STORM & SEA 2 is a two-disc set from the Mystic Moods Orchestra, a collective that has been creating audio documents of natural phenomena since the mid-'60s. The first disc, entitled "Storm," mirrors the sonic life cycle of a storm, as individual aural imprints of separate rain showers are arranged to create the impression that one is listening to a single storm. In the opening "Stormy Weather," birds playfully chirp as a barely audible thunderstorm roils portentously over the horizon. The heavens open on the following "Raining" and eventually spill over with unadulterated fury on "Thunder Showers" and "Cloudbursts." Things come full circle on the closing "Sunshine Clouds," as the chorus of birds begins its collective song afresh.
The collection's second disc puts forth a tessellated tapestry of the sounds of the ocean. "Moonlight" recalls nights spent sleeping on beaches, and stolen ocean swims under lunar-lit skies. "Kohala," "McKenna," and "South Pacific" give rise to palpable and powerful impressions of place. The collection-closing "Sea Birds" creates a dramatic effect that's by this point familiar and comforting, as the song of gulls once again announces an all-clear.