Paul Sauvanet


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This symphonic soundtrack is aching for a movie. Nomad presents heady impressions of a sand-swept, sun-beaten oasis, the shimmer of mirages, the steady lope of a camel, the incessant rhythms of Middle Eastern drums, the hypnotic allure of an Indian temple, the hot plains of Spain, and the presence of angels. "Oasis" begins the album with Middle Eastern rhythms and an oboe conjuring up the rich life around the waterhole. "Nomad" sets out for a long journey across endless sandy deserts, eventually to be cooled by a breeze and the crystalline desert night. An owl's lonely call completes the scene. "Madurai Temple" moves the nomadic journey to India, where Tibetan bells resonate, opening a huge rift in consciousness. This special temple of sound includes deep overtone chanting, choral "aums," tabla beats, noises from religious rituals, bells, chimes, rattles, and other signs of a bustling temple. This spiritual sonic tapestry rides on a gentle ambient bass beat, almost to the pulse of a heart. "Bolero Excelcis" is a Gypsy-flavored version of the Ravel classic; Sauvanet has abstracted the orchestral piece, however, and imbued it with the sultry sounds of a saxophone (Sylvain Téjérizo). The final piece takes listeners from the plains of Spain to more heavenly dimensions. "Land of the Angels" is a symphonic work, similar in texture to the melancholy riches of a Mahler adagio. The featured vocal soloist here is soprano Claude Hermine Huguenel. The artistry and realism of the digital sampled orchestra is breathtaking.

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