Tardigrade, thanks for your comments.
I'd originally put far more bass parts on the tracks, but later felt that they were too much of a feature. I plan to use the bass (fretless and fretted) much more so on future releases.
Yes, environmental field recordings can be a cliche. I was aware of this and decided (like my previous 'Ocean Sighs' album) to have them throughout the album - as opposed to as an occasional bit of ambiance. Also, my take on this was to use binaural recordings, so they would have more spatial interest than standard stereo recordings. I employed them to add a bit of 'context' to the tracks - the vocal parts being the primary element really. Lastly, they are significant to me as I recorded them all locally and remember where and when I recorded them, I dare say that doesn't really matter for the listener (?)
Sorry for the delayed reply Pete, I was recovering from a facial transplant. I hope you understand.
My comments were genuinely intended as constructive criticism and you accepted them as they were intended. This rarely happens on the internet in this context, so I feel obligated to purchase one of your albums at random soon. Well maybe not entirely random. I shall choose an album with artwork that speaks deeply to me at the time of purchase. I have previewed many of your works and have already determined there are no duds.
The things I criticized weren't deal breakers from the perspective of a discerning music consumer. The bass passages would have been more pleasing with just one more repeat of the phrase. Three would have been the magic number with space in between. One phrase seemed incomplete.
We agree environmental sounds can be cliche. IMO, your environmental sounds avoided being cliche and did not detract from the quality of the music. It is difficult for me to describe what would make an environmental sound cliche. I know it when I hear it. You probably do too.
Generally, environmental sounds are less likely to be cliche if they are processed in a manner that makes them less like reality via filters, modulations and various subtle or not so subtle effects. This can evoke a welcome subliminal memory of sound for the listener who has no idea what effects are. The same sound can be appreciated in the same way and even further by someone who knows or ponders what you did to the water to make it a more interesting sound. I suppose "alternate reality" environmental sounds escapes cliche because they are familiar enough to be pleasant and sufficiently different from reality to be intriguing.
Keep up the good work. You are still evolving.