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Nicholas Casley (Plymouth, Devon, UK)

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Thomas Mann
Thomas Mann
by Hermann Kurzke
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Man who Lived Life through his Novels, 25 July 2017
This review is from: Thomas Mann (Hardcover)
I'd recently read three Thomas Mann novels, and years ago I read a number of his short stories. I was impressed by the latter but was not so impressed by the former. A literary friend later told me I read the wrong translations. Be that as it may, I could not deny that I felt a certain affinity with Mann, and so the next thing was naturally to read a biography of him.

The author of this 1999 biography, Hermann Kurzke, is Professor of Literature at the University of Mainz and a Mann expert. Written in German, it has been translated into English, but one cannot help wondering if it too suffers from the hands of his translator, for it can sometimes be weary reading, the writing style often as convoluted as Mann's.

Nevertheless, the book has value, and one senses Kurzke has really got under the skin of his subject. The subtitle of his work is 'Life as a Work of Art', and it is this emphasis on how Mann incorporated his own life experiences - events, acquaintances, family members, ideological exchanges - into his novels that is the most notable effect on me. Time and again Kurzke shows how Mann surreptitiously embodied himself into his works, into the many and varied characterisations, both male and female.

From the opening chapter I realised how cleverly Kurzke had spied out occasions in Mann's childhood appearing as hidden signals in his novels, whether its the adolescent Hans Castorp in 'The Magic Mountain' or even the prepubescent Hanno in 'Buddenbrooks'. Indeed, Kurzke argues that 'Buddenbrooks' could only have been written by Mann by turning his back on his young life in Lubeck.

It is, however, the 'Joseph' set of novels that are the most pertinent for displaying Mann's predilection to portray friends, foes, and family as the basis for characters in his Old Testament epic. But it is 'Doctor Faustus' that Kurzke claims is the most autobiographical (after 'Buddenbrooks').

But Kurzke also follows Mann as objectively as may be allowed within the tempestuous political milieu through which he lived. Chapters are largely thematic yet follow a chronological progression, tracing his early imperialist stance, later becoming a supporter of the Weimar Republic, and then leading the anti-Fascist cause on the literary front. Through his anti-Nazi writings, and feted by both west and east, he returned to Europe after the Second World War, but in Germany "All too often he got a glimpse of the fascist grimace under the festive veneer."

Whilst there is much here about Mann, his work, and his relationship with Germany, the missing link is his family. Brother Heinrich gets much space, and wife Katia and daughter Erika get some too. But I would like to have known more about his relationships with his other children, which were reputedly not easy.

Mann was famously reticent about his own feelings, his own motivations, his own inclinations - he had a lifelong erotic interest in young men, for instance. By reproducing extensive excerpts from his diaries and notebooks, Kurzke allows us more than a peek inside the life of Thomas Mann, but whether I understand him more after reading this biography is an interesting question.

Ancestral Journeys: The Peopling of Europe from the First Venturers to the Vikings
Ancestral Journeys: The Peopling of Europe from the First Venturers to the Vikings
by Jean Manco
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Came; I Saw; I Handed Out Beakers, 24 July 2017
Genetics is opening up a new front in the search for origins: confirming what had long been surmised, throwing out immense surprises, and raising many fundamental questions about the movement of humans across the planet. The subtitle of Jean Manco's book is 'The Peopling of Europe from the First Venturers to the Vikings'; in other words, she tries to assess the many layers of migration of peoples across and into Europe in prehistory and beyond up to the time of the Vikings (who were not literate in their early migrations.) Naturally, though, the great migrations of the Roman and post-Roman periods are also covered. She attempts to place the new knowledge culled from genetics into the stories already woven through archaeology, history, and linguistics - and through new evidence of climate change and of plagues. She writes, "Matching the genetic data to the spread of cultures and languages is the quest of this book."

It's not a literary masterpiece: it is not an easy read or a leisurely one - references to the likes of 'haplogroups' and 'subclades' are prevalent - but neither is it overtly academic or uninteresting. One conclusion that can be readily drawn from her synthesis of recent research is that the concept of multiple migrations, which was a common concept of prehistorians up to the 1960s (remember being taught of the arrival of the Beaker people into Britain?) and which subsequently was replaced by a more politically softer language of continuity from the 1970s onwards (the Beaker culture was instead adopted by others without any migration needed), is now firmly back in vogue: 'I came, I saw, I handed out beakers!' Ideas, languages, cultures may all have moved across the face of Europe, but masses of people moved too. As Manco asserts, "Archaeology before the era of isotope studies was not able to detect migration with certainty."

