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Valley in the Clouds
     

Valley in the Clouds

by David Arkenstone
 
This lustrous 1987 album marked the beginning of David Arkenstone's notable rise as a composer and performer of visionary music. Arkenstone's crystalline music describes high, rugged mountains, deep valleys, and endless horizons. Deep gongs and airy choirs imbue the music with the spiritual mystique of Shangri La. On "Eastern Dream,"

Overview

This lustrous 1987 album marked the beginning of David Arkenstone's notable rise as a composer and performer of visionary music. Arkenstone's crystalline music describes high, rugged mountains, deep valleys, and endless horizons. Deep gongs and airy choirs imbue the music with the spiritual mystique of Shangri La. On "Eastern Dream," the listener can easily approach the gates of paradise. Though much of the music sounds spacious, Arkenstone employs a variety of rhythms: With the spunk of Philip Glass, Arkenstone gives the title track lively layers of xylophones, bass, and percussion to evoke a bustling village in the valley. "Night Wind" is the most transporting piece, as its swaying cadence lifts the mind for a roller-skating session through the heavens, and "Rain" seems to lavish drops of diamonds from the sky. Arkenstone created these rich symphonic tone poems with a variety of synthesizers, plus piano, guitar, harp, and fretless bass; Daniel Chase contributes percussion. This mouthwatering and spiritually uplifting album is a total delight.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Johnny Loftus
Valley in the Clouds, David Arkenstone's Narada debut, established the new age composer's effortless blend of worldly, contemporary instrumental, and conventional pop
ock textures, and laid the foundation for his successful career. The nine electronic soundscapes of Clouds seem guided by a restless desire to keep things interesting. Not too interesting, mind you -- this is, after all, new age, and it's built for relaxation. But "Stepping Stars" begins as a series of synthesizer washes, with two half-formed melodies fluttering by each other, only to transform itself with another melody halfway through. The third part unites the song's drifting sections and makes it much more than a simple keyboard experiment. The same goes for the title track, where a breathy flute adds exotic depth to the track's loping rhythm. While Arkenstone's building blocks will be common to new age listeners -- swirling synths, world music references, and light, insistent percussion -- it's in the way he arranges his songs that make them his own. "Eastern Dream" incorporates harp and violin, while "Rain"'s pattering keyboard lines travel over and across one other, suggesting the hypnotizing quality of a morning thundershower. Valley in the Clouds ends with more nature-noise atmospherics, bringing in triumphant keys and percussion for the rousing "Lost Temple." The album is a solid debut that's definitely lush and relaxing, but never boring.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/25/1990
Label:
Narada
UPC:
0076742620127
catalogNumber:
26201

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