Patrick Canavan &
Alar Pahapill,
Songs of the Earth
(New Life Media, 1995)

In the CD liner of this album, the question is posed: "What would the earth sound like if you could hear it breathing?" This album tries to answer that question. And, boy, do they go above and beyond their goal. After listening to the album, I think the question should have really been, "How does the earth sound?" Period.

Patrick Canavan and Alar Pahapill did an exquisite job creating this album. Using drums, percussion, violins, keyboards and vocals, they bring forth a sound that emulates sounds of the world beautifully. I checked out the list of percussion instruments used in the making of this recording. If you can crash it, bang it or make any sound off it by hitting it, it was used: metal pipes, sandpaper, cowbells, dumbeks, egg shakers, U20s and much, much more.

The first track, "Morning," greets you with light drumming, as the Earth dawns a new day. Canavan on the keyboards adds a melody that lets you envision animals and people awakening to greet the coming day. "Genesis" begins with a keyboard solo that evokes thoughts of the wind blowing across an empty field. The long drawn out notes on the keyboard mimic the path of a wind where nothing exists and everything is possible.

"Sky, Stones, and Bones" have various percussion instruments trying to mimic the playing of stones and bones. Sandpaper and drums take on the role of stones being pounded against each other; sticks mimic the clacking of bones rattling against each other. I'm not sure where the "Sky" plays into this particular piece, but it does have a nice ring to it.

The rest of the album is delightful to hear. They make good use of mixing percussion instruments with a few other select instruments. The music is light to medium, a nice album to play in your living room on a rainy day.

[ by Jade Falcon ]