Time Travel







- Reviewed by Margaret Foster

Richard Bone

Richard Bone’s background is in a variety of musical genre which includes jazz, but he is all about electronica. And his discography is impressive, with some wonderful works of electronica soundscapes and impressionistic moods. His approach is one not unlike the beat poets of the 60s, following his own drummer, coming up with some very imaginative and substantial works.

This is the final installment in the three part work started with Disorient and continued with The Reality Temples. Like the previous works that connect with Oriental Mysteries and Western Philosophies, the name of this work Saiyuji and it is taken from a Buddhist temple in Singapore.

This CD contains nine tracks, for a total play time of about an hour. This disk also includes two videos of the tracks included. The individual compositions are built on actual analog synthesizers. He then creates “old technology meets new technology” in the works and overlays each composition with contemporary beats and world rhythms and instrumentation contrasting the analog synthesizer beats.

By Any Other Name is a delightful opening to this CD, with the wonderful keyboard work Richard is so well known for. Melodic, mysterious, and mystifying, the work is soothing. There is a beat; a gentle swaying rhythm to this piece.

Saiyuji (dawn) opens with an analog synthesizer beat in the familiar zero/one or on/off pattern. It almost has a very Eastern feel to it, tinkling with symbols and develops an electronic beat. The addition of what could be Bali Bells adds another dimension to this construct which again features his well designed keyboard augmentation.

Vagabond Messiah starts out as celestial space music, picks up on a very well defined tribal beat, and flows very gracefully into a composition that beacons you to get up and move your body to its sultry melody.

Oblique Heaven starts with an electronic beat, simple in nature. It surrounds itself with some electronic backfill that builds with keyboard chords and finds its way into a charming melody. This piece is exemplary of the build and blend structure that this CD is all about.

My Indelicate Star starts with the old, familiar analog synthesizer we remember from early synthesizer works; the structured rhythm of zero and one that we became familiar with from older master works. Added to this is the familiar sound of analog synthesizer “strings” playing wistfully against the beat. This is over layered with Richard Bone’s spacey keyboard structures to create a very obvious blend of the older technology in harmony with the new. A very lovely work masterly crafted.

The Road to Ahamkara is a much bolder piece, starting out strong and well defined in its beat, demanding attention as the mood shifts. The rhythms are almost jazzy, overlaid with keyboard melody that marches along in time with the beat. A nice composition with a flavor all its own.

Aquaville starts off with keyboard chords that build staggered steps into a very Latin rhythm; soft, sexy, very daring. This piece is like silk as it flows very gently through your mind, with keyboard backfill that allows the piano to define the melody.

Improbable Earth starts out with the now familiar bass zero-one synthesizer beat and moves into the piano melody. This piece is more defined by the zero-one beat than any other rhythm, as it floats on the border of space music, being defined rather than allowed to drift freely. A nice contrast is offered and it is very original in design.

Saiyuji (dusk) is sort of reprised at the closing of the CD, with the same beat as (dawn) picked up a bit more at the opening of the work. The overlaid melody is a variation on the (dawn) work but much more daring. It takes off on its own, still reminiscent of the (dawn) piece but it becomes its own composition. The rhythms pick up in the piece as it very boldly brings this CD to a close, again in contrast to the opening work which was wistful and soothing. Again, this is a piece that beacons you to move your body in time with the rhythms and it is a good, strong finish to this CD.

The videos that are included “are from a continuing series of ambient visualization by Richard Bone”. The one for By Any Other Name is a series of slow motion/stop action images of roses in bloom. The other included video is for the track called Improbable Earth. The website has a third video for Aquaville.

I always find Richard Bone’s works to be original, very well structured and enjoyable to listen to. This CD does not fail in any of these categories. This is ambient at its most innovative. It can be played to be appreciated, yet it still maintains the ability to blend with the background creating a peaceful soundscape for your environment. It is always a pleasure to hear new creations from Richard Bone.

Reviewed by Margaret Foster for Ambient Visions.