Escape: Journey of Self

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From deep within the new age spectrum comes this album from Satori, a collective of musicians using a thick mix of multicultural instruments. The core of the music comes from Daniel May's keyboard work, but on top of that are layers of soft steel guitar from Doug Livingston. Perhaps more notable to the casual listener will be the round of Asian woodwinds, as Richard Hardy occasionally switches from the shakuhachi to the zaphoon (a sort of "bamboo sax") and Jim Brandmeier plays the more traditional flutes. Bits of bells and chimes form the entire percussion section by Chris Wabich, and sporadic (usually wordless) vocals seep in courtesy of Penny Watson. The aim of the music would seem to be to provide a sound that is simultaneously calming and exotic. The slow tone contours and chord changes are typical of new age music, in general, but the instrumentation allows an additional aspect not common to the usual synthesizer-based forms. If you're looking for an exciting mix of sounds, you wouldn't consider this album in the first place. For a nice bit of soft background music, however, this is an outstanding piece of ambience.

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