Silver Wave 2020
Tender spirituality as a result of knocking of heaven’s door and waiting for a whispered reply.
Blending into landscape and augmenting vistas with the sound of Native American style flutes has been this artist’s method for a quarter-century now, but James Marienthal’s output is as scarce – although the scarcity of grandeur concealed inside the American’s records renders it rather precious. Following 2018’s “Mysteries Of The Night” in terms of new-age approach, “Speak To The Sky” doesn’t try to engage the unenlightened in any kind of enforced dialogue which should involve high ground – not higher than mountains anyway – only the numbers gathered here are bound to wake an echo in the most hardened heart.
If initial flute lines of “First Breath” seem to be capturing signals from outer space and direct the increasingly tangible suspense towards the listener’s very subconscious, subtle harmonies expanding the expectations’ horizons as the xylophone-caressed piece progresses to fill one’s inner ether, acoustic strum and enchanting balladry tie “Returning Home” to the soil in quite an arresting way. Marienthal may call it healing music, yet there’s wondrous folk melody that infuses “Wondering Who” where stereo panorama is enhanced, and given another dimension, once Arwen Ek’s resonating vocals start pushing the sonic envelope, before woodwind and guitar weave a haunting tune on the album’s naturally flowing title track whose tentative electric charges “Escondida” drowns in the meditative mélange of voice and reeds.
Still, nothing can defy to “Silence Seen” when it comes to elegiac beauty brought forth by pure and sparse, and solemn, piano passages, while the chimes and whistles of “A Terraplace Of Time” find the drift return to subliminal ripples and reveal the abstract aspect of James’ art. Speaking to celestial realms must be unfocused sometimes: this is the magic of such a conversation.