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Terra Incognito: The Space Between by Richard Dillon
- posted by Dyan Garris on 4/10/2018
Terra Incognito - Richard Dillon
Richard Dillon has released a total of 11 CDs, with “Terra Incognito: The Space Between” being released in February, 2018. “Terra Incognito” is defined here as: “A place, subject, or situation that you are not familiar with.” In keeping with that, this album is somewhat of departure from his well-known New Age solo piano albums, such as “Irish Mist” and “Land of Nod.”
“Terra Incognito” is a compilation of Richard Dillon’s work from 1984 to the present, which includes his use of various instrumentation and also four vocal tracks he created specifically for music licensing. Guest artists on the album include Julian Catford, one of Seattle’s top guitarists and Seattle area based fiddler, Susan Burke on violin.

The album is lengthy, coming in at well over one hour, and consists of 24 tracks. Interesting, and in juxtaposition to that total album length, some of the tracks themselves are quite short, with, for example, one of my personal favorites, track 8, the beautiful “Leonardo’s Flying Machine,” being only 1:12.
The album opens with “Whalesong Redux,” a soulful instrumental replete with communicative sounds of these resplendent sea creatures. Next up, “Green Flash Redux,” incorporates soothing ocean sounds with a steady, meditative melody line. The title track, “The Space Between,” is spacey and atmospheric as one might expect, albeit a little short at 1:41. However, maybe it says just enough and we can fill in our own spaces as we imagine them.

Some standouts on “Terra Incognito” are: Track 9, “Beside Still Waters Redux,” with its peaceful rainforest sounds and well-constructed piano melody. It’s a lovely piece. And not that there is nothing to enjoy in-between, but track 18, “Light of Peace Redux,” is quite tranquility inducing with its gentle piano and calming synth string vibe flowing underneath. “Ha Long Bay” on track 21, is pretty, uplifting, and angelic, with its ethereal sounding digital voice wrapped around some very nice piano and palliative instrumentation, which all enters into the mix at just the perfect time. Very nicely done.

Buy “Terra Incognito: The Space Between” here:

