Deborah Martin / Cheryl Gallagher — Tibet
(Spotted Peccary SPM-9051, 2004, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2004-09-01
In 1999, composers Martin and Gallagher took a trip to the “land above the clouds” — so inspired they were by the experience that they composed an entire album which attempts to convey the beauty and majesty of Tibet through their music. The Spotted Peccary label, long a proponent of this unique style of symphonic soundtrack-like music, has cut no corners on this production, which is housed in a beautiful fold-out digipak with photos that fit the mood of the music perfectly. The material is very floating-ambient compatible, strong on textures and shimmering atmospherics, though with well defined melodic themes that highlight most every piece, the former aspect giving it a beautifully layered symphonic quality. Instrumentation used is primarily synthesizers, electric harp, flutes, hand drums, Tibetan bells, bowls, drums, and percussion, as well as samples of Sherpas, monks, and nuns recorded on location in Tibet and Nepal. With plenty of sound processing, the whole production is given a very dreamlike quality that works to enhance the mystery of it all. The field recordings are mostly used sparingly, although the final track “Procession” goes all out with the samples, at times making the accompanying music almost incidental. Soundman and co-producer Howard Givens has done a masterful job along with Martin, Gallagher, and a handful of guests to make this disc one of the finest offerings yet in the Spotted Peccary catalog. Highly recommended!
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