Michael Whalen

Sea Power: A Global Journey

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This album samples Michael Whalen's original score for the six-episode television documentary Seapower: A Global Journey. Whalen's task was enormous, for he not only captured the many moods and vastness of the sea and its vessels, but the personalities of the physical terrains ("Antarctica" and "Russia") and their exotic cultures. "Crossroads to the World" and "Three Voyages" are musical melting pots of cultural voices and polyrhythms. "Passage to Paradise" is a lighthearted piece bringing images of steady winds, clear skies, and sparkling waters. "Sea and Sky" paints vaster seascapes; its strings express steady plunges through the waves and the loneliness of being at sea. "Antarctica" features sharp sounds, dissonant solitude, and echoes of icebergs as they break off in the distance. "Homeward" is a saucy Caribbean-flavored piece, rich with rhythms, anticipating the voyage home. The arrangements feature orchestra, synthesizers, and MIDI keyboards, percussion, guitars, voice, and other instruments -- a full-bodied treatment for a vast topic. If you love the concept and romance of going to sea, Whalen's music should take you there.

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