www.richarddillonpiano.com/

www.newagecd.com
Silent Whispers by Kaveh Karandish
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 4/6/2018
A quality album full of impressive music
The contemporary instrumental genre is as strong as I have ever known it, but the quality seems to have exploded into a cacophony of utter brilliance lately and with Silent Whispers by Kaveh Karandish, that explosion has revealed a brand new dimension of class and quality within. This is one of the most fascinating albums I have listened to for a long while, it crosses boundaries and creates new realms with ease, so let’s take a voyage of splendour with the artist as we ride the sultry waves of tone with Silent Whispers.
The opening pathway is manifested by the title track itself and is simply one of the most divine pieces I have listened to for ages, cinematic, passionate and powerful. Silent Whispers is one of those classic compositions that will live for eons in the annals of musical genius.
Southern Sunrise has that delightful gentle refrain that all good pianists can provide when on top of their game. A light finger snap, a soothing bass line and an increasing percussive beat adding itself to a magical piano vibe that manifests one of the best tracks off the album.
Passion Dance is a completely different style of composition, it has a certain Middle Eastern ethic to its overall feel, but also a little latent rock energy as well; the guitar and bass both added a whole new level of movement to the piece. Karandish on piano was exceptional and created the narrative for us to all dance to, with such a sublime skill and with great ease.
We now move to one of the most creative offerings on the album entitled My Dream. The light percussion here was so delicate and rhythmic, while the symphonic splendour of the piece really shone through. The Oud here was simply spectacular and played superbly by Maz Karandish. The air of mystery on this track and the smooth performance by all concerned made this a total winner in my book.
The brass construction and silky nature about Kaveh and Sherif was a treat to bathe in, the slight Jazz motif was so very pleasing to behold, and this has to be one of the easiest and laid back pieces off the release, simply enchanting to dream within.
The bright and light offering of Moments is up next, the piano and percussion and multi instrumentation go to create a truly addictive slice of a global world vibe that is supreme in its musical textures. It has to be said that the piano of Karandish is simply outstanding here, and as the waves role up to the shoreline we can sit in awe of an utterly classic composition.
We have now reached the half way juncture and come across a composition of true emotive meaning called Sunset Sparrows. One is always utterly moved when thinking about the passing of one’s father; I am to this day with the passing of mine, and here Karandish composes this piece to remember the inspiration and love that was shared by this incredible bond, a reflective piece, but one that contains an everlasting beauty deep within the weave.
So now we begin our decline towards the outer rim of this realm of musical greatness called Silent Whispers by Kaveh Karandish and we now arrive at a musical doorway marked Zaagros Zephyr. Interestingly enough I have come across this several time now and I believe that it (Zephyr) can mean the wind, or west wind. The charming nature of this piece is so redolent to the subject matter and one can feel the energy and the winds of change on our faces with this empowering composition and with Zaagros being a mountain in Iran, the vista is manifested and suggested with sublime brilliance.
Delicate Dreams has softness about its energy that is so very appealing and makes the offering extremely easy to listen to, pay close attention to how the piano of Karandish and the multi instrumentational nature of this piece all marry so well into a symbiotic relationship of a musical quality of cleverness.
After a little research I found that Shiraz Nights would have a poignant meaning for the artist, after all it is his home town in Iran. Here his brother Maz also joins him on Sitar and Oud this time, to manifest a real family affair of a composition. This is a really lively Middle Eastern piece that has a wonderful combination of fun and dance built perfectly into the weave of the piece.
We now move into the depths of the album and we find an interesting, but incredibly fluent opus entitled Traveler. Natural sounds, a distant storm and an emotive piano, all go to making up one of the most memorable and emotional pieces of the release. I have listened to this track a few times now, and I find such a well of expressive sensitivity here, one that I just know you will appreciate.
Desert Dance is exactly what it says on the can, and is not to dissimilar in style to some of the village music you will hear, here in Cyprus. Lively, exciting and thoroughly fun all the way, a perfectly placed light-hearted reverie just when it was needed.
Now for the only piece off the album that contains vocals and the composer tasks his brother (Maz) with this occasion, for those of you who are aware of the 13th century mystic and poet Rumi, then you may recollect that the lyrics come curtsey of his works. Jaan E Jaanaan is a truly respectful and gentle composition that we can collectively enjoy in peace and harmony together.
We now move and stand in front of the last portal of this musical oasis created by Kaveh Karandish, it is called Golden Dreams. I must say that this is a beautiful piece with which to end the project, the gentle sea rolling up to the shore as a golden sunset drifts slowly below the horizon, tracks like this you could listen to on repeat for hours.
Silent Whispers by Kaveh Karandish is an album of great natural beauty and skill, the work ethic and time that must have gone into this collection of songs is vast and impressive. Karandish has to be applauded for bringing into the world an album of such quality and style and I have no doubt that the listeners and fans alike will love every second of it.
Rating: Excellent
She by Peter Kater
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 4/4/2018
Classy music with acres of quality performances
There is a powerful resurgence going on within the field of what can loosely be called the New Age music industry, and its artists like Grammy award Winner Peter Kater who are leading the way, and if this album is anything to go by, he could well be heading for further accolades along the way.
Kater utilises the vocal talents of Peia Luzzi, to emphasise just what it is to be top of the tree in this modern era of contemporary music, starting with the perfect building composition in She Awaken in the Garden, with lush natural sounds and layered with supreme musical textures in a pastiche of tender musical beauty.
The artistry and splendour of truly amazing tone, continues with the deeply moving and quite beautiful, Her Flames Burns Within Him, this is utterly evocative and wonderfully haunting; Katers performance on Piano is nothing short of sublime, while the vocal talents of Luzzi are beyond anything I have ever heard before.
Tracks like Rain Speaks his Name, which will resonate with every single cell of your spirit, feature alongside the ethereal and all empowering She Whispers in Tall Grasses; they partner a simply divine composition entitled He Searches for Her in the Sea, a track that will move to the very borderlands of your deepest emotions.
Contained within this illustrious package of genius are three remixes of the first three tracks off the album, all brilliantly arranged and produced. We now finish this journey, with the track She, the deep bass sound in the distance, the mesmeric piano, one that sweetly creates a narrative that swims within the sounds of the ocean with ease, the pertinent rhythmic percussion, and the full flowing strings, ends the album in a triumphant composition of departure, one that rounds of the release with great style and panache.
She by Peter Kater is an album that is not one that will just take this genre up to the next level, it’s a release that will invent an entirely new realm of totally classy music, it is abundant with acres of quality performances and oozes a stylish character through its simply sublime arrangements. Simply put, Kater has another winner here, without a shadow of a doubt.
Rating: Excellent
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