Secret Garden--Dreamcatcher: Come smell the flowers & Catch a musical dream...
May 24, 2002
Pros: Rich, vibrant, soothing music...
Cons: To short...
The Bottom Line: A wonderful compilation from a duo that redefines musical enjoyment; buy it!
Sunlight, its life giving rays filtered by low lying white-gray clouds, and the canopy of the forest dances and shimmers upon the surface of the pond turning the water into liquid dimpled gold. The pond is ringed with stately green pine and evergreen trees. The trees stretch out their many fingered branches and drink in the suns warmth as shafts of light sweep across the forest slowly supplanting the dark coldness that had settled over the forest like a carpet. The swans venture out from their quite hiding place two-by-two and frolic in the gathering sunlight, swimming side by side, in regal majesty. The whiteness of their feathers adds to the brightness and beauty of the waking day.
Other winged creatures take flight from homes of green and brown, and salute the sun with songs of thanks for the warmth that dries their feathers, and vanquishes the chill from their bones. And as the sun finally burst from the trees and rises still higher into the light blue sky, the butterflies in their multitude took wing, a kaleidoscope of colors flitting from flower to flower and my heart and soul rejoice at the sight.
But the clouds momentarily humbled by the sun, regroup and re-establish their dominance over the floor of heaven. They move leisurely across the sky joining one another, turning blue to gray and black once more. The birds lose their voices; their songs silenced as they once again take to the trees as dark and cold hand intertwined once again march across the forest, settling into every nook and leeching under every stone. And the clouds, now lying low across the roof of the forest, release their angels tears upon the land; large droplets of sadness and despair strike green leafs and blades of grass, feather and fur, lake and stream. Silent but for the sound of the driving rain, the forest huddles together for warmth and my heart and soul weep.
The violin; few other musical instruments can so closely mirror the substance of human emotion and evoke the poignant soul searing responses that can make me want to dance one minute and weep the next. Few instruments can paint such vivid and moving pictures across the canvas of the human heart and soul, like the music from a violin. That a simple bow drawn across tightly strung strings can produce such beauty and sorrow and cause my very spirit to pause and take note, is incredible. Such beauty, such unassailable purity and innocence, such splendor, must surely be a gift from God.
The above paragraph was the opening salute from my review of Secret GardenSongs from a Secret Garden, and they still hold true for Secret Gardens release of Dreamcatcher, a compilation of songs from three past Secret Garden CDs. Dreamcatcher was initially released in the United Kingdom (a country where the Secret Gardens first two CDs were not released) in order to bring the country up to date, but the CD was released here in the U.S. in 2001. Dreamcatcher contains 18 tracks from Songs from a Secret Garden, White Stones and Dawn of a New Century, plus a bonus track, entitled "Last Present" (Sun-Mool) .
Secret Garden, is a duo consisting of Rolf Lovland (piano, & keyboards) from Norway and Fionnula Sherry (violin) from Ireland. The music is classified as new age, but is more classical in its composition, arrangement, and execution. Most of the tracks on the CD are written and arranged by Rolf Lovland however, various tracks do have lyrical input for outside sources. No one track eclipses the other in its power to move, sooth, and, or transport me. The Gallic influence that Fionnula Sherry brings to this duo in most of the tracks is evident, and any fan of Irish music with its often sorrowful but strangely uplifting tenants will find a home within the musical folds of this CD.
If ever music begged to be played softly, if ever music invited me to close my eyes and listen to every note, every nuance, every cord and key, this is it. Through the masterful marriage of piano, violin, and sometimes voice, Dreamcatcher mirrors the success the group enjoyed on past CDs. The music takes me to a time long past, where romance was part of a mans soul, where passion ruled the heart and stirred the soul to do great and noble things, where honor and chivalry were not just words, but lived in the heart of every man, and was sought after by every women. If romantic verse and sonnet ever had a musical voice this is the language it would speak.
The CD begins with the hauntingly beautiful Nocturne. The fusion of piano, voice, and violin lull me into a place and space where my problems seem to drift away, like wisps of smoke on the wind.
The last track (the bonus track), Last Present (Sun-Mool), has a distinctive Asian influence; the notes are long and lilting, sad, but not sorrowful. Here the violin and the guitar combine to treat us to a slow romantic dance of white swans upon a golden pond, which reflects the rich greens, reds, oranges, and browns of the tall majestic oaks, maples, and weeping willows that line its quite shores. Soft grass carpets a small glen where upon I can lay my head and forget the world, if only for a few wondrous music filled minutes
If you want to get a feel for the kind of music Secret Garden can offer your senses, I recommend Dreamcatcher . It is a wonderful compilation from a duo that has redefined new age music in the 21st century. As I stated above, if ever music begged to be played softly, if ever music invited me to close my eyes and listen to every note, every nuance, every cord and key, this is it; dont miss out!
This review was my contribution to the second part of kristinafh's May Music Madness Write Off. This part was titled "Like a Virgin" and the idea was to write a review on a CD that had no reviews available. For the complete list of participants, please see kristina's proflie page.
"Dreamcatcher" is a "best of" compilation of eighteen tracks from Secret Garden's first three albums plus one new "bonus" track recorded for an upcoming feature film in Korea. If Secret Garden is new to you, this is a great introduction to this exciting duo. Longtime fans will be delighted to find their favorites on one CD. "Dreamcatcher" truly indicates the range and versatility of Fionnuala Sherry and Rolf Lovland as composers as well as musicians. Drawing on influences from Celtic, Norwegian … more
Dreamcatcher, not listed as a greatest-hits collection, is made up of previously recorded works. Secret Garden, Irish violinist Fionnuala (fi-NOO-la) Sherry, and Norwegian pianist/keyboardist Rolf Lovland, along with various guest musicians, always manage to surprise and execute their craft with a remarkable gracefulness of sound. Lush, rich, full-bodied, and passionate, Secret Garden stands eye-to-eye with other successful Celtic/world-music hybrids such asLoreena McKennittandClannad. Highlighted by the ethereal vocal styling of Gunnhild Tvinnereim ("Nocturne") and the tender laments of Karen Matheson ("Prayer"), Secret Garden weaves a mystical tapestry of classic Oriental notes, Irish flutes, deep bodhran, and bold violins. With the crystalline quality of pure water, Secret Garden descends over one's spirit in a tranquil waterfall of renewal, as demonstrated in "Sigma" and "Songs from a Secret Garden." "Elan," which originally appeared on the albumDawn of a New Century, reflects the fire that burns at the heart of Secret Garden. The song soars with a wild, sea-swept energy, a true soundscape of white-sand beach and blue sky. A bonus cut, "Last Present," closes outDreamcatcherwith a simple, balanced melody--poised and inspiring.Dreamcatcher, a collection of some of the best musical moments of Secret Garden, is a fine acknowledgement of an inventive group of musicians who are consistently setting a high and ...