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Crommie; Daniel: A Silent Sea

We all listen to music for different, yet the same reasons. Often it's a form of escapism and relaxation and again we all find those things in our own ways too. Personally for me though, when an artist describes their efforts as "musical wallpaper" (amongst many other descriptions, I have to add), I kind of worry. Even if that artist is someone whose work I've enjoyed consistently in recent years. And so we come to A Silent Sea from the ever prolific and eclectic Daniel Crommie, where the man himself creates a series of ambient soundscapes through a selection of flutes from around the world, which are employed across many different, yet similar musical settings. In short, this is mood music (but then, what isn't?) which gently infiltrates the mind through suggestion and guile, rather than any notion of forcefulness or insistence.

What you need to do here, is to be prepared to be whisked off to a different world to get any payback from A Silent Sea; watery sounds and eerie atmospheres transporting your mind to disparate places and seldom effective unless you can listen (and I do mean listen) during a state of concentration. Musical wallpaper this may be but effective background music it is not, with a tendency to forget it is playing all too apparent unless you can free your mind to the soaring, yet calming paths you are led down.

Other elements do flit in and out of earshot, with acoustic guitar, bass, piano and frame drum sparingly infusing less expected moments amidst the dreamy air. In ways what is presented here sounds like the backing to an otherwise silent movie, where a loan figure is confronted with unexplainable images and occurrences. The gently unsettling musical themes building their own, imagined storylines around his inner mind. The ability and willingness to give into these inner forces becoming the driving force.

A Silent Sea is a beautifully crafted album and one I can imagine myself revisiting, albeit sparingly and only when the setting, mood and moment are correct. In those circumstances it makes for a powerful companion. In any others, it charms simply get blown away silently with the spray...

Track Listing
1. Lunar Asters
2. Samain
3. All Saints Day
4. Contrails
5. A Silent Sea
6. Chasing Phantom Ships
7. Megasaurus
8. Two Lynx
9. Ice Fractals
10. Bamboo Bird
11. Ecuador
12. A Silent Sea (reprise)
13. Outposts
14. Etude #1

Added: March 22nd 2014
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: New Weave Records
Hits: 1781
Language: english

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