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The Sounding Board by R J Lannan
RJ Lannan is the reviewer for The Sounding Board.
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The Fairy Garden
By David Arkenstone
Label: Green Hill
Released 9/23/2016
The Fairy Garden tracks
1. Sunbreak
2. The Enchanted Cave
3. Gossamer Dream
4. Voice of the Wood
5. Fire Fairy Dance
6. The Garden Fair
7. Pools of Moonlight
8. Journey's End
9. Princess of the Fairies
10. Morning Flight
11. The Faerie's Kiss
There’s Magic Under Every Fern
I have listened to David Arkenstone’s music since Valley in the Clouds debuted back in 1987. That’s almost three decades ago. I really became a fan with the release of In the Wake of the Wind. Every time I picked up a sci-fi novel, I listened to his music in the background. I finally realized I liked the music because it made me believe. That is what Arkenstone does best. Whether it is music about ancient or future heroes, gods and goddesses or love is all its manifestation, Arkenstone can produce music that enriches the situation and makes a believer out of you. David has many albums that don the mantle of fantasy and conceptual Celtic music and his newest offering is just that.The Fairy Garden is twelve thrilling tracks of light ensemble compositions that tickle the imagination and power up the emotional engine of daydreaming.

Imagine the forest, quiet, dim, and sleeping. Then the light of dawn creeps up over the horizon and the promise of warmth and light come to pass. The early morning clouds are mauve and lavender, but gold soon becomes the color of the day. We hear and imagine that and much more in the opening tune, Sunbreak.

Morning Flight is classic Arkenstone with a lively orchestra building a tune with a delightful story tucked neatly inside. Fairies are much like humming birds and they get that special flying magic by practicing every day. Just as soon as the sunlight warms their wings, they are off. Darting, gliding and hovering, they beat their wings with a pleasant buzz.

It could be the sound the wind makes as teases the leaves in the trees. Or it could be the sound of water flowing over mossy rocks, but really, it is the sound of magic. Voice of the Wood has the murmuring of fairy voice blending with the rolling sound of mysterious strings and horns. The stories these woods could tell if only you them a listen.

A strumming of strings, a whisper of voice and you are welcomed into The Garden Fair. It is a dervish of sounds brought about by the warmth of the sun and the blue sky above. Morning dews slides off the leaves as the dance of blooming flowers parade about in their colorful splendor. It appears that fairies love to dance among the flowers.

One of my favorites on The Fairy Garden is the Princess of the Fairies. It has the dreamlike renaissance tone that makes it both whimsical and majestic. The music suggest that the princess is more than just special. She dresses all in silver, her eyes are blue sapphire gems and her smile is brighter the sun. Her touch is always warm and she can fly higher than the sky.

The music of the track Pools of Moonlight make for dusky shadows as the brightly lit ball of silver glides through the clouds. Everything takes on an eerie light, and look over there, a moon bow! David’s tune is ethereal and melodic and his music makes a promise that the fairies are up to something.

Journey’s End begins on a somber note. One could almost feel the sun setting and a cold wind taking her place. Every fairy heads for the warmth of closing flower petals, tree holes and tiny rocky caves. The night grows still and we head for our own homes. It is a melancholy occasion, but the fairies make us promise to return. And we shall.

Arkenstone’s music is actually a bit romantic at times, but it still retrains the refinement that creates magic and promise. All twelve tracks produce vignettes of fantasy and fun backed by lush instrumentation and diaphanous melodies. While David plays most of the instruments on the recording, including a zesty zither, he is joined by the talents of Luanne Homzy on violin and Susan Craig Winsburg on flute. You can feel the delightful tickling beat of fairy wings on every song as The Fairy Garden makes you believe in magic again.
Rating: Very Good +   Very Good +
- reviewed by RJ Lannan on 11/1/2016
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