Who Painted the Moon?

Click to see the bigger picture...

June 19th, 2002 was a very special day for me. Firstly I met Nianell, "call me Nia" she said with a friendly smile...secondly I received my copy of the "Who Painted the Moon? " CD after weeks of waiting....and it was kindly autographed by Nia! (click on the image above to see the bigger picture)

Nia was performing background music at the Michael Angelo hotel in Sandton, "only piano and voice" she said, but to us it was so much more, a foretaste of the experience that was awaiting me on the CD.

I am not an expert on music, nor am I a review writer, I am merely a lover of good music so I will attempt to relate my experience in the paragraphs that follow:

Experience?? Yup, that's what it is, you don't listen to this CD, you experience it, you stop doing unimportant stuff  and lose yourself in the lyrics and unique voice of this talented artist.  The opening track, "As One" sums up the album with the following lines; "Feel the music slowly taking control - Feel the rhythm breaking through your soul" As I listened to track after track, I could feel the emotions of the lyrics taking control of me, that beautiful voice complimenting the lyrics perfectly.

All the songs on the album are original Nianell compositions and you have to "get into" the CD to start appreciating it fully. A first listen following the lyrics on the cover served as an introduction, this was then followed by an "earphones and no interruption" session savoring each track like good wine. 

The first two tracks "As One" and "Isn't it?" were my initial favorites but each of the other tracks has it's own unique quality, whether it be the lyrics that hit home, or the voice bringing the feelings and emotions across. 

Looking at the moon will now have a different meaning for me:-)

Well done, Nia, everyone who listens to your music will shine in your light!  

June 20, 2002

Here follows another review of the CD from the 94.7 website:

With "Who Painted the Moon?" Nianell makes her recording debut into the music industry. Her efforts have resulted in a remarkable album of consummate depth and beauty - songs about change, life and love that soar like the desert vista. At the same time, they are also deeply personal and hone in on the collective emotions that govern the soul. Songs like "As One" and "Shining in Your Light" have a strong sense of spirituality without the paraphernalia of pop religion. Nianell says, "I like to feel that my music is a companion for people - after all they help to inspire me… the songs come from the things that I see, feel and hear." Nianell wrote the evocative title track whilst watching a lunar eclipse, although in her own words "it could also be about the rejection we face as people... that's the beauty of music: there's always space to interpret." The album's leadoff radio single "Have Faith" is a slice of pure pop sensibility with its loping backbeat and irresistible chorus, while the darkly atmospheric "Talk to Me" draws its inspiration from friendship. 94.7 Highveld Stereo is currently featuring Nianell's two first radio singles, "Have Faith" and "Isn't It", and they are quickly gaining popularity.

Nianell's staggering 3 ½ octave vocal range kicks in on the Middle Eastern/Celtic inflected "Look Within", painting a musical soundscape that invokes images of the desert and the sea. On her vocal range, Nianell says, "I love stretching my voice, trying to bridge the space between the notes." In the heartfelt ballad "Just for Tonight", the marriage of song, sentiment and vocal is near immaculate and early reactions point to this being the "sleeper" hit on the album. Produced by guitarist supreme, Mauritz Lotz, and featuring a stellar lineup of players (including Nianell on piano), "Who Painted the Moon?" showcases a remarkable new talent who, through her voice and songs, reaches out to people.