Author Topic: My review of "The Shimmering Land" CD by Meg Bowles  (Read 393 times)

richardgurtler

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My review of "The Shimmering Land" CD by Meg Bowles
« on: September 08, 2013, 09:42:52 AM »


Meg Bowles "The Shimmering Land" CD

"The Shimmering Land" is a brand new album by highly applauded US ambient composer Meg Bowles, released during June 2013 through Meg's own Kumatone label. A follow-up to "A Quiet Light" album from February 2011, which marked composer's return after 12 years of silence. In mind with extraordinary works from the 90's such as "Blue Cosmos" or "From The Dark Earth" (featuring David Bilger, Principal Trumpet of the Philadelphia Orchestra), I am always ready for another deeply contemplative listening exploration by this crafted artist from Connecticut.

The album, packaged in elegant 4-panel digipak, starts with 7-minute "Undulant Sea", which spreads with serenely floating washes, smoothly meandering throughout the piece, coupled with gently fragranced, crystalline embellishments. Synthetic percussive part, nicely echoed, moves to the fore and elatedly swirls across the ears in beautiful harmony with warmly melodious sequences and sublimely expanding horizons. Graceful waves of angelic choir-like drifts invade for the closing 3 minutes. Absolutely gorgeous opening, Meg Bowles is back at her best!!! "The Sweetness Of Mist" immediately attracts with its deeply reflective atmosphere with continuously embracing and immersing majesty and grace of opaque realms. Serenely floating and slowly culminating into more monumental splendor. Then again peacefully diminishing into balmy harmonious reverie. The journey continues, this is another hauntingly enveloping texture!!! "Venus Rising" is the longest piece, clocking to nearly 14 and half minute mark. Serene expansions and subtle transitions from tranquil wide-screen blankets to more dramatic scenarios with spaciously intense and powerful tides, richly magnificent in depth. These sonic panoramas are masterfully bridged and harmonized and deliver a truly captivating listening experience to each enthusiast of sublimely comforting soundscapes. This atmospheric essence safely overlaps to the next composition, "Into The Gloaming". Again gracefully moving through enchantingly celestial realms, with fascinating interactions between calmly washing passages, guarded by angelic appearance, and unfolding dramatic culminations. Skilfully enriched here and there by various high-tech hissy clusters and organic rattles, adding distinctive, slightly cybernetic touch to this stunningly absorbing and glowingly exhilarating ambience. Bravo, certainly one of the pinnacles of "The Shimmering Land"!!! "Beneath The Radiant Stars" remains in magnificently tranquil nocturnal terrains, slightly mysterious, surrounded by beautifully textured cascades with alluringly illuminating clinks, tinkles and swirls. Again majestically meandering and gently peaking and intensifying, definitely another full-bodied soundsculpting showcasing the virtuosity of Meg Bowles!!! "Nightwalk Across The Isle Of Dream" reveals with darker drone hum on the back and warmly inviting celestial choir on the fore. Ever-changing texture is filled with strikingly beautiful ethereal sonic crescendos and stunningly immersing enigmatic atmozones with delicate orchestral touch. Sparse exotic sound traceries can be detected as well. The music is as much charmingly soothing as its title, a very strong conclusion!!!

Not to forget, on the top of the pure sonic beauty and tranquility, you get also superb sound quality, the album was mastered by Richard Price, a husband of Meg Bowles and a Grammy award-winning producer, mastering engineer and president of Candlewood Digital, a classical music recording company based in New Fairfield, Connecticut. "The Shimmering Land" CD is another greatly accomplished recording from Meg Bowles, don't miss this sonic jewel!!!

Richard Gürtler (Sep 08, 2013, Bratislava, Slovakia)