Starlight is a concept album that includes a variety of original pieces of music composed for solo piano. The pieces range in style and influence; all pieces have a sense of timelessness and weightlessness that is beyond the reaches of one style of composition.
“A Peaceful Event” is a piece of music that explores the various areas of space that can occur within a musical structure. There is space all around us in our daily lives yet at times we can tend to get caught up in the daily routine and neglect to take time to enjoy the spaces that we live and work in. The “peaceful event” within the music is created through the open chord structures presented as well as long phrases and sustained notes.
“Cycles of Sound” is a piece that has a natural forward momentum similar to the music heard in the movies. Visions of someone riding a bicycle or driving in a car are accompanied within the score. There are small changes in rhythm within the piece yet the chord progressions within the music remain the same. There is a sense of expectation and happy excitement within the overall mood.
“Open Waters” was an improvisation that Ian played into his MIDI controller: the sound of the piece was written in free improvisation format and includes small edits to rhythm and pitch to organize the sounds.
“Rippling Waters” is a piece that was written for Ian’s piano students. It is a study in broken chord patterns that are shared between the right and left hands. There is a natural “rippling” of sound that occurs within each subtle change of chord progression. An effective mood is realized when the performance includes a natural rise and fall of dynamic levels. This rise and fall creates a visual effect of the outward movement of the ripples that occur during a gentle rain shower.
“Snowfall” is a sister piece to “A Peaceful Event”. There is much time and space created within the structure. The piece is written in A B A form in which an opening section returns later in the piece. There is an intentional reversal of ideas within the repeated A section, this creates a mirrored effect to the audience. There are gently falling snowflakes envisioned within the theme. The middle section of the piece is inspired by the calming scenery of a forest covered in freshly fallen snow at dusk.
“Starlight”, is the title track of the album. “A main aspect of all of my live performances is the element of surprise and creative spirit that comes from playing a piece of music in a completely improvised fashion,” Ian states. “The idea for this piece kept recurring when I was playing at a variety of events. I had to go home and write down the chord progression and develop the ideas further.” There is a longing and desire for searching for knowledge that comes in all scientific exploration. We know where we come from and are always discovering new and exciting ideas every day. There is a sense of excitement for the future that sings out in this piece.
“White Sound” is a piece written on a chord progression of two chords: the piece cycles through these two chords and evolves based on the phrases and melodies that are created over these chords. A natural growth of intensity ensues thus creating a rich landscape of diverse sounds.