Sound Garden - Celestial Voices
Judi Silvano

CD Price: $16.00

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$6.00 Canada
$10.00 International

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Track Listing
1. Lunar Halo
2. Distant Star
3. Earthshine
4. The Winter Sky
5. Ursa Minor
6. Celestial View
7. Bright Capella
8. F Minor
9. Meditations
10. Dobranotz
11. Sonic Reflections
12. Bass Space
13. Wonderous Light
14. Over The Horizon

Detailed Description / Musicians
"Voices Together" Vocal Ensemble:
Judi Silvano - Director, Arranger,
Voice & Flute
Kyoko Kitamura - Voice
Marlena Primavera - Voice

The second CD in the Sound Garden series, Sound Garden~Celestial Voices is the musical equivalent of candles, soft and scented. Ambient sound meant to soothe, not arouse. It sounds like the elven music of the Lord of the Rings movies. It is also impeccably done. Given the sheer textures, any off-note would clang as bad as a gruff voice demanding a beer. Silvano blends her voice with those of Kyoko Kitamura and Marlena Primavera into spacious choral settings that evoke ancient traditions of chant that span from medieval convents to Tibetan monasteries, very otherworldly world music.

Silvano overlaps slowly evolving melodic lines, letting the upper partials ring and rub together. At times, as on the opener, this results in pungent dissonances. Though superficially the music may seem emotionally compressed, it sounds haunted, expressing as much melancholy as joy, yet always resigned to breathe in the moment. Indeed the breathing of the singers is audible at some spots adding to the airiness of the music.

The surprises are subtle. On "Bass Space", the rhythm grows more pronounced with groups of three notes cushioned between declamations of a short and long note. "Meditations" suddenly resolves into a simple major triad. Sometimes the endings surprise - I expected many of the songs to float for eternity.

The two tracks "Ursa Minor" and "Dobranotz" feature prominent flute, Silvano being responsible for those full-toned passages. "Dobranotz" alone among the tracks has a melodic substance that could transcend its ethereal surroundings.

This "vocal soundscape", as it is described in the accompanying press materials, "will help you slow down, transcend daily stress and connect with your breath." I suppose it will. That's not what I seek in music - though maybe those I live with wish I would aspire to a more mellow state. If I should decide to travel that path, though, this CD would prove a useful guide.

-- David Dupont

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