on whatever scrap of paper is lying around and return to bed.

No More tears

I original wrote this song during a period of time when two people I knew – my uncle Bob Preston and Frank Pooler – died on the same day. That got me thinking about how I will feel when my mother – now 95 years of age – returns home.

Jouet Triste (Sad Toy)

Toys go through a lot of of abuse. We either love them to death (think Velveteen Rabbit) break them (think me as a child)., or abandon them. What if toys had feelings too?

Rocking Chair

I used to spend summers on the family farm in Minnesota as a child. While my grandfather was busy most of the time – as farmers tend to be – he did manage to spend time with me. I remember sitting next to him on the porch, both of us rocking back and forth.

Kainehe (Whispering Sea, Rumbling Sea)

This song has two characters: calm and rumbling. I was struggling for a title and decided to see what Hawaiian words might be appropriate, assuming that the Native Hawaiians would have had many words to describe the behavior of the ocean. I was correct in my assumption.

Marmalade Skies

Do you ever completely forget a brilliant orange sunsets?

Sea of Forgetfulness

Forgetfulness can be a good thing. What was I talking about?

La Luna

I enjoy watching the full moon, especially on cloudy nights, as the character of the moon temporarily changes with the passage of the clouds.

Looking Glass River


My Bed Is A Boat

This is an example of a song based on the title of a poem by Robert Luis Stevenson. I normally add a title after a song is complete, but in this case the title intrigued me and guided my efforts as I created the song. Think of a boat on the ocean.

Shadows on the Wall

When I was young, my bedroom was relegated to a small space between the bathroom and front door. When the wind blew at night, shadows jumped and danced on the wall, and experience that children still experience.

Papillon

I enjoy watching butterflies, the peacefulness of their passing and the sudden changes they make in their direction of flight. This song is equally peaceful with a few changes in melodic direction.

The Land of Nod

This song began life as a song I wrote for one of my piano student to play at recital. It later led to thoughts of writing a series of sleepy songs that morphed into this CD.

Moonrise

Imagine yourself on a lake, surrounded by the sounds of crickets and loons with the moon rising overhead.

Sleepyhead

A glimpse into the brain as we transition from The Land of Nod into the Land of Nod.

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Reviews


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Dyan Garris - New Age CD

Beautiful Solo Piano
Richard Dillon, New Age pianist and composer, considers himself more of a “Neo-Impressionist,” than a “New Ager.” That’s fine if we insist on categorizing. But there is a very good reason for characterizing himself in this way rather than just to distance himself from a particular label, style, or genre. If you really listen to this release, “The Land of Nod: Lullabies for the Listless” – really listen rather than just play it in the background – you will discover that Dillon paints us some very tranquil, yet unmistakably defined musical landscapes.
Neo-Impressionism is a style of painting using the technique of pointillism, made popular in France in the late 19th century. Pointillism is also a particular musical style. As in Neo-Impressionistic painting, what becomes apparent in this album from the very beginning, is that every “dot,” every note, in every song on this album is clearly deliberate, executed with thoughtful cadence and timing. Adding another few layers to the whole mix, Dillon, who is also autistic, holds a Master of Music degree, among several others.
The result is as intended: A calculated arrangement, that while obviously made up of individual notes, comes together in a carefully orchestrated composition that has more depth and brilliance than “just another soothing, solo piano album.” As well, one could say that each song itself is also its own “point of light” contributing to the whole. So while from the outside, or at first listen, the album may seem perhaps a simplistically charming collection of soul-soothing adult lullabies, it really is a multi-layered, multi-dimensional beauty. It all just works.
There really was not one song I didn’t like on this album, which is all very relaxing and nicely engineered, especially if you like solo piano and classical piano albums. A few favorites: “Sea of Forgetfulness,” Track 7. Here Dillon evidences his musical training with some very nice trills. “The Land of Nod,” Track 13, is a wistful, harmonious piece. “My Bed is a Boat” takes us back to the conscious, floating, dreaming of childhood where we could simply travel to any destination through our imaginations. Track 12, “Papillion,” which is the French word for “butterfly,” curiously enough, has a little heavier feel. All definitely interesting. Soothing. Thoughtful. Relaxing. Recommended.
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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
I have been aware of Richard Dillon’s association with the Whisperings Solo Piano Radio community of artists for several years, but "The Land of Nod" is the first time I have actually heard his music. What a treat! Dillon started taking piano lessons in elementary school and continued through high school and college, earning under-graduate degrees and then a Master of Music degree. Based in the Seattle, WA area, Dillon composes and arranges music, teaches a select group of students, and volunteers his services to local churches.

