3/24/2015

New Age Instrumental Review: Ryan Stewart-One Journey

Release Date: October 1, 2014
Label: Ryan Stewart Music

Ryan Stewart was given the gift of music by his mother. At the age of thirteen, she passed away from breast cancer and the event has forever left a mark on his soul. In One Journey, Stewart’s third album, he explores the continuity of human relationships. Not the type you find online where everyone is so focused on technology, but the kind of real connection you get with the people that make an impact on our lives. This songwriter and composer has a gift of emotional resonance that fluttered through me with every song. Guest artists on the album include: Monte Belknap (violin) and Nicole Pinnell (cello). Stewart has composed works for documentaries and many others.

“Under the Willow” is a meaningful piece for Stewart for multiple reasons. It was inspired by his childhood memories at the ages of twelve and thirteen. He would lie underneath a very particular willow tree and dream. Soft and melodic, the song drifts in like a cloud, swiftly changing to the poignant tones of a violin. The Celtic overtones in the piece bring harp and the beautiful vocals of Stewart’s daughter Aysia. His daughter was the same age as he was when he first found the willow tree so getting her involved in the project was especially meaningful. Wind instruments flex and merge into a composition that is truly breathtaking. Buoyant and full of wonderment, this piece is for all the dreamers out there reaching out to find the deeper things in life.

“Winding Road” begins as a piano sequence and continues as such. The imagery invoked is walking along a well-trod path, as your mind works out the troubles of the day. A steady melody, the piece keeps time as you make your way. With anything, you do not walk your path alone. There are loved ones that fall into step beside you and though the way may wind and at times be unclear, the journey is part of the process.

“Coming Home” is a joyous composition. A cornucopia of sound, this piece encapsulates the joy you feel as you stride across the doorstep of the place you call home. Violins, percussion and multiple instruments swirl together to create an uplifting feeling that is truly infectious. It is bending down to enfold your puppy in your arms after a long day at work. It is the twinkling eyes of your daughter as she meets your gaze or the unconditional love of your spouse. But most of all, it is musical symmetry and the artistry of Ryan Stewart and the gifted musicians that helped to create this piece.

Our life journey is one filled with opportunity and people who make a difference by word and deed. Ryan Stewart found such a person in his gifted mother, a musician who instilled in him a love for the craft. Today he spends time with his family and is thrilled to compose and perform music for multiple outlets. Each song on One Journey is like a vanilla cupcake and a cup of your favorite tea. It just goes down smooth and you never want it to end.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Under the Willow, Winding Road, Coming Home

Tracks: 
01.When We Met
02.Here and Now   
03. Brighter
04.Under the Willow
05.Innocence
06.Old Friend
07.The Portrait
08.Happy People
09.One Step Closer
10.Windows of Time
11.Winding Road
12.Our Story
13.Coming Home

 
Dana Wright, Sr. Staff Writer
March 24, 2015       
    
Review Provided By New Age Music Review

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