Richard Dillion describes his music as something that just happens once he sits down at the keyboard. In this absolutely beautiful album, Irish Mist, dedicated to his mother who passed away earlier this year at the age of 98 years, his music certainly does appear t0 just happen, in the most delightful way.
As his fingers lightly stroke the keys, the emotion behind each of the pieces which go to form this delicate touch of Ireland swaddled in the gentle mists of another soft day, is very apparent. There is gentleness about the music especially Mathair Eireann (Mother Irelands) specifically dedicated to his mother.
The music simply flows, offering a slight nostalgia, but then a lovely light, delightfully intriguing piece changes the mood to one of fun, laughter and enjoyment, aptly described as Dancing on the Light, which segues almost diffidently into Dying of the Light as the day draws to an end, the fun and laughter just a memory as the more sombre nature of the night to come draws in.
The traditional Scottish Folk song Skye Boat has been delicately offered with the feel that Dillion is there, in the small rowing boat, as it slowly progresses across the sea, reflecting on the days gone by and the eventual ending of the journey. This is a piece which remains as beautiful now, as it was when first written as an ‘aire’ in 1870, before the well-known lyrics were added.
Susan Bourke, on violin, joins Dillon, on Into The Mines, a piece which could perhaps best described as a lament, as the weeping of violin adds that texture of sorrow, of timelessness, often to be found in so many of the ‘old countries’ which have known such torment, hardship and sorrow.
Wild Mountain Thyme heralds in the moodiness of the open spaces, untamed and yet telling of a history going back centuries, to the days before even the Celts walked on the shores and through the mountains; the thyme, growing wild on the sides of these same mountains, providing a link with the past. Under the hands of Dillion on the keys, all these thoughts, feelings and emotions are there to be enjoyed and understood.
Mother’s Eyes also in dedication to his mother is a piece that teases around the edges of the memory, with influences that remind of various songs, even hymns, learned during childhood, that remain in the mind bringing with them memories of family, church and very different world.
His chosen piece for the finale in this soothing, healing and immersing collection of gentleness is Deidre’s Dance, once again a delicate and yet robust piece, that rounds out an album of peace, joy and love.
Categorise this album as you will but one word defines it; Beautiful.