David & Steve Gordon

Celestial Suite

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Crystalline synthesizer sequences (David Gordon) sparkle like thousands of tiny shooting stars caught in a bottle. Little galaxies swirl and novas seem to percolate with merriment. Some space music can be heavy or confrontational (as we shall hear on side two); "Starshower," however, is an amazing galactic display. "Parallel Lives" offers meditative sonic planes with whiplashed spacewinds and resonant drones. Brother Steve Gordon continues the space music voyage with "The Five Elements"; his guitar music, processed and layered, creates a propulsive immediacy that unfolds through time. Side one ends with a reprise of "Starshower," but now the galaxy's been let out of the bottle. The album's second half offers the 24-minute "Origins / Winds of Time." It begins with strong spacewinds and a meandering bass that seems lost in a galactic cavern full of ghostly apparitions. (As Laurel said to Stanley, "You got us into this Stanley; now you get us out.") For you "warrior spirits" still hanging in, there is a long section of piano-tiptoeing through the galaxies, then the piece sets sail on cosmic electric guitar notes which runs against walls of organ sounds. Does it resolve? What adventure would you have if I told you? Those fans of the Gordons' relaxing nature recordings might not enjoy all of this album, but the recording does showcase the brothers' musical versatility.