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The Sounding Board by R J Lannan
RJ Lannan is the reviewer for The Sounding Board.
Other reviews from The Sounding Board by R J Lannan:
  Music of the Extraordinary Voyages by Larkenlyre, reviewed by RJ Lannan on 8/8/2014
  Arctic Sunrise by Kerani, reviewed by RJ Lannan on 8/8/2014
  Moments from the Life Stories of Strangers - Part 1 by Steven Chesne, reviewed by RJ Lannan on 7/19/2014
<<-later reviews | earlier reviews->>   <<- all reviews ->>
Music of the Extraordinary Voyages
By Larkenlyre
Label: Cynelic Gast Music
Music of the Extraordinary Voyages tracks
1. i will create a machine
2. mistral wind
3. rainforest omens
4. island trance
5. northern lights
6. typhoon
7. poppy fields
8. dark yangtzee
9. kanchenjunga
10. desert gathering
11. kaarta market
12. the orphan returns home
13. one day i will go to the stars
14. songbird in the morning
Off We Go
I have been holding on to this album for quite some time. It was selfish of me I know, but the music had an extraordinary hold on me. It did exactly what music is supposed to do. Larkenlyre's music took me away from it all and I forgot to return. If you are an escapist (and if you are not, you should join your local chapter) then you are always looking for music that takes you on an adventure. The music of Larkenlyre on their album Music of the Extraordinary Voyages is for those of us that have been on the journey in our minds. The music is created by Matthew Labarge, a pianist of remarkable talents at the composition desk. He has taken his childhood book-infused adventures of being shipwrecked on a desert island, getting lost in the severe climate of an Alaskan winter, and visiting mysterious ports of call and transmuted them into musical adventures that will push your imagination to its limits. Labarge uses more instruments that I can mention from acoustic to electronic and is joined in the adventure by musical guests Chris Bocast and Jimi Taft on guitars and Eden Macadam-Somer on fiddle. Let's see where we go from here...

I Will Create a Machine is the first cut and it has an industrial sound to it, but it builds from there. There is a mysterious tone to it. This is a dead of night project. There are secrets to keep. The tune helped me to imagine a clockwork character, perhaps a robot or maybe even a time machine. I do know one's big.

Mistral Wind takes us to the coast of France. Waves crash upon the rocks as the fog rolls in. The piano tune echoes as if it yearns for an answer. Will we be able to sail the channel and find the answers that the king needs to remain on his throne? We await the rest of our party as we leave at dawn.

There’s no mistaking the shimmering green light that ignites the midnight sky in the song Northern Lights. A simple explanation is static electricity in the atmosphere, but I know better. It has always been a beacon for me. Drawing me, beckoning me to explore the cold northern lands that have no trees, but all is frosted over, frozen in time. Which direction shall I take? West to the gold mines or east to the jade fields.

At first, I thought that Desert Gathering, a rather jaunty tune featuring banjo and percussion, was out of place. But I was mistaken. After a while it felt right as I imagined the cool desert night, the mesquite campfire, and the hoot of an old owl as we waited for sunrise. It was the desert spring and we knew we would be awestruck by its wonders.

The Orphan Returns Home starts out bittersweet. There is a sense of trepidation, but it soon turns into anticipation and then rejoicing. The joy is in the journey as the hero returns, triumphant and rich from the experience. This is my favorite song on the album, hands down. Eden Macadam-Somer's delightful fiddle is in the background adding energy to the tune.

It is peculiar, but not unexpected that the recording starts with a night tune and ends with a day tune. Songbird in the Morning awakens just as the sun come over the mountains. We find ourselves ready for the next adventure. As shadows lengthen, so does our expectation. Along with a crisp 12-string guitar, there is an unusual sound in this tune, somewhere between an organ and a Celesta.

As I listened to this remarkable album, I had no trouble imagining a book I have read and cherished that matches to every single one of the fourteen tracks on this contemporary/ambient collection of soundscapes. But I skipped one. The title called One Day I Will Go to the Stars. I want to hear how that one goes with a novel I have been holding on to by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Somewhere in there is a hapless Martian princess. Music of the Extraordinary Voyages is highly recommended.
Rating: Very Good +   Very Good +
- reviewed by RJ Lannan on 8/8/2014
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