Ah*Nee*Mah

Spirit of the Canyon

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One of David and Diane Arkenstone's many tangential explorations, Ah*Nee*Mah blends strikingly organic contemporary instrumental soundscapes with ambient nature effects and Native American overtones. Spirit of the Canyon is billed as a collection of sound paintings inspired by the Grand Canyon. This is a noble intent, and it's unclear as to how directly successful Ah*Nee*Mah is in this endeavor. It's better to examine Spirit of the Canyon as a straightforward new age document, as its sweeping allure and pristine quiet stretches are quite effectual. For "Voices of the Wind," violin and rustic acoustic guitars are blended with aching wind effects for a meditation on western American folk music of the late 1800s. "River Journey" follows the same path, layering in subtly ethnic percussion. Not surprisingly, "Echoes of Time" and "Night Voices" take a less structured turn, offering solitary Native American woodwinds over beds of both nature and synthesizer.

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