(31 July 2011) The debut album from Milton Pinto is entitled Full of Flowers (SMD (Brazil), MILOPSMD - AA1000, 2011). The album's fifteen piano-based tracks run just short of 40 minutes and are often graced by the voices of Irish singers Emer Ni Bhroin, Susan Hurley, Maria Fenton and Anne Hallahan
Full of Flowers was recorded in Coolin Studio in Dublin, Ireland in March 2009. Music, arrangements, lyrics and musical direction are provided by Milton Pinto. The recording engineer Shane Brady also did the mixing.
The CD is sold in a lovely cardboard sleeve with full color double sided trifold artwork with complete lyrics and album credits. Pinto's artwork concept was realized by Fabricio Cavalcante. We especially appreciated the quarter inch clear border and stunning silkscreening of the CD itself.
The album opens with the piano instrumental "Forsaken Light" that introduces listeners to Peter Roycroft's stunning piano playing and composition. Susan Hurley sings "Best of Me" accompanied by piano and harp. Her tender vocals allude to Cara Dillon. Layers of Emer Ni Bhrion's vocals accompany rich keyboard washes and a light piano melody in the Enya-styled track "Spioraid Naoimh." All piano and keyboard work is credited to Peter Roycroft.
Pinto's use of layered vocals continues in "Full of Flowers (With My Heart)" sung by Maria Fenton. In this song, she is is accompanied exclusively by Peter's piano. In contrast to the sopranos, Anne Hallahan's deeper and more powerful voice is joined by Pinto's piano in the hymn "Pace In Me." "Escape Into Egypt," sung tenderly by Maria Fenton atop Milton Pinto's piano, with light harmony layers, although brief, is one of the album's standouts.
Emer Ni Bhiroin sings a medatative track entitled "The Unity" which might also be interpreted as "And You And I" (not to be confused with the famous track by Yes). In this longest song of the album running just short of six minutes, the tempo changes and vocalise in this passages of this extended track are perfectly joined between singer and piano player.
"This Green This Harp" and "Full Of Flowers" are sung in Gaelic by Ann Hallahan, the first track with layered harmonies, atop piano and warm keyboard washes and the second solo alongside lone piano. Anne Hallahan and Emer Ni Bhroin join in the album's second standout to provide vocalise to the Enya-styled "The New Jerusalem." Sung atop a piano melody the track is certain to bring these artists significant notariety. The reprise of the chorus will be especially appreciated by listeners.
Maria Fenton returns to sing "Milagro" atop a lovely piano melody joined with sparse yet warm keyboard washes. Listen for the vocal production effects that add strength to her tender voice without adding harmony layers. Anne Hallahan and Emer Ni Bhroin join forces again in "The Ultimate Song," a hymn-like standout delivered atop piano. Keyboard washes add to the track's texture. Their contrasting voices join well in harmonies while their excellent individual vocal solos are also given excellent treatment in the mix.
Susan Hurley's very delicate soprano voice is perfect for "When Segulls Find Heaven." Vocalise and lyrical parts work well with Milton Pinto's tender piano accompaniment on the almost four minute track.
A Celtic instrumental rendition of "This Green This Harp" provides a balance to the album. Mossie Landman contributes Uilllean Pipe and Tin Whistle to the arrangement joining the piano. The album concludes with the short and rousing track sung by Maria Fenton, "Word Of Life." Layers of vocals add power to Maria's delivery.
Milton Pinto has produced an excellent debut album of fifteen Celtic-themed originals with four superb female singers. The album is available digitally from amazon.com.
Visit the artist's official, MySpace and other websites to see additional photos of the vocalists and contributing artists, listen to samples and for further information.