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Richard Dillon | Ring Around the Moon

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New Age: Contemporary Instrumental New Age: Solo Instrumental Moods: Instrumental
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Ring Around the Moon

by Richard Dillon

Ring around the Moon is about Winter: sleigh rides; the first time you felt (and tasted) snowflakes; looking up and seeing the stars scattered across the sky as if thrown by hand; and walking through the woods on a snowy evening.
Genre: New Age: Contemporary Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Groundhog Saw His Shadow
5:04 $0.99
2. Ring Around the Moon
3:52 $0.99
3. December Sunset
4:01 $0.99
4. Dying of the Light
3:05 $0.99
5. Midnight Sleigh Ride
2:52 $0.99
6. First Snow
3:39 $0.99
7. Dreaming of Hawaii
3:07 $0.99
8. January Moon
2:58 $0.99
9. February
3:28 $0.99
10. Walking Through the Woods On a Snowy Evening
3:33 $0.99
11. Scattering of Stars
3:22 $0.99
12. Whiteout
3:33 $0.99
13. Hot Cocoa By the Fire
4:06 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"This album is the perfect soundtrack for quiet, cozy winter evenings at home. The melodies are calming, beautifully written, and capture the spirit of the season. So snuggle into your favorite chair by the fire and give it a listen!" - Erin Mangum, WA

"When a person is playing the piano, sometimes the teacher will say " ok, once again, with FEELING." NOT SO with you...you can tell you put your all into every piece." - Lois Acuff



to write a review

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Ring Around the Moon" is a 2014 solo piano release from Seattle-based composer Richard Dillon. It contains thirteen original compositions inspired by the winter season and was recorded and mastered at Piano Haven Studio on Joe Bongiorno’s Shigueru Kawai grand piano. This isn’t a holiday album, but is a beautiful collection of pieces composed with the spirit of the winter months in mind as well as some of the wonders of that time of year. I recently discovered Richard Dillon’s music and am really enjoying getting to know it better! He has been playing the piano since he was a young boy and has studied music up through graduate degrees with the piano as his primary instrument. His music is very accessible, but new things reveal themselves the more you listen to it. Most of these pieces are spare and peaceful, creating an atmosphere of calm.

"Ring Around the Moon" begins with “Groundhog Saw His Shadow,” a slow and very open piece that sets the mood for the album. It starts out with a chilly, atmospheric feeling that very gradually warms a bit - a beautiful start! The title track is a little bit livelier, but is still “chilly” while expressing the magical feeling of seeing a ring around the moon. It seems like winter sunsets often display more brilliant colors than at other times of the year - or maybe they just seem that way since we don’t see them as often. “December Sunset” beautifully describes the profound peace that watching a sunset can give, fading into softness at the end. “Midnight Sleigh Ride” is a favorite. Sometimes fairly lively and sometimes very quiet, it captures the magical silence and sparkle of being out in the snow. The last part of the piece becomes much “bigger” and then ends the adventure. “Dreaming Of Hawaii” is a bit of a surprise as it could only be about the sunny beaches and warm breezes of the Islands - a common fantasy during the gray rainy months in the Pacific Northwest! “January Moon” says so much with a bare minimum of notes - gorgeous and very descriptive! In “February,” Dillon makes wonderful use of the damper pedal to create feelings of emptiness and cold. “Walking Through the Woods on a Snowy Evening” is especially interesting. It begins slowly with a very fluid tempo that is almost ambient. It gradually becomes steadier and more melodic, gently building to a much livelier dancelike tempo that sparkles and ends abruptly. Great piece! “Whiteout” has a lovely flowing left hand broken chord pattern while the right hand lightly dances around the upper registers of the piano - another favorite! “Hot Cocoa By the Fire” was performed by Amy Janelle, who imbues it with a warm, cozy feeling that’s just right and a sweet way to end the album.

"Ring Around the Moon" is a wintery delight from start to finish! Highly recommended!