Over eighteen chronological chapters - from the first people to enter the continent to the Swedes who dominated early-medieval Russia - there are some big surprises along the way: for instance, that Sardinians are the closest genetically to the Neolithic Europeans; that the Saami migrated with their reindeer from Iberia to Scandinavia as the continent warmed in Mesolithic times; and that the Basques, whilst still mysterious, probably came from eastern Europe. There is also of much interest in trying to pinpoint where and when, for instance, dairy farming started.

But there are questions unanswered too: if, for instance, "It is impossible to distinguish genetically between Angles and Danish Vikings, since both came from Jutland," does that mean that they are one and the same people? If so, then Danish Vikings attacking Angles in eastern England is really not a fight between two peoples separated by the North Sea, but rather a fight between two cultures separated by three hundred or so years? Another unsatisfactory feel to the book is that lack of deeper detail. Peoples come and go within a single paragraph, but I suppose that must be expected in a study that attempts to decipher the peopling of an entire continent over millennia. But it also means I felt I was left with a taster of events rather than an immersive experience of them. Manco herself admits that, "This book has telescoped movements over millennia into such a rapidly moving parade that the reader could be forgiven for thinking that Europeans are afflicted with a collective form of Saint Vitus's dance, always restless, never still for a moment. That is far from the case."

Manco ends her book, noting that "The wanderings of Europeans did not stop with the Vikings" but have continued ever since and in greater numbers. She goes on, "For the general public the new views [of change rather than continuity] may not fit treasured national myths." Climate changes and the influence of plagues mean that "Re-colonization of a deserted territory appears far more common than was one thought." Equally, "the arrival of newcomers in a region need not imply that they had driven away the previous occupants." So, whilst not a great read, certainly a tasty one. And the more genetic testing of present and past bodies that goes on, the clearer our common humanity will hopefully be seen.

Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, 1716-1783: The Omnipotent Magician
Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, 1716-1783: The Omnipotent Magician
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars The Man Who Manufactured Claudian England, 7 July 2017
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I bought this book in the National Trust shop at Petworth House during a holiday in Sussex a few years ago, because I was intrigued by the man behind what became known to those on the continent and in the United States as 'the English-style Garden'. There are thirteen chapters, twenty-three plates, forty-three figures, a family tree, and a map.

The title of Jane Brown's (no relation) book comes from the satirical poet and writer William Cowper, and describes Brown's power over the landscape and its aristocratic landlords to create lakes, move hills, and fashion Claudian scenes -

"Lo! He comes, The omnipotent magician, Brown appears. ... He speaks. The lake in front becomes a lawn, Woods vanish, hills subside, and valleys rise, And streams, as if created for his use, Pursue the track of his directing wand." (William Cowper)

Wherever you go in England you are close to an estate where Lancelot 'Capability' Brown (1716-1783) actually worked, or where his imitators copied his form of landscape gardening, what Horace Walpole described as the regaining of many a paradise.

You can even say that Brown's style survives very well today in this country, as seen in the moulding of landscapes that surround modern reservoirs, that conjure the strips of new motorways, and which transforms old mining dumps and slagheaps. Capability's work has become quintessentially English as much as hedgerows and thatched cottages. The author points out that today we are used to large reservoirs but that eighteenth-century England was devoid of large lakes and so Brown's work was seen as quite revolutionary for its time.

The author remarks in her biography that " 'Landscape' is not a word that Lancelot uses, though he is soon assailed by poets and painters who do: interestingly, it is pride in the effects produced by his work that inspired patrons to commission paintings of the English landscape,as opposed to the Italian." What I find amazing is that Brown's reputation, even his very existence as a major influence in English landscapes was only resurrected just after the Second World War in a book by Dorothy Stroud, so low had recognition of his services become.

