Original Issue: 1996 Fathom (11072-2) Buy it here!
Margot-meter: 4,5 moons / 5
1 Halcyon Days (10:20)
2 First Day (9:22)
3 Rainfrog Dreaming (7:56)
4 Snake Brothers (5:52)
5 Slow Walk At Stone Wash (9:22)
6 Riding The Atlas (5:28)
7 Calyx Revelation (8:00)
8 Kingfisher Flight (7:00)
Roach, Kent and Newby began working on this CD in winter of 1995 during the time known as the Halcyon Days (around the Winter Solstice), in Tuscon Arizona, Sonoran Desert. What came of this gathering, is a beautiful blend of talent and skill of all three artists as heard in this: Halcyon Days release.
The music of Halcyon Days is another yet incredible piece of music that brings to the listener a well defined ambiance of indiginous and synthetic sounds. Halcyon Days, track 1 begins the voyage with sounds that seem to emanate from deep within an ancient forest -- water trickling, envision of a lost soul seeking passage through the dark winter days -- birds saluting the short daylight hours with their melodious song coupled with a backdrop of beautifully orchestrated symphonics and a constant chant-like drumming effect. These sounds within, sweetly reflect the Halcyon Days.
First Day reminds me of one of those sexy Marlon Brando films of latter mid-century where the saxophone slowly drones and sways a melody line that keeps my attention in wondering where I'm going next with the characters, in the heat of the night. Again the chant-like drumming effects the entire piece intertwined with the subtlety of various indigenous instrumental sounds inserted. Swirling, music in motion -- again the slow ambient sounds of a flute and/or the didgeridoo with the ching-chings of bells or metal pots resonate harmonics in this piece. This track [Rainfrog Dreaming] is a bit spooky, dark and rich in texture.
Snake Brothers brings out the use rattles with an Eastern harmonic droning quality. The beat picks up somewhat with the time keeping pulse of sticks being banged together in the background, picking up tempo toward the end. Is it the Didgeridoo that seems to express itself as if it were talking?
Take a Slow Walk at Stone Wash sounds like a good idea to me. This track again brings out the soft yet powerful qualities of sound produced by the trio during their time together to create this CD. The cresendo of rich expansive sounds dominate the piece, interjected with slow moving deep didgeridoo, flutelike basics, mello drumming and harmony.
Riding the Atlas begins with rolling drums, clicking, and sounds shaken not stirred. Set in motion with what seems to be a guitar and dreamy flutelike ambience combine to bring forth a vision of life in timeless ancient forests.
Quietly starting in a whirling motion that ebbs and flows back and forth, Calyx Revelation takes off for flight into previously unchartered intellectual aural territory. You really DO need to sit down and hear this track with no external noise, it's just too good not to hear uninterrupted. Slow vibrating drones, and swirling soundscapes create the atmospherics in this piece.
A bit higher in pitch than the previous track, Kingfisher Flight incorporates deep drums, the slow sensuous flute that enters into Roach's music often, and dry seed filled gourds being shaken at precisely the right times. Another beautiful work of art by Steve Roach, Stephen Kent and Kenneth Newby.
If you enjoy the more *organic* sounds of indigenous [darker] ambient intertwined with synths, make sure this release finds its way to your home.