Dyan Garris

Enchanting Solo Piano
Ring Around the Moon – Richard Dillon
Album review by Dyan Garris for New Age CD.com

Richard Dillon’s “Ring Around the Moon” (originally released in 2014), is lovely, melodic, and winter-themed, rife with his signature “lullaby” quality that imbues all of his compositions. The opening track, “Groundhog Saw His Shadow” is soft and sweet, encapsulating the feeling of lingering winter, yet brimming as well with promise of springtime that is sure to follow.

Track 2, title track, “Ring Around the Moon,” is perfectly lovely, a bit melancholy, yet not heavy. For those that do not know, a ring around the moon is a 22 degree (in radius) dispersion of light through ice particles suspended within thin, wispy, high altitude cirrus clouds. It’s essentially a reflection of moonlight refracted through ice particles. In lore, a ring around the moon is thought to indicate the coming of a storm, foul weather, or just rain. The metaphor “ring around the moon” here, could mean soft tears, perhaps. Or it could simply be just be one of life’s natural wonders to marvel at. Like a ring around the moon, what you see really depends upon where you stand.

Now, don’t get me wrong. This is not a depressing album. It’s quite soul-soothing, uplifting, and relaxing. Richard Dillon has a masterful way of conveying deep emotions through his light and soothing melodies. This talent makes for an interesting musical tapestry.
Track 5, “Midnight Sleigh Ride” perfectly captures a magical quality of the delight and beauty such a ride might bring. This one is definitely a favorite.

“First Snowfall,” on track 6, invites us skillfully into the pristine landscape of the initial snowfall of the season. This is light and airy, and very pretty.

Track 8, “January Moon,” is a nice, slow, lullaby that hits all the right notes and tones for perfect relaxation and calmness. This is something super relaxing to get lost in.

There’s a certain awesome beauty inherent in the simplicity of “Walking Through the Woods on a Snowy Evening,” track 10. Also a favorite, there is a richness to this composition. We can literally feel the peace and serenity that such a walk might bring.

I found “Whiteout,” track 12, enjoyable and mesmerizing and one to listen to again and again. There are some nice intricacies here and the melody is elevating. Again, here Richard brings forth that gift he has of juxtaposition. One might think they would be lost in a “whiteout.” But here, and throughout, we may find that we can actually discover ourselves again. All in all, enchanting and highly recommended.

Candice Michelle

Solo piano music inspired by the winter season
Richard Dillon is a Seattle-based pianist and composer who begin writing solo piano music about four years ago. Citing fellow pianist-composers David Nevue, Joe Bongiorno and Neil Patton as some of his greatest musical career influences, Dillon’s own style ranges from neo-impressionist to Celtic. Originally released in 2014, Ring Around the Moon is comprised of 13 original solo piano compositions inspired by the winter season.

The first three tracks on the album are pensive and minor-key, beginning with “Groundhog Saw His Shadow”. A lovely opener gently played in the higher register, it calls to mind a new moon night in the deep of winter. The subsequent title piece, “Ring Around the Moon”, is carried by a lightly twirling melody throughout that lends it a touch of nocturnal mystique.

One of my favorite pieces on the album is “Midnight Sleigh Ride”, which boasts sparkling, resonating piano chords that seemingly conjure images of snow flurries on a magical winter’s night. The ensuing “First Snow” is another highlight that brings-to-mind an early morning snowfall upon a wooded landscape.

The second-to-last track on the album, entitled “Whiteout”, is a lightly cheerful and upbeat tune that follows another set of more contemplative, slowly-drifting compositions. And finally, “Hot Cocoa by the Fire” provides a tender conclusion to the album, effectively bringing-to-mind that of cozying up by a fireplace to keep warm while reminiscing upon winter seasons past.

Overall reflective and peaceful, Richard Dillon mostly plays these pieces with a gently hesitant touch while lending a bit of jovial playfulness to a few of the compositions. Effectively taking the listener on a thoughtful journey amid the colder months of the year, Ring Around the Moon makes for great listening all winter long!