I am also amazed that Brown's nickname of 'Capability' was never used in his lifetime, although there are hints that his son was known as 'Capey' whilst at Eton - "thus revealing that a clique of Lancelot's clients called him this - but between themselves and never to his face." (Also, the agricultural writer Arthur Young used the word 'capability' in italics in his 1770 book of his your of northern England.)

The book is written in a very engaging way, its author more or less informing you of the success or otherwise of her researches as she goes along through its thirteen chronological chapters. She has the occasional literary flourish too, such as: "Water, given space, clearly enjoys itself, fresh river water tumbling in spate, ousted by the flood from its accustomed bed and running wildly like a naughty child, careering across fields, making bubbly, translucent cascades where it falls into a rut, and then curling and dancing its way by the shortest route back to the mother river."

(This focus on Brown's ways with water can bolster the case of Capability's detractors who see him as nothing more than a rural drainage engineer. Certainly, my ex Brian, himself a gardener, despised Brown's work. But his lament was for the loss of so many formal gardens that once stood adjacent to the great houses and which were swept away in order for the countryside to come right up to the door of the stately home.)

However, the author's literary flourishes are few and far between: despite her engaging style, there are also pages of dry biography; details of who got paid, how much and by whom; and uninspiring lists of works done at various properties - and the list of famous patrons is so long (from the highest of aristocrats to personal friends such as David Garrick) that, rather than adding to the excitement these instead tend to dull the tale to be told. But there are always surprises in the text to maintain interest in the narrative, and Jane Brown saves the most surprising - that Lancelot had a child out of wedlock and maintained her - till almost the very end.

She ends the book looking at how Capability was succeeded and assessed by those who followed. The Victorians destroyed or redesigned his forms, just at times when many woodlands scenes were coming to the fruition that Capability envisioned. But many of his designs survived (the collapse of many aristocratic estates in the twentieth century and their rescue by public bodies helped), so that when we now visit Petworth House, or Croome Court or Charlecote Park, or a myriad of other places dotted all over the country, we can see the effects that Brown intended and marvel at the fact that the cows grazing on the water-meadows down in the valley - what appears so beautiful and so natural - was in fact created to look as much by a man with vision and his team of contractors over two hundred years ago.

Plan B [DVD]
Plan B [DVD]
Dvd ~ Manuel Vignau
Offered by NextDayEntertainment
Price: £6.71

4.0 out of 5 stars is happy with boy 2, 11 Jun. 2017
This review is from: Plan B [DVD] (DVD)
Argentinian Marco Berger's 2009 film is a witty take on the jealous lover theme with a twist in the tale.

Boy meets girl. Girl meets boy. Boy leaves girl. Girl meets another boy. But boy 1 regrets his decision. Girl, though, is happy with boy 2.
Boy 1 hears boy 2 may be bisexual. Hence the title of the movie: Plan B. Boy 1 thus purposefully builds up a friendship with boy 2 in the hope of being able to undermine boy 2's relationship with his ex-girlfriend.

You've probably guessed how it ends ... Yep, boy 1 falls for boy 2! And we learn that boy 1 was misinformed about boy 2's sexuality in the first place.

The film is certainly not played for laughs. In fact, it's played with straight faces, so it's kind of sad but also very funny as both sides skirt around embarrassments. At least it has a happy ending.

A clever conception and well-acted, 'Plan B' also benefits from occasional moments of dramatic 'dead time' that punctuates events and conceived so as to allow the audience to take in what is happening. All in all, this is an impressive debut from a director to watch.

Ripe for a Hollywood remake ... but, then again, that's probably not going to happen. And, anyway, they'd ruin it by ironing out the nuances.

Rubbra: Symphony No.1/A Tribute/Sinfonia Concertante
Rubbra: Symphony No.1/A Tribute/Sinfonia Concertante
Price: £15.29

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I love listening to symphonies, 10 Jun. 2017
I love listening to symphonies. To me they are the highest form of musical expression, combining intellectual rigour with emotional power. I adore listening over and over again to favourites. But I also like seeking out new symphonic experiences. It is a pleasure then to come across Edmund Rubbra. Who?

Rubbra was born in Northampton and was a pupil of the great Gustav Holst. Rubbra wrote eleven symphonies between 1937 and 1979. I have started listening to the full set that was recorded in the 1990s with the late Richard Hickox conducting the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, starting with Symphony No.1 in C.

