Review from Journeyscapesradio.com
Robert Casady is an award-winning composer, arranger and orchestrator, whose music has appeared in various media, including short films, websites and numerous video games. His debut album, “First Light”, is a twenty-four minute EP comprised of five compositions, in which he seamlessly blends styles of ambient, electronica and cinematic orchestral music.
“Finding Fireflies” is a gorgeous opener led by aquatic synths and crystalline textures, which perfectly capture the album’s cover image of a rising sun reflecting upon the sea. Dreamily ambient with an immersive and magnificent sound quality, a characteristically chillout beat soon enters the piece, eventually giving way to an extended pause before revisiting the latter part of the composition. “Half-Remembered” follows next, where a soothing piano melody emerges from a misty backdrop. “Lake Effect” is a somewhat darker composition that opens with a subtle wind-tunnel effect. Initially characteristic of a more minimal ambient piece, sparse piano notes echo amidst the sound of distant rain, before leading into a galloping piano riff accompanied by strings. I particularly love the cinematic neoclassical elements injected into this haunting piece, which sounds like it could have come right out of a riveting movie scene. Likewise beginning with more minimal effects, the title track, “First Light”, opens with contemplative piano and delicately hovering tones that imbue the piece with an overall sense of melancholy. Like a veil being lifted on a radiant light, mesmerizing layers of undulating chords gradually build throughout, as ethereal wordless vocals descend from above. “Toward the Sun” closes out the album, beginning with a pulsating rhythm that is soon joined by warm electronic textures and a light touch of piano. Cinematic strings are juxtaposed with tribal drums that burst with a colorful zest, as images are conveyed of majestic landscapes traversing rivers, oceans, mountains and forests.
Often visually evocative of the seaside throughout, “First Light” moves through a range of emotions, from bittersweet nostalgia to contemplative joy. Sometimes sweeping and other times subtle, these beautiful compositions seem tell a story of the heart. Playing out like a film score, Robert Casady has crafted a mini-masterpiece of both ambient passages and cinematic suites!