"The Land of Nod" is a collection of fifteen original solo piano lullabies, a few obviously geared toward children (or the child within all of us) and others that are very peaceful but a bit more sophisticated. The music is wonderful for relaxation and to help with sleep, but I have found it to also be a very welcome and unobtrusive companion while working on the computer, fading into the background when I need to focus fully on what I’m doing, and beautifully expressive when I can zero in on the music. This quietly compelling music is played simply but very expressively, giving it plenty of substance. In other words, the music isn’t spare because of a lack of playing chops, but is intentionally designed to soothe and relax. I don’t advise putting it in your wake-up alarm!

"The Land of Nod" begins with “The Land Above the Sky,” a gentle piece that overflows with innocence and wonder, with a sweet version of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” woven into it. “No More Tears” expresses the soothing warmth of a mother comforting an unhappy child, but it could also be the bond of understanding between adult friends - poignantly beautiful. It really is amazing how much emotion “Jouet Triste” (“Sad Toy”) conveys with such simplicity - a favorite. Who hasn’t ever fallen asleep in a favorite rocking chair? That gentle motion is captured in “Rocking Chair” - sometimes a little faster, sometimes almost stopping, and rocking at a steadier pace. “Kainehe” is another favorite with its changing themes, bittersweet spirit, and occasional outbursts of passion. “La Luna” is one of the more ambient of the fifteen tracks - very open, unstructured and peaceful. “Looking Glass River” makes wonderfully effective use of the damper pedal to create feelings of open space and a shimmering atmosphere. As the piece evolves, it becomes more majestic and then softens to a dreamier feeling - another favorite. I love the mysterious quality of “Shadows On the Wall” and the fantasies it evokes. It isn’t scary or threatening, but piques the imagination. “Papillion” is a very fitting nod to Erik Satie. I have played a lot of Satie’s music, and this could easily be attributed to him (or his ghost!) - love it! The title track is a dreamscape set to music, again effectively using the damper pedal to create a dreamy sense of open space and perhaps floating gently on a cloud. “Moonrise” perfectly describes the magic of watching the moon as it slowly ascends into the night sky - gorgeous!

I am very happy to have finally discovered the music of Richard Dillon and look forward to exploring more of his music. "The Land of Nod" is highly recommended!
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Candice Michelle

Review from Journeyscapes Radio
Richard Dillon is a Seattle-based pianist and composer who began taking piano lessons as a child that continued through high school. He eventually earned four college degrees with three of them being in music and currently plays piano in his church’s worship band. Working within a musical style that he describes as ranging from neo-impressionist to Celtic, Richard cites other pianist-composers such as David Nevue, Joe Bongiorno and Neil Patton as among his greatest influences. Comprised of fifteen solo piano compositions spanning fifty-two minutes, his latest album, Land of Nod: Lullabies for the Listless, is a lovely collection of broadly low-key, lullaby-like tunes.

“The Land Above the Sky” gently opens the album in the higher register, immediately conveying a sense of innocent wonder as it softly sails along like a ship in the night sky. At about the halfway mark the composition sweetly slips into a variation of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”, a universally beloved lullaby that couldn’t be more fitting as the instruction for what lies ahead. “Jouet Triste” (meaning “sad toy” in French) is among the most notable compositions on the album and seemingly alludes to a childhood memory. Here, the delicately wistful lead melody is supported by a repeating up-and-downward climb on the keys throughout. “Kainehe” is another highlight that begins at a slower pace in the lower register, eventually quickening up with a cascading melody played by the right hand, before winding down and repeating again. “La Luna” likewise imparts a gentle melody of quietude conveyed by sparse piano notes, which seemingly recalls that of moon-gazing on a lone evening. The aptly-titled “Sleepyhead” creates a warmly sentimental conclusion to the album with a tender melody that evokes a sense of deep peace and comfort.

Offering a thoroughly relaxing and restorative experience, Land of Nod mostly consists of unobtrusively gentle passages expressed by Richard’s careful and deliberate touch on the keys, as opposed to showcasing more conspicuously fancy finger-work throughout. A most appropriate album to play for soothing the little ones, adults are sure to benefit equally from these lulling compositions as well!
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Steve Sheppard

