After two highly-acclaimed duo releases by pianist/composer Iris Litchfield and guitarist/composer Tom Salvatori, Iris Litchfield has released "Dream Clouds," her first full-length solo piano CD - and what a joy it is! The fourteen original compositions have a very strong classical influence, but they also have the easy, graceful flow of the best “new age” piano music. A retired math teacher in England, Litchfield has been composing music for about twelve years, although she has been playing the piano since she was five. Salvatori Productions is again the producer of this album, and the sound quality is perfect. Recorded on a Steinway A (6’2”) grand, the piano has a warmth that beautifully conveys all of the nuances and subtleties of Litchfield’s lovely compositions. The title, "Dream Clouds," very accurately describes the overall mood of this album - light, gentle, and optimistic. It’s not musical “fluff” by any means, but spending some time with Litchfield’s music will definitely elevate your mood and calm your spirit.
The first track is “A New Beginning.” The opening melody has a haunting, bittersweet flavor - reflective and nostalgic. It resolves to a major key which is tentative, but very beautiful, returning to the minor key with more confidence - a lovely start! “Passing Memories” is a graceful and wistful daydream. Several themes weave in and out, creating a wonderful tapestry of musical memories. The title track is very free, moving at the whim of a gentle breeze. I love the visual images this one evokes! “Joy of Summer” is a delight. Dancing lightly and freely in the warm sunshine, it’s a heavenly “ode to joy.” My favorite track is “Dancing Dreams,” a minor key waltz that has just a slight edge to it - not menacing, but not all sweetness and light either. Two graceful major key themes alternate with the main theme, making it a colorful and fascinating piece. “Promise of a New Day” overflows with hope and optimism, providing a soothing musical antidote to the stresses of a long day. My other favorite is the poignant and graceful “Falling Leaves,” which conveys so much emotion so simply and honestly. “End of the Day” is a warm and peaceful lullaby that provides a healing massage for a tired mind and body. “Morning Mist” brings this wonderful album to a dreamy and wistful ending.
I really love Iris Litchfield’s two collaborations with Tom Salvatori, but I really like that this album is just Iris at the piano. It gives us more of a chance to really hear her music and to enjoy the soothing atmosphere she creates with her compositions. Very highly recommended!