David & Steve Gordon

Beside the Laughing River

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A river and songbirds form the undercurrent of this music/nature album by brothers David and Steve Gordon. Side one, "Voice of the River," is a 24-minute meditation with river sounds and synthesizer drones, which sometimes layer like the vibrations of Tibetan singing bowls and at other times ricochet (gently) like guitar chords off a canyon wall. It is free-form (in a Zen sort of way), perfect for focusing on the mysteries of meditation. Side two contains a delicate musing for expanded piano (the effect is like light reflecting through rippling water); careening flute melodies which loop like acrobatic dragonflies; and sparkling, haunting interplay of synth, piano, and guitar. Although relaxing, the music is not sweet. The album should provide plenty of "space" for abstract thoughts, and the album can stand repeated listenings. The river sounds were recorded by the Gordons at the Kaweah River in the Sequoia National Forest.