Author Topic: My review of "Secret Garden" CD by Tony Gerber  (Read 72 times)

richardgurtler

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My review of "Secret Garden" CD by Tony Gerber
« on: October 02, 2017, 08:36:04 AM »


Tony Gerber "Secret Garden" CD

Tony Gerber, in Nashville based multi-instrumentalist and space ambient veteran is highly praised not only for his solo work under his name or as Cypress Rosewood, but also as a core member of Spacecraft project or as a one half of Auroric Dreams. On the top of that, he is still the driving force behind the legendary Space For Music label, which has released during the last two decades, especially mostly during 2000s many unforgettable albums, except his own and Spacecraft CDs/CDrs, also by numerous renowned artists such as Zero Ohms, Giles Reaves, Brannan Lane, Craig Padilla, Robert Rich, Thom Brennan, Max Corbacho, Terra Ambient, Hans-Joachim Roedelius, Vir Unis, Robert Scott Thompson, Ian Boddy, Robert Carty... Indeed a truly impressive line-up! Back to "Secret Garden" CD, this is the latest release by Space For Music label in a cooperation with Kimmo Heikkilä, a Finnish visual artist and Parikkalan Patsaspuisto, a Parikkala Sculpture Park in Parikkala, in South Karelia region of Finland. Tony Gerber made his first connection to Finland in 2014 through his live performance at Karelian Skies festival and since then this relationship keeps on blossoming. "Secret Garden" album is inspired and dedicated to this uniquely treasured park, which include over 560 folk art statues by Finnish sculptor Veijo Rönkkönen (1944-2010). The CD is out since June 2017 in a two glossy cardboard sleeves featuring photographs by Veijo Rönkkönen with design by Kimmo Heikkilä and additional assistance by Atte Paju. The mastering wizardry was provided by no one else but Bob Olhsson, the iconic audio engineer behind stellar Hearts Of Space catalogue.

6-plus minutes long title track "Secret Garden" immerses the listener with soothing monochromatic drone masterfully juxtaposed and strongly illuminated by soaring stringed lyricism and auxiliary cascading undercurrents. "Glass Eye Visions" bridges sinuously traversing high-pitched poignancy with intangibly glimmering quietudes. Secluded winds announce "Beneath The Moss", which is soon joined by utterly embracing warm expansions and engrossing native flute insignias. Pure aural elixir!!! "Treasures From The Tooth Fairy" reveals with ephemeral noisy train sounds, but soothing rainy location recordings permeate along with transient chants, intensely evocative flute magic and subduedly twinkling patterns. The next track, "Incubation", amalgamates nebulously transporting ethereal blankets with sneaking, euphoniously ear-tickling panoptic introspections of electric strings and supported by vaporously pulsing sequences. "Joogatarha" meticulously bridges an array of both primordial and artificial percussive piquancy with singularly engulfing wordless chants by its sole protagonist, all guarded by quiescent dronescapes. A truly galvanizing listening experience awaits here!!! Nearly 13-minute "Parikkala Sky (Space Gong)", the longest piece on "Secret Garden", is guided by a train whistles (train field recordings supplied by Tony's wife Heather) into a profoundly contemplative realms, driven by spellbindingly tenebrous, gong-infused drones and commingled by occasional gossamer fragments and remote metallic rumbles. Further abysmally humming meridians inconspicuously pervade and steal this fascinatingly transcendental spectacle with its ear-bending reverberating magnifications. The Drone Eden unlocks its gates, enter now!!! "Katatarina" unfolds by oscillating dissonances, which smoothly shift into sky high domains and the scenario is painstakingly propelled by narrative artistry, when utilizing post-rock fragranced electric strings. Another beauty!!! "Ring Around The Rosie" is again leaded by stringed texture, this time with some kind of Wild West flavors thrown in (is that electric dulcitar?) and surrounded by gently persistent synthetic clickety-clacks and continuously emerging remote groans and transitory layers of rawer buzzings. Credited on this piece as a guest musician is Tony Gerber's brother Todd.

58-minute "Secret Garden" is a very strong sonic installment by Tony Gerber and a splendidly flavored tribute to the beauty, spirit and the mystery of the unique sculpture park in Parikkala. And the sales of this album, which is also available as a vinyl version, black or colored, help to fund the maintaining the sculpture park. Nicely performed, Tony!!! And kudos go to all involved in sculpting this amazing project!!! If you can, please support the legacy of Veijo Rönkkönen, the man behind fine examples of Finnish contemporary folk art. Thank you!!!

Richard Gürtler (Oct 01, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)