Ron Korb, |
(self-produced, 1994; 2000)
Flute Traveller is a absorbing and atmospheric album from a man who has mastered the wide variety of flute instruments of the world. This album is perfect for anyone who likes the sound of a flute -- in particular, anyone who enjoys the sound of the East. This is a haven of tranquility, a respite from the troubles of the day, an escape to relax or encourage meditation -- I first listened to it while surrounded by construction work, and only when the music stopped did the noise intrude again on my senses! Ron Korb takes his listeners travelling along with him, from Ireland to Chile, China to India, Japan to North America, Morocco to Bolivia and beyond. He educates us as well as enveloping our senses in exquisitely delicate music -- the inner sleeve of the CD has illustrations accompanied by brief histories of the surprisingly varied flutes that are quite fascinating, and add to the depth of understanding of their potential which Korb displays for our delight.
Do not make the mistake of labeling this CD another load of panpipery! Panpipes (Romanian) appear on only one of 16 tracks, and the album bears no resemblance to the now over familiar Andean pipes. Likewise, do not err in dismissing it as the sort of aural wallpaper one is subjected to on entering the average Indian or Chinese restaurant -- perish the thought! Flute Traveller is a sophisticated offering of original compositions, inspired by the quite different types of flutes, the far-flung countries of their origin and the music of those lands. The sole tune not composed by Korb is a traditional Chinese song, 1,000 years old, which is stunning for its sheer antiquity, yet it blends seamlessly with the rest of the album. It is impossible for me to pick out one favourite, as every time I endeavoured to listen more objectively, I was again soothed and entranced as the music played and time passed, yet the tracks are as individual as the construction and material of the instruments.
I enthusiastically recommend Flute Traveller. It is time-travel combined with world travel, and is quite wonderfully bewitching. It is a rare gift in the hustle and bustle of today's world to find such a genuinely calming and transporting selection of music, but to have it expertly played by Korb on his unique collection of flutes is even more precious. This is a truly lovely CD, and providing flute music is not a complete anathema to you, it is essential listening to redress the balance and enhance the harmony that should be present in our lives.
[ by Jenny Ivor ]