Review by One World Music Radio
The Land of Nod is one of those timeless releases, that constantly reminds us of our childhood days, those times when we used to look at the world as a place of wonder, not fear, when clouds would be kingdoms, and valleys, seas of green peace and tranquillity.
Here on this album Richard Dillon once again connects us with those days and we can be on that journey with the very first track called The Land Above the Sky. The gentleness with which this is played is so very innocent and childlike, it’s as if we are truly going on a sojourn into a dimension of truth, fun and happiness, The Land Above the Sky is the perfect musical place for us to start.
The sensitivity of this album will be abundantly easy to feel and on No More Tears we have a piece that is that and more, this almost lullaby styled arrangement seems so familiar in its construction and melody, even now in my older years, it seems to bring great comfort to my heart.
Jouet Triste has such a mournful way about its energy, that one can literally feel a wounded essence of some description through the narrative of the music. There is a sadness here that has such depth. I found the entire experience of this composition profoundly moving.
As you may imagine Rocking Chair, the next track, has a sweet sense of movement within its build and progression and also has a certain lightness of spirit built in as well. This is a real keepsake in the attic styled piece, layered with many memories throughout times rich tapestry.
Kainehe is one track I had to research, and as close as I can find, it is Hawaiian and means whispering sea, interestingly enough I found this arrangement was one off the album that really moved me, it could be that I have lived by one ocean or another for many years now, and the flow and energy has become a deep seated part of me, but here Dillon brings forth an emotive performance, that is so redolent of the subject matter, and totally memorable, and thus will remain rooted in my heat.
Now, how can you not like a song called Marmalade Skies? You only need to listen to this gentle portion of solo piano, and hold out your hands to the sky and taste the music on a passing Cumulus. For some reason I hear a certain resonance akin to the great Debussy on this composition. Again I grew up listening to that composer, but the comparison is valid and Dillon creates an equally warm atmosphere here on this piece.
As we approach the half way marker we come across the delightful Sea of Forgetfulness. Here we have a real crossover classical styled track that is played with such style and panache, that you cannot help but fall head over heels in love with the composition and the way its performance is expressed by the artist.
I mentioned Debussy earlier and the connection I now offer you is this track called La Luna, however here we have a much more pronounced sense of ambience than you may have expected, in fact if this piece had been three times the length it is, I would not have been disappointed.
As a child and now as a man, I have always been an avid fan and admirer of the works of Lewis Carroll, so to take a trip down the Looking Glass River, is a pleasure that I take willingly. This is another absolute favourite of mine, as Dillon manifests dimension after dimension of sparkling realities within music that are absolutely mesmerizing and pleasurable, as we find ourselves ever drifting down the stream of childhood memories.
Sometimes I regard sleep as a luxury, especially when my dog wakes us up at 5.30am to tell us that the rubbish men have arrived. How I wish from time to time that My Bed is a Boat. I have spent many years being entranced by the movement of rivers and this composition would have been the perfect soundtrack for my nature based perambulations with my father; Richard Dillon brings forth a very powerful, but extremely fluent and emotive piece on this track.
From where do they come, those movements in my room that start to fall, as if moving within a woven tapestry, like Shadows on a Wall. Dear reader you have arrived at my personal favourite off the album, for many years I have studied the shadows that play nightly on my wall, as a child they were phantoms of the night, now they are old friends, and this extremely ambient, but melodic arrangement inspired the first line and a half of poetry that started this tracks narration. Richard Dillon I thank you so very much for this superb muse called, Shadows On The Wall.
Papillon is next up, and really reminds me of my dear friend Kevin Kendle’s Butterflies album, the same sense of summer ambience is here and one could easily imagine dreaming an afternoon away in August, watching the gossamer wings of those beautiful creatures, to this quite light and innocent composition. Dillon has masterfully created a memorable moment that I could have bathed in for hours.
The moment of magic is now upon us, the title track, that canvas that was the inspiration for the artist, now completed; it is now shown to us, the gallery of eager listeners, as The Land of Nod. As this album has progressed Richard Dillon’s arrangements have become far more expansive and delightfully dream filled, this perhaps is the moment when the eyes start to close, and a state of blissful sleep begins to creep up inexorably upon us, the willing participant in this nocturnal sojourn.
The day is done, the stars hover in the sky like fairly lights on a child’s Christmas tree, and our cares can cease to be, while we listen to the perfection of Moonrise. Dillon has allowed this, his penultimate offering, to simply just be there for us to drift within, this is a simply divine piece that seems almost too hard to keep one’s eyes open to. Listen to the wonderfully slow tempo of this composition and enjoy the Moonrise.
We must stay silent now and respectful of the moment we have been travelling on with our guide Richard Dillon. He gifts us one last treasure called, quite aptly, Sleepyhead. The performance here is loving in its construction and leaves us the listener, with a warm sense of safety and security to take into our dreamtime.
The Land of Nod by Richard Dillon is an album that will take you on a journey back to your childhood days, ones you always gazed up upon with a wide eyed sense of wonder. From an adults perspective this is an important and relevant opus of peace and tranquillity, that we all need from time to time and the album allows us to again, touch base with the simplicities of life, as opposed to its somewhat and sometimes confusing patterns.
Dillon has created something truly unique here, it’s an album of perspective and calm, a home we can all return to musically, and thanks to the contents of this release, we can do so whenever we wish to. The Land of Nod is the perfect night time perambulation that I would be most willing to recommend to you, now tuck down, night, night, it’s getting late.
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