One Who Whispers

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In order to get the greatest enjoyment and fulfillment from listening to music, one should be undertaking some aspect of daily living while listening, reading, making love, deep thinking, writing, or simply soothing the savage breast. When an album is taken down from the shelf, it's normally to shape, sustain, enhance, or modify a mood. Perhaps the mood that best fits this music is soothing and quiet. The music on this release by the English group Cipher can best be described as cosmic. There is a galaxial, otherworldly feel about it, with the almost supernatural aura that it creates. There's a dark Theo Travis flute on the stream-of-consciousness "The Apparent Chaos of Snow," and given the satiny feel created by this tune, one reaches the conclusion that snow is not chaotic at all. "Panoramic Lounge" gets much of its deep intensity once more from the instrumentation, with assorted electronically created instruments giving the impression that the music is coming either from outer space or the deep inner oceans. Much of what's going on is riding atop a cushion of strings created, one assumes, by Richard Barbieri's keyboards. This is supplemented with appropriate inserts by percussive rumblings of gongs, cymbals, drum loops, and other products of the electronically trained musician. Don't buy a horn (unless you can plug it in, of course), buy a laptop and a set of software. English creative music prodigy Travis had a hand in writing most of the material as well as playing all sorts of instruments, mostly modern relatives of the sax. This music will appeal to those who believe that jazz doesn't have to swing and those wrapped up with Zen Buddhism.

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