The team at Cre8tive Reviews is always glad to hear when an artist we’ve reviewed before has a new release out. Pianist, John Burke, just recently released “Orogen,” a solo piano album on May 1, 2016. John Burke challenges common preconceptions of piano music with his rich, cinematic, and powerful style.
John Burke is an award-winning pianist with a prolific musical career. Inspired by pianist George Winston and keyboardist Ray Manzarek, John has created an intelligent, rich, and cinematic sound that challenges common preconceptions of solo piano music.
A native of Atlanta, GA, John began studying piano in high school after being inspired by his musical father. John played sporadically for a few years, but once he started at Oglethorpe University, John’s musical life flourished as he joined a band, studied with remarkable artists, and started composing.
Since 2011, John has composed multiple acclaimed solo piano albums, two of which were finalists for Album of the Year at SoloPiano.com. John has also composed film scores, directed musical theatre, and collaborated with a wide variety of instrumentalists, singers, and writers.
Beyond his solo works, John plays jazz, performs at weddings, accompanies choirs and orchestras, and discusses Muggle affairs with his cat, Dobby.
Not only is his style unique, but so are his albums. All named accordingly to flow with the music he composes. Take for example Orogen [or-oh-jen] (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.
We had a chance to listen to the album in it’s entirety and here are our thoughts:
Kimberley Patterson: Orogen is beautifully done. From the first track on the album Arise, to the final title track Orogen his music takes you on a journey. This piece is different from his other album’s and yet similar as the influences of George Winston come through in a subtle fashion. The order of the songs gives yet another look at how music can make you feel. Arise is a very light, but powerful piece that makes me think of being in Hawaii or a really bright beach house. Perhaps even a lighthouse on the coast in Maine, with the sun coming through the windows and that crisp, cool ocean air drifting in. Skip ahead to the Autumn Blaze, and it’s a bit faster now – with John doing some amazing key work on the piano. Reminding me of being on that same hill, this time maybe flying a kite or sailing really fast on the ocean with dolphins jetting by. In Earthbreaker, John delivers a solid performance with some unique style at the very end of the song. But, this album doesn’t just speed through the senses, rather it builds you up to this wonderful, happy place and then gently carries you off to this beautiful and soft resting place. Windflower, does just that with it’s soft, gentle and sensual sounds. It’s another album that is truly a masterpiece and I am honored to review!
Michael Harris :Good morning sunshine! The new album release, “Orogen,” by John Burke is the perfect soundtrack to a productive Saturday morning – one of those mornings where you can kind of take your time waking up and not have to gulp down your coffee quite as fast. Arise, the first track, sets the scene – you can imagine the first light of day just cresting over the mountains to the East (just google “orogen” to see how it’s related to the mountain reference) and peaking through your curtains. The rest of the album takes you on a journey – ebbing and flowing to energetic heights of fast-moving, technically-impressive, and piano-prepared tunes like Earth Breaker and down into calming and peace-inducing numbers like Wildflower. Overall, the 53 minute collection of gorgeous solo piano music is a wonderful way to start your day with some inspiration and positive movement.
To listen to Orogen or find out more information about John Burke please visit his OFFICIAL WEBSITE.