Rubbra was thirty-six when he wrote its three movements, but even so it is already his op.44. The first movement is a monothematic 'moderato and tempestoso' with lively counterpoint that immediately shows Rubbra's command of orchestration. Halfway through we have the effect of a bugler in a field, as if the 'tempestoso' is a reflection on World War One. Thereafter the music slows down, but the movement's ending is that of a troubled atmosphere.

This is followed by a bucolic and jocose dance that builds to a climax. What follows is a finale that is longer than movements one and two combined. It is marked 'lento' but is often tense yet also offers wide vistas. Hickox keeps the orchestral playing tight to ensure we never lapse into rambling. The ending builds brilliantly into a drama where the music climbs with heavy steps up to its ultimate destination of the key of C.
The music often contains hints of Holst but Rubbra's orchestration is wholly his own and it is difficult to provide direct comparisons to others of his era. It is colourful and very self-assured.

The disc also contains Rubbra's 'Sinfonia Concertante' with Howard Shelley at the piano. It dates from the previous year and is full of drama.
The opening fantasia is its own screenplay, with episodes of bleak beauty appearing in its travel through hot and dry lands. It is followed by a saltarella, an Italian dance with contrapuntal dives and swirls. The last movement is a prelude and fugue played 'lento'! It has a beautifully delicate character yet, like the rest of the music on this CD, is powerful and purposeful.

Who's Who in Early Medieval England, 1066-1272 (Who's Who in British History)
Who's Who in Early Medieval England, 1066-1272 (Who's Who in British History)
by Christopher Tyerman
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars The Spirits of the Age, 10 Jun. 2017
Covering the reigns of William the Conqueror through to Henry III, Christopher Tyerman remarks in his introduction that the relative lack of sources for this period compared to later ones means that perforce "those included in this volume are from the ecclesiastical and secular elites."
After an eight-page summary of the period, Tyerman then arranges in chronological order the biographies of the period's main players. Tyerman often ends each entry with a consideration of their character and how he or she represents the spirit of the age.

Naturally kings get much space devoted to them - Henry II has the longest entry (fifteen pages) - but there are also biographies of bishops, lords, architects, writers, soldiers, judges - anyone who was anyone at this time. There is an imbalance in places: for instance Stephen's Queen Matilda has just one page whereas many minor aristocrats and churchmen get much more. We are not even told where or how she died.

Sometimes Tyerman can only provide a name, bare dates, and the briefest of facts, allowing for an all-too-short excursion into some fascinating aspect of the times. For example, his treatment of the financier William Cade leads to a short consideration of money-lending and the land market in early medieval England; or take the entry on Ralph of Bethlehem that allows for a look at the extent of international contacts at the time.

A few errors and inconsistencies will always creep into books of this nature. Thus we are told Richard, son of William the Conqueror was killed whilst hunting in the New Forest "c.1070" on page sixty-nine, when two pages later we are told it was in 1075. And Haselbury is not in Wiltshire but Somerset.

The entry for Wulfric of Haselbury is a good example of Tyerman's engaging style of writing, for he describes the hermit as "a combination of a one-man Citizen's Advice Bureau, consultant psychologist and local ombudsman ... his career demonstrates that holiness can be materially significant but that holy men are not necessarily nice people."

Tyerman also provides some fresh thinking. He castigates Geoffrey of Monmouth for his literary forgery and re-assesses Geoffrey de Mandeville as not necessarily the villain history (or, rather, the church) has made him out to be. Meanwhile Henry II is "possibly the most over-praised monarch in English history." Tyerman is very sympathetic to Richard I but is hostile to Simon de Montfort.

All in all, many an hour has been spent reading through these entries, learning more about this period of English history, if only to have confirmed that human nature has not changed much over the centuries!

Tales of the Cornish Miners
Tales of the Cornish Miners
by John Vivian
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Tales of Cornish Mine Disasters and Mishaps, 5 Jun. 2017
This is a review of the Tor Mark Press 1990 edition of John Vivian’s ‘Tales of the Cornish Miners.’ The book should really be titled ‘Tales of Cornish Mine Disasters and Mishaps’, since it is not really about the day-to-day lives of the miners. Instead, the book focusses on floods, fires, accidents, explosions, and blindings.

