Composed by Kathleen Ryan, Performed by Keith Porter-Snell

a celebration of left hand repertoire

   By skillfully switching between the high and low registers of the piano and utilising full textures and bright or unexpected harmonies, Ryan creates the illusion of two hands playing. Coupled with Keith’s clean, lucid and sensitively articulated sound and the wonderfully echoey acoustic of Monkton Coombe School (where the album was recorded in May 2013), these preludes hark back to earlier antecedents by Debussy, Rachmaninov, Chopin and J S Bach in their variety and appeal, creating an album rich in contrasts. Ryan’s composing style is eclectic, referencing jazz, contemporary classical, traditional classical, and American folk songs and hymns: Play, for example, is a vibrant anthem, redolent of sacred harp singing, while other Preludes are more contemplative, tender and wistful (Forgive, Bloom).  Push is energetic and rumbling, suggesting bustling city life, Bounce scampers playfully around the keyboard with jazzy syncopations and colourful harmonies, and Tangle is redolent of some of Prokofiev’s more introspective ‘Visions Fugitives’. The album closes with the meditative Bless.

This interesting and appealing project is a celebration of left hand repertoire, a musical friendship, and the art of the Prelude and the miniature. Recommended.

Frances Wilson, The Cross-Eyed Pianist (June 14, 2014)


great fun & very exhilarating! ... a must have!

   Drivin’! is pianist/composer Kathleen Ryan’s fifth solo piano album, and this one will come as a bit of a surprise to those who are familiar with her earlier recordings. A few of the twelve tracks are the mellow piano sounds that make up much of Ryan’s previously recorded material, but on Drivin’! she also really cuts loose and demonstrates her bluesier, high energy side. The combination makes for a rather eclectic blend, but it’s great fun and very exhilarating! ...

I love piano blues, and if you share that love, Drivin’! is a must have! It is available from, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Recommended!

Kathy Parsons, (April 17, 2012)

Under the Greenwood Tree

the emotional content is always conveyed passionately and honestly

  Under the Greenwood Tree is Kathleen Ryan’s third solo piano release, and it’s my favorite so far. A classically-trained pianist/composer, Ryan’s music has been influenced by a wide variety of musical genres ... but Ryan’s musical voice is uniquely her own. With the creative goal of making the piano “sing” with the expression of the human voice, some of these twelve pieces are lyrical while others are more improvisational; the emotional content is always conveyed passionately and honestly. ...

Under the Greenwood Tree was certainly worth the wait between albums, and I’d say that Kathleen Ryan has really hit her stride. ... Recommended!

Kathy Parsons, (September 16, 2009)

The Rebirth of Light

seasonal standards in totally fresh versions

the one you’ll put on while you sit by the fire to write your holiday cards


   The frenetic pace of the holidays is all too often accompanied by endless renditions of Christmas classics pumped blaring through shopping malls—a far cry from this lovely, contemplative holiday CD by pianist Kathleen Ryan, of Mountainair. While many of the holiday melodies here will be familiar, there are no screeching voices or ringing bells. This recording is the one you’ll put on while you sit by the fire to write your holiday cards.

   ... People who like George Winston’s classic December album will probably enjoy Ryan’s compositions, which are written in a similar vein.

   ...[S]he plays with emotion and amazing sensitivity throughout.

Emily Drabanski – New Mexico Magazine (December 2008)

    Kathleen Ryan’s The Rebirth of Light has high musical interest and superb playing, containing originals as well as seasonal standards in totally fresh versions (check out her “Drummer Boy”). The opening title cut is just a gorgeous ray of peace. 

Dr. Christmas – Gerry Grzyb - Appleton (WI) Post Crescent (Dec 16, 2007)

    The Rebirth of Light is the 10th anniversary reissue of Kathleen Ryan’s wonderful collection of Christmas music that peacefully explores the spiritual dimension of the holiday season. ... Having been a piano teacher for more years than I care to admit, I often get very burned out on Christmas music, but I really like this album!

    The Rebirth of Light will certainly make a return appearance to my CD player as we get closer to the holidays! For a reminder and a celebration of the true meaning of Christmas, this is a wonderful choice. It is available from and iTunes. Highly recommended! 

Kathy Parsons - (Oct 11, 2007)

    ...Kathleen Ryan’s soothing style is quite suited to early morning listening. She plays with a firm deliberativeness well-suited to the early morning. Of the traditional carols included on [The Rebirth of Light], I enjoyed The Coventry Carol best. I also enjoyed the moody spiritual, Somebody Talkin Bout Jesus. But I particularly liked when she took a turn on keyboards with Come All Ye Shepherds. It was a little bit like listening to a Caribbean pan band.

    Of her own work, I enjoyed The Rebirth Of Light, a languid, contemplation that fits my post-operative world view quite nicely. Her elegant piano and keyboard style is a great fit for me, generally. There is no victory for darkness here. Though Ryan's set concludes with even more irony, in the ever-familiar Silent Night, I know what every moose in Alaska knows: even in the darkest, coldest night, light finds a way. 

Richard Banks – (Sep 15, 2007)

A Handfull of Quietness

the music is complex, full, and often quite bold ... a fascinating musical journey

the impressionism of silence

   From the title, I expected A Handfull of Quietness to be very calm, simple, and serene, so I was surprised to discover that the music is complex, full, and often quite bold. A classically-trained pianist/composer, Kathleen Ryan brings her rich background to her music, presenting us with a collection of nine original piano solos and six that are based on traditional melodies in the public domain. Inspired by a verse in Ecclesiastes, the album was created as a unified work and performed in silence. Ryan calls it “not always quiet music, but music achieving quietness of the soul.” ...

    A Handfull of Quietness is a fascinating musical journey, reflecting a wide range of moods and emotions. The music has a complexity that will open up with each listen, letting you find something new each time. It is available from,, and 

Kathy Parsons - (Sep 4, 2006)

    Ryan paints in the impressionism of silence, with notes resonating over the vast plains of the soul. Tasteful and elegant with just enough austerity to avoid sentimentality. 



   Meet the Artist ….. Kathleen Ryan, Composer and Pianist. Interviewer Frances Wilson. 4 September 2014. The Cross-Eyed Pianist.

   Everybody Has a Story: Kathleen Ryan, ‘Music and Spirit’. Author Leota Harriman. 2 May 2007. The Independent, Edgewood, New Mexico. PDF.

   Duke Chapel Names Winners in Hymn Competition. Winter 2003. Friends of Duke Chapel Newsletter, Durham, North Carolina. PDF.

© 2006-2016 Topaz Productions • Email Kathleen