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The Sounding Board by R J Lannan
RJ Lannan is the reviewer for The Sounding Board.
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Beyond Words
By Dan Chadburn
Label: Self Released
Released 9/16/2016
Beyond Words tracks
1. Awakening
2. Joyful Morning
3. Healing Waters
4. Crossroads
5. Shelton Rain
6. Tears of Angels
7. Love is Love
8. Falling Forward
9. Lazy Sky Afternoon
10. Kal-Boy
11. Heroes
12. Country Harvest
13. An Evening in Florence
14. Lullaby for Peace
Sounds Saying Everything
When I grew up I had a problem talking to anyone. I wasn’t shy, but I wasn’t brash or opinionated or loud. Sometimes, I spoke so softly, that I was oftentimes asked to speak up. Many are like that. Some people cannot communicate easily. Some are shy, some are afraid. Many are hindered by their situation. Physical and emotional pain can be quite an impediment. You end up building walls in self-defense. Dan Chadburn, through his solo piano music, speaks for all of those without an opportunity to speak for themselves. He is the “here-I-am” voice on his latest release Beyond Words. Chadburn uses his contemporary piano to express all the emotions not spoken, all the heartache experienced, and all the love that that comes from living.

To find your inner voice is to come alive. The song Awakening represents a memory, an experience that changes everything. It’s a turning point, a place where things make sense and now it’s time to go on to the next step. The music is very light, almost delicate, as if the child is still sensitive, but opened to new things. I say child, because the music suggests a beginning full of innocence.

I have to say, of all the fourteen contemporary pieces on Beyond Words, Tears of Angels became a favorite. Dan mentions that this is for all the souls lost in Orlando Florida in the Pulse Nightclub massacre. Massacre; it’s a harsh word to use, but what other label can you put on hate and indifference. The music is sad, but the reverence is appropriate.

Falling Forward is a serious piece. It is heavily dramatic with a chaos of emotional elements, Fear, confusion and uncertainty are just a few of the feelings we get as the melody unfolds. There is also a sense of strength lurking in the background. As if fortitude is there to be summoned and used.

As I write this piece thousands of first responders are giving all they have for the people of Texas, Florida, and the Northwest and everywhere in between, even down in Mexico. Saying thank you never seems to be enough. Dan wrote the song Heroes for just such people. They are the people of sacrifice and of selflessness who, even though they have families of their own, continuously fight the good fight for those unknown. It is no small irony that I am writing this on September 11th.

On the lighter side is the song Country Harvest. It has the tone of an old hymn, something you sang long ago, but the words come easy. It conjures up images of the fall; of a wagon load of bright orange pumpkins, stiff, pale cornstalks standing in a row like soldiers, and crackling fires that warm the body and the hearts with memories collected.

Lullaby for Peace is timely and welcomed. It is a delicate piece, which goes from childhood to elder hood in sixteen tender stanzas. There is so much that went on between those two periods. From crawling to reaching for the piano keys, from learning, and to giving back all that you can. This warm, poignant waltz was written as a special thank you to Dan’s parents, but the sentiment goes beyond that. It goes appropriately enough, beyond words.

Dan Chadburn started his piano career at the ripe old age of nine. He went on to receive a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance at Pacific Lutheran University and a Master of Music in Electroacoustic Composition from London’s City University. He has scored music for television, been a session player and released three album in the Contemporary Christian genre and six additional albums of New Age music. Dan has the touch and the gracefulness of understanding that transforms all fourteen tracks into an experience to be savored again and again. Chadburn is your voice.
Rating: Very Good   Very Good
- reviewed by RJ Lannan on 9/19/2017
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