There are fourteen ‘tales’ in all over the books thirty-two pages. The book is illustrated with monochrome photographs. A schematic diagram is provided on the first page to explain mining terms but it is not of much help since a winze is shown as a vertical dead-end when Vivian himself describes it as “a shaft between levels.” Readers will also come across technical terms in the tales that are not explained on the diagram or anywhere else in the book.

But if readers who are new to the ‘romance’ of Cornish mining are enthused by this book to explore further, then that’s all to the good.

The Village in History
The Village in History
by Graham Nicholson
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Wide-Ranging, Succinct, Thoughtful, 3 Jun. 2017
This review is from: The Village in History (Hardcover)
This book is split into two quite separate parts. The bulk of the book comprises five chapters by Graham Nicholson that tell the history of the development of the village in England (it is mostly England) over the last thousand years. The second part is a gazetteer of selected villages to visit, mostly those partially or wholly owned by the National Trust.

The gazetteer is by Jane Fawcett and can be dismissed quickly in a few words. It has 123 entries over thirty-three pages,so you can see how each entry barely extends into a second paragraph, though a few do get more detailed treatment. But I found this part of the book of little use. There isn't even a map to show where they all can be found.

The bulk of this review, then, concerns Graham Nicholson's words on the history of the village. This is not an academic treatise; rather Nicholson writes well for a general audience. His lines are accompanied by monochrome and colour photographs. In his preface he writes, "I have tried to tell a story, to explain how and why villages began, grew, prospered and in some cases faltered." His, he claims, is a history from below, the view of the ordinary villager rather than that of the lord of the manor.

His chapters are arranged chronologically. In the first, 'Digging for Roots: The Village to 1300', Nicholson argues that these settlements, despite their apparent timelessness, are relatively new to the landscape, being mostly founded in the eleventh to thirteenth centuries. Chapter two looks at the life of the village peasantry between 1300 and 1500, covering the collapse of the feudal order.

Those social changes continued into the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the subject of chapter three. Here we witness the fall of the hall and the concomitant rise of privacy, with changes made in domestic architecture, such as the introduction of chimneys and stairs. Nicholson's subject is wide-ranging throughout the book, from agricultural systems used in the fields to the layout of homes. He does not neglect the wider pictures either, such as the Black Death and the Reformation, and Nicholson is alert too to regional differences.

The title of his fourth chapter is 'A Country on the Move, 1688-1800'. Here he addresses the growth of industrial villages, for the Industrial Revolution started in the countryside. The loss of the link between working on the land and the restrictions of population growth are also covered: "The principle of prudential marriage did not apply in an industrial village, for couples could make a living waiting for a landholding. Early marriage and better nutrition led to a population boom." The wider issues of the enclosure acts are not forgotten either; nor are the effects of the transport revolutions.

Nicholson ends his review in 1914. His last chapter continues to focus on the changes wrought by new technology in the countryside and the re-inforcing of power into local hierarchies. He writes, "... up to the end of our period and beyond, the gulf of status, affluence and wealth that separated the squire and factory owner from his workers appeared permanent, unbridgeable and, to many, quite natural." I am not sure Nicholson is right to describe Britain's early suburbs as "the world's first theme parks", but I can agree that "... they have succeeded because their character as idealized villages, is absolutely in tune with popular aspirations."

I feel more could be said about the flights from the countryside to the cities (and abroad), but Nicholson ends his coverage nicely with a look at the round of village celebrations. It's a shame he did not carry on his review up to modern times, but what we have here is nevertheless a wide-ranging, succinct and thoughtful look at why and how villages exist and have existed in the English landscape.

Music and Musicians in Early Nineteenth Century Cornwall: World of Joseph Emidy - Slave, Violinist and Composer (South-West Studies)
Music and Musicians in Early Nineteenth Century Cornwall: World of Joseph Emidy - Slave, Violinist and Composer (South-West Studies)
by Richard McGrady
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars The Bizarre and Implausible Life of Joseph Emidy, 24 May 2017
The double-nature of Richard McGrady’s book on ‘Music and Musicians in Early Nineteenth-Century Cornwall’ is overtly demonstrated by the work’s subtitle, ‘The World of Joseph Emidy: Slave, Violinist and Composer’. So what’s it to be? A survey of music-making defined by its time and place, or the biography of one of its most intriguing personalities?

