On Disc: Stephan Moccio

Album: Exposure

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Exposure by Stephan Moccio

Stephan Moccio
Exposure
Bijou Records/Universal Music

4.5 stars

Stephan Moccio, a Western music graduate, has made a name for himself writing songs for performers like Céline Dion, Sarah Brightman, Olivia Newton-John, and even Randy Bachman, often accompanying on the recordings himself.

Exposure is Moccio’s first personal album. All 22 tracks are his own solo piano pieces, demonstrating his incredible piano technique and masterful composition.

Exposure is less of an album and more of an experience. Both the music and Moccio’s passionate performance create an inescapable mood of self-reflection. All the tracks, while completely instrumental, feel sincerely autobiographical.

The booklet accompanying the album is a work of art. Each piece’s title is presented with a watermarked background photograph and a small inspirational blurb giving the piece context and meaning. The notes for “Ow” read, “Pain and sadness are common denominators among us all. We hurt people and people hurt us " somehow that is part of life.”

Even with recurring musical themes, the songs develop their own identity.

In creating an album requiring “all [his] energy and courage,” Stephan Moccio succeeds in further blurring the lines between classical and popular music. Playing solo piano music on an album presented as modern and, dare I say, hip, reminds the audience even if a style is old, it doesn’t mean it’s not worth looking into.

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