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Ronald Van Deurzen | Imaginations | Album Review by Dyan Garris

Imaginations-cover-L ronald vanImaginations” by Ronald Van Deurzen

Album Review by Dyan Garris for Zone Music Reporter (ZMR), New Age CD, and “Spirit Seeker Magazine

Ronald Van Deurzen is a pianist, composer and music teacher from The Netherlands. His music includes primarily folk, jazz, orchestral music and music for film and documentary.  “Imaginations” is his 2nd album in the New Age genre.  Ronald was the winner of the OWMR “Oneness Award 2020” for “Hopeful Bliss,” an orchestral composition representing hope for global harmony, peace, and a oneness of heart.

“Imaginations” is primarily a piano-driven New Age album. But it’s more than just solo piano. Here, deep, contemplative moods, sensitivity, and grace, are interwoven with touches of classical, jazz, and global fusion elements.  The music is deep, thoughtful, structured, and melodic throughout. What’s interesting about it is there is a cinematic quality to most pieces somewhere inside themselves, and the music changes up several times throughout most every composition. So, it’s not boring by any means, and it definitely keeps the imagination flowing.  The goal of each soundscape is to evoke an image of the imagination. It succeeds.

And. . .oh, my. . .the guy can play that piano. Really well.

The songs on “Imaginations” were inspired by and composed throughout the years of Ron’s exploration of Sweden. From forests, to lakes, ice, snow, beautiful sunrises, and more, this is a natural environment that sparked his creativity.

“Imaginations” is 11 tracks and opens with “Little Falling Flake.” This is a reflection on a winter evening with the first snowflakes starting to fall. There is an inherent coldness in such an evening, but it’s also warm and beautiful at the same time. As one might expect, the song starts out soft and gentle and evolves into more. This a beautiful opening to this album.

Following is “Early Years,” a reflection on childhood. This starts with a certain innocence and again develops into the more cinematic. Playful plucked strings along the way is a nice touch too. Great song.

Moonlight reflected upon a white flower allows the imagination to wander and expand just like a blossoming bud. “Moon Flower” is structured and delightfully melodic. This is fun from start to finish.

I think most of us can agree that beaches can have a certain heavenly quality. “The Beaches of Heaven” is a favorite, with an ethereal vibe and music that changes and morphs throughout, just like the tide. At about 4:15 it expands into full swing, with a jazzy, upbeat feel and gorgeous piano playing, “New Agey” vocals, and world beat. Yes, this is heavenly, for sure. Love it.

“First Lights” is relaxing and heartfelt, just like the light of love that surrounds us all, even if we don’t see it. Beautiful piano and warm strings.

For those that do not know, in Swedish, “känsla” means “a feeling, emotion, mood, or emotion; an experience of the senses.”  “Midsommar Känsla” is another favorite. This is flowing, melodic, and ethereal. Quite beautiful and it speaks directly to the heart.

We all have times when we miss those who have departed from our lives for one reason or another. “Come Back Because I Love You” is also truly heartfelt. It’s gentle, wistful, and yet optimistically hopeful as well. This has a memorable melody and Ronald’s expressive, passionate piano playing here is wonderful.

“Winterdrops” is another beautiful piece, wonderfully and effortlessly expressed. This is like winter sunlight filtering softly through the trees. We can feel the juxtaposition of warmth and winter, being alone, yet never really being so. Plucked strings add a nice layer and texture to the flowing movement. Gorgeous.

In the composition, “Autumn Park,” we can really get a full feel of Ronald’s keyboard skills. Amazing. This is a joyful and colorful song that gives one an unencumbered feeling of freedom.

We all have something or some force inside us that motivates us, whether it be faith, or something or someone else. We have reasons for being here and living. “Momentum Figures” seems to paint a soundscape of that which propels us forward. This is dramatic and cinematic, then quieter, and then returns to the dramatic. That’s momentum, eh? Nice.

This wonderful album closes out with “Stuck In A Dream.” Where are we, where are we going, and what are we doing here anyway? Is the ending just another beginning? Perhaps. This is a thoughtful piece. And here’s another one where we can be simply astounded by Ronald’s astonishing piano playing skills.

This is an excellent, enjoyable album in every way. Imagine that.

Official artist website: http://www.ronaldvandeurzen.com

Be sure to watch the video for “Autumn Park” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlnWVQMdkdk

Listen/Get “Imaginations” on Bandcamp here: https://ronaldvandeurzen.bandcamp.com/album/imaginations as well as on all other major digital platforms.

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