(Wind Forest Mountain, 2001)
What a spacey bunch of music. Simirillion. What does it even mean? The liner sheets aren't much help, a blue boomerang of a spaceship floats among purple planets and glowing pink suns, thick with red meteorite flashes streaking, while purple lightning streaks around black patches of sky.
Simirillion. Is that how many stars there are in the sky? Like a quadrillion? Is it a deep red color, something like vermillion? Is it supposed to evoke a connection with J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion without crossing copywrite boundaries?
So I review this one with no background at all on the group. Left relatively out in the cold, or out in space, with this CD, I tentatively place it on the deck.
Another look at the liner notes. OK, there are names here! Cecil Wilson appears to be the ringleader. This is an instrumental CD and all the pieces are written by Wilson, except for the fourth cut, one by Lennon & McCartney. That's a good sign: "Norwegian Wood." Seven minutes and thirty seconds. At that length if it's not good, it's going to be really, really bad.
Joining Wilson is Amy Hammel Zabin on flute, Kenny Swindel on trumpet and Chris Eminizer who plays soprano sex -- oops, that's soprano SAX. (I'm sure it's an old choir boy joke.)
Another look at the titles. Seven cuts on this CD. "The Flight of Daedalus" opens up for 8:22 minutes, "Brazilian Raindance" takes 18:33 and "A Walk in Tunisia" runs for 13:20. That was a sign that these guys either had totally lost it or were really confident that this was good music.
Three quarters of the way through the second cut, after 25 minutes of play, I realized this was good music. New age probably, but not a boring or jarring moment. If you can imagine putting classical music in liquid form, twirling it with Lawrence Welk bubbles, pouring it all on silken sheets and then laying in it to float through great fields of nothingness, you have an idea what this CD feels like. And you'd probably really enjoy it.
The intensity of this music comes not from how it sounds, but from where it takes you. It's not earth-shattering music, not toe-tapping, or hip swinging, but it's the best background music to life in general that I've ever heard. Give it a spin.
[ by Virginia MacIsaac ]