Wednesday, October 27, 2010

CD Review: Paul Winter Consort

Miho: Journey to the Mountain

Built in 1997, the Japanese Miho Museum is an architectural marvel that houses antiquities from the West and the East. In addition to the historical or architectural considerations, the Paul Winter Consort recorded most of the music in the Miho Museum. Paul Winter, a saxophonist, includes numerous musicians on sarangi, sazabo, koto, frame drums, Heckelphone, English horn, oboe, cello, keyboard, bansuri flute, percussion, and bass clarinet for a relaxed listening experience. The subtle musical tones and new-age sounds incorporate vocals from Armenian Arto Tuncboyaciyan on "Love Is Not In Your Mind" and "Before It's Too Late", with Tibet's Yangjin Lamu on "Words of Wish Fulfillment". The vocals and instrumentation is modern, yet retains a traditional and majestic spaciousness as grandiose as the Miho Museum's breathtaking design. Not only does Paul Winter incorporate the obvious instruments and vocals, but also includes the soudns of elephants, whales, cicadas, and birds. Essentially, Miho... is a 'journey' unto itself with all its cascading melodies and associated arrangments. If the Earth had a soundtrack, this would be it! The seventy-eight minute running time is not a bad thing either. ~ Matthew Forss

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