Geoffrey Downes

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This is a very unusual and rather experimental CD. The actual artist for the album is listed as Geoff Downes and the New Dance Orchestra. The liner says that the music the group performs is designed to bring tone and color to the stereo sound spectrum. It lists their further goals are to simultaneously retain "a deep musical foundation, upon which are built a series of images to stimulate the listener in his or her own domain." High ideals indeed, but does the music live up to it? Well, this music is strictly instrumental and quite electronic, but it does contain some very potent sound imagery and power and majesty. Among the other unique qualities the disc possesses is the fact that each of the five main pieces on the disc are divided into separate sections, for a total of 33 tracks. The group encouraged listeners to use the program function of their CD players to create their own personal arrangements of the music by shuffling the different sections around in regard to sequence. They even gave an address for people to share their particular arrangements with other fans. All of these factors combine to make the CD a worthwhile listen, but probably not something you will find yourself going back to again and again.

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