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Journeyscapes by Candice Michelle
Other reviews from Journeyscapes by Candice Michelle:
  Mosaic by David Wahler, reviewed by Candice Michelle on 8/4/2018
  Chromatones by Darlene Koldenhoven, reviewed by Candice Michelle on 8/2/2018
  Colors of the Ambient Sky by David Arkenstone, reviewed by Candice Michelle on 7/14/2018
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Music That Tells A Story
By Symphonex Orchestra
Label: Music With No Expiration®
Released 3/1/2018
Music That Tells A Story tracks
1. Dreams in Bloom-The Encounter
2. Dreams in Bloom-Falling
3. Dreams in Bloom-Garden by the Sea
4. Dreams in Bloom-The Letter
5. Dreams in Bloom-The Quest
6. Dreams in Bloom-Reunion
7. Dinner With Friends
8. Variations on a Theme of Tromboncino-#1
9. Variations on a Theme of Tromboncino-#2
10. Variations on a Theme of Tromboncino-#3
11. Gymnopédie Variations-Jaune
12. Gymnopédie Variations-Blu
13. Hevene Quene-Introduction
14. Hevene Quene-Edi Beo Thu
15. Dreams in Bloom-Introduction-story
16. Dreams in Bloom-The Encounter-story
17. Dreams in Bloom-The Encounter
18. Dreams in Bloom-Falling-story
19. Dreams in Bloom-Falling
20. Dreams in Bloom-Garden by the Sea-story
21. Dreams in Bloom-Garden by the Sea
22. Dreams in Bloom-The Letter-story
23. Dreams in Bloom-The Letter
24. Dreams in Bloom-The Quest-story
25. Dreams in Bloom-The Quest
26. Dreams in Bloom-Reunion-story
27. Dreams in Bloom-Reunion
A mesmerizing sound collage
Symphonex Orchestra is a concept project by musician and composer Peter Xifaras, who originally released his debut album, Appassionato, in 2000. Titled Music That Tells A Story, Xifaras’ latest release is a double album comprised of 27 compositions, of which he aptly describes as “a collection of orchestral adventures that have inspired authors to put pen to paper, writing words to the images that this music evokes.” Joined throughout by a handful of guest artists, the classical-centric compositions range from modernly sophisticated with distinct electronica and world flavors to more traditional orchestrations that possess a cinematically sentimental flair.

Opening with a piece from the "Dreams in Bloom" set, this an instrumental collection of six compositions was inspired by a beautiful love story. Additionally, disc two includes introductory narrations by Joan Jacobs to accompany each of their instrumental counterparts. The outstanding first cut in this set, entitled “The Encounter”, is a robust and dramatic foray into cinematic electronica. Featuring a slick beat and bassline accentuated by classical strings, the chic composition is molded in a similar vein to material from Kevin Keller’s La Strada or Prequell’s The Future Comes Before albums.

Another noteworthy piece in the first of five sets is “Garden by the Sea”, which opens with glistening wind chimes. Elegantly cinematic with brushes of piano, viola and bell-tones throughout, the composition’s seemingly East Asian bent aptly brings-to-mind lovely images of a pastel-painted Japanese garden located in a mountainous mist.

"Variations a on Theme of Tromboncino" is derived from the song “Ostinato vo’ seguire” by Bartolomeo Tromboncino, which was originally published circa 1500. Beautifully sung by Felicia Farerre in Italian, this modern rendition masterfully fuses classical renaissance with a contemporary-pop style that reminds me a bit of composer Paul Schwartz’ Aria and State of Grace projects.

And finally, my absolute favorite piece on the album is the gorgeous “Hevene Quene: Edi Beo Thu”, of which perfectly concludes the first disc. A modern adaptation based on an anonymous composition composed in the 13th century, the piece is sung in Middle English and features ethereal vocals that are somewhat reminiscent of Sarah Brightman’s. Enchantingly lush, ethereal and gently rhythmic, the piece incorporates ethnic percussion woven among electronic programming and classical orchestration, while bearing signatures of Celtic, classical and medieval music.

A mesmerizing sound collage of classical, contemporary, global and electronica motifs, I find Peter Xifaras’ production and arranging skills to be highly impressive, as well as his willingness to branch-out and experiment creatively to be most incredibly refreshing!
Rating: Excellent   Excellent
- reviewed by Candice Michelle on 6/6/2018
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