Free Flow

Floating World

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Members of Free Flow include Brian Wilshere (composer, keyboards, and percussion), Clifford White (keyboards), and Alison Strange on violin. In some pieces, the violin melody soars freely, like wind-blown silk over thick chords sounding like an extended and amplified harpsichord. Chords and note progressions create sonic rooms or other environments. "Pandora's Child" is a little like the echoed unhurried plains of Brian Eno's Plateau of Mirrors. "Nautilus" creates vast underwater depths, with bubbles pinging and blurbing to the surface; Strange's expressive violin seems to be a sailboat riding out a storm made from bass notes and percussion; a musical squall leads to an intriguing syncopation between all the forces. "The Dreamtimer Returns" features a delightful programmed interplay of crystalline notes, with the more organic sounds of rain and hand drums. One really can't place a locale for this exotic piece, with its strange whistling, angelic background choir, and tribal drumming. A fantastical trance experience. "Carnival Marine" begins with a Philip Glass-like rhythmic pattern of shifting crystal tones in a windstorm; then bass notes, layered violins, clarinet, and wind chimes are tossed into the maelstrom. The pattern breaks with a wind gust, then handclaps and bass notes compete in clever syncopations. "The Seekers of Myth" showcases the violin's jaunty Oriental excursion over pillars of vibraphone tones and drum beats. The album gives up the beat for the final track, "Sanctuary," a spiritual coming home. This intriguing album will stay fresh through repeated investigations.

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