is the measure of John Mills’s success? If you were to measure
him quantitatively then his three discs in fourteen years
is an utter failure. However, if the measuring stick is
quality despite his once in a blue moon showing, then he
is an outright genius by taking the time and tenacity over
his trade. That said, the slightly adorned “sequel” is an
utter triumph that will leave you quietly howling at the
Solo Piano Productions
Still Gazing at the Moon
takes more than technical mastery to compose music and play
it on guitar in a way that really touches people's hearts.
Australian, John Mills, has just such artistic talent. He
uses even the silence between notes to shape his tender,
lyrical melodies. Rather than blister the ears with cascades
of notes, Mills has the courage to place each note like
a precious star allowing the emotion of the melody to carry
through. That Mills also happens to be among the top 10
best guitar players that I've ever heard makes Hallowed
Moon just that much more special."
melodically beautiful album features arrangments for violin,
viola, cello, oboe, chime harp, rain maker, concert bass
drum, tubular bells and nature sounds while showcasing Mills'
splendid guitar-work recorded in live settings. The understated
collection of simple beauty and graceful performance will
transport the listener to a gentle place filled with stirring
is one of the most unusual instrumental guitar albums I've
ever had the pleasure of reviewing. Mills is a self-taught
musician which in part accounts for his unique style of
composition, arranging and playing. The notes are separate,
soft and clear - almost harp-like in resonance. Yet unlike
some who lack formal training, his technical skill and approach
to his instrument have no obvious deficiencies. A music
box like sweetness charms the listener, but most importantly
one understands that the artist is directly communicating
the song of his heart through his instrument. Though surrounded
by other sounds from violin, viola, cello, oboe and rain
maker, the guitar shines through like the star of Bethlehem
in a bejewelled heaven.
for stress reduction, sure sales with in-store play."
the first time, this Australian composer is releasing a
CD here in America. Upon hearing it during a stressful time
in my life, my only thought was, "Why didn't you do it sooner?".
Mills' quiet, contemplative guitar music reflects a peaceful
night on the beach, under a luminous moon. He also demonstrates
his skill in such songs as his rendition of, Away In A Manger,
where he makes an ordinary guitar sound like a harpsicord.
I only hope Mills gives us the privilege of hearing more
of his music in the future."
Victory Music Review Journal
acoustic guitar compositions by John Mills on this new CD
are relaxed, melodic and nurtured into full bloom by his
gentle touch. His touch on the fingerboard brings sweet
and subtle tunes forth, at times using his dexterity to
reach with both hands to bring out just the right sequence,
nudging, rather than slamming his strings to create wondrous
results. His pacing is like a walk outdoors under a moonlit
sky with the quiet spaces between notes allowing the mind
to wander and reflect, neither driven nor hurried, simply
listening and appreciating. When he is joined by oboe, cello,
viola, chimes and percussion, they accentuate and flesh
out his visions. These contemporary acoustic compositions
possess a mature feel where each one plays a part in weaving
a whole texture that wraps itself around the listener like
a comfortable blanket or an old sweater on a chilly night.
It's just enough to take the egde off, but not enough to
dull the senses."