Of course, it is both, which makes sometimes for a somewhat diffuse but nevertheless engaging read. The book was published in 1991 by the University of Exeter Press, has ten illustrations, and its 168 pages include a prologue, an epilogue, and ten chapters inbetween.

In his foreword, McGrady explains that he started his research into the social history of music in Cornwall, when “A surprisingly lively picture appeared; more significantly … there emerged a story so strong and unexpected that to write a social history alone appeared inadequate.” His excitement at the story he unearthed continues in his prologue: “Any novelist who invented the story of Joseph Emidy would stretch the reader’s credulity to its limits.”

McGrady begins his book by setting the scene of Cornwall’s cultural life in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries and then proceeds to describe the background to Emidy’s beginnings and the musical life to be had in late-eighteenth century Lisbon. McGrady cuts then to Emidy’s impressment and life on board a frigate doing Channel duty. Emidy did not set foot on land for five years, but once on Cornish soil his natural musical talents flourished amidst the landed and merchant classes who longed for music that might challenge the senses and the intellect.

But, as already mentioned, it is not all about Emidy. For example, chapter four does not mention him at all and much of this and the following chapters review the music scene in Cornwall at this time. There’s a short chapter on Bennett Swaffield’s work as a choirmaster and composer at St Austell; another on the organists to be heard in the county, most notably in Truro; and a final chapter on the theatre, that in Truro staging Weber’s ‘Der Freischutz’ only four years after its premier in Berlin!

Yet McGrady concedes in his closing pages that “Joseph Emidy’s presence flits like a ghost through the vents which are described in these pages … no novelist, I suggest, would dare to create a story so bizarre or implausible as the life of Joseph Emidy.” And indeed one feels that the story would make an excellent film. McGrady laments that contemporary documents refer to his compositions – including symphonies for full orchestra that were admired by the likes of Salomon in London – but no manuscripts have survived.

Notes, a bibliography, and index bring the pages to a close.

Price: £21.53

5.0 out of 5 stars Shimmering Horizons, 19 May 2017
This review is from: Wandermüde (Audio CD)
With stylistic links to the work David Sylvian did with Holger Czukay, this 2013 CD ‘Wandermude’ (‘Travel Fatigue’?) with Stephan Mathieu is more fluid in form. All seven tracks are instrumentals, or rather ‘soundscapes’. Just like real landscapes, they are inherently unstructured; or rather their underlying forms are subtle. The titles of the seven sound landscapes are finely chosen, evoking something and nothing.

Words to describe the opening nine-minute SAFFRON LAUDANUM are ‘haunting’, ‘meditational’, even ‘mesmerising’, although the rhythm is slo-mo – indeed, all the rhythms on this album are slo-mo, even when they are relatively fast. The sound of ‘Saffron Laudanum’ is not primitive; rather it is primeval, akin to Vangelis’s ‘Creation du Monde on his soundtrack ‘L’Apocalypse des Animaux’. I imagined myself viewing the magic of nature, lying in the grass in a field above a wooded combe on a sunny day.

Track two is the eight-minute VELVET REVOLUTION, featuring a drone that supports a multi-layered, complex yet simple structure of industry and fresh air. It is very relaxing; dare I say, it is happiness-inducing? By contrast, the inner workings of the body are seemingly portrayed in the six-minute third track, TRAUMA WARD.

Track four is the eleven-minute THE FARTHER AWAY I AM (MINUS 30 DEGREES). For me it evokes atmospheric travel similar to that depicted in ‘Nucleus’ on the Alan Parsons Project’s ‘I, Robot’ album, though here on a much grander scale. Meanwhile, the four-minute DARK PASTORAL depicts something sinister in the heart of beauty. I was reminded of Ligeti’s work on the ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ film soundtrack.

The longest track is the fourteen-minute TELEGRAPHED MISTAKES. As the title indicates, here we have oscillating rhythms. Finally, the five-minute DECELERATION prepares us for a return to the real world.

I consider each track to be four stars, but the CD as a whole is greater than its parts and is definitely worthy of five. It is a pleasure to leave off the stresses of my own life and escape to worlds where the horizons constantly shimmer. Tired of travelling? Not here.

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