Although Canada's Stephan Moccio has been writing songs for a very impressive list of superstars for years, "Exposure" is his debut as a solo artist. Moccio's passionate and evocative composing and playing styles are accessible and easy to understand, but deepen and reveal new things with each listen. I fully expect "Exposure" to be on my favorite CDs list for the year. The twenty-two original piano solos came from a desire to capture a snapshot of the composer's life so far, and Moccio says he "needed to return to the simplicity of the instrument I know best." Lucky us, as listeners! I listen to a LOT of piano CDs, and this one has captivated me. The accompanying booklet with photos and brief poems about each piece makes this a most impressive package. Moccio's music is very classical at times and more ambient at others, combining his classical and pop music backgrounds to appeal to a broad audience while keeping his unique musical voice. I loved "Exposure" the first time I heard it, and seems to get even better the more I listen to it.
"Exposure" begins with "October," a piece about passion, enlightenment, and the rebirth of direction. Flowing and dreamy, this is a gorgeous way for Moccio to introduce himself. (A video of Moccio playing "October" is available for viewing on MySpace and YouTube.) One of my favorite tracks is "Ow," an almost wrenching piece about pain and sadness. The emotional power conveyed with a minimum number of notes is stunning. "Ow" segues into "Zephyr," which brings us out of despair with a feeling of hope. "Porcelain" is delicate and fragile, referring to the innocence of a mother and child sleeping face to face. "Mojo" is another dark, somber bit of soul-searching that flows into "David's Whisper," an anthem that lightens the mood considerably. "Nu" is a very poignant piece about feeling alone and misunderstood. Another favorite is "Sirens," with its bittersweet melody on the right hand and an energetic, flowing rhythm on the left. What a great piece! "Hudson" has a gentle flow, and reflects on life as well as the beauty of the river. "Seven" concludes this outstanding collection with a warm, tender piece about the wonder of birth.
"Exposure" is an auspicious debut by Stephan Moccio, and is hopefully only the beginning of an outstanding career as a solo artist. I give "Exposure" my highest recommendation!