The classically trained Craig Urquhart's compositional style began shifting from classical to new age as he began appreciating the later compositions of Brian Eno and Philip Glass, and his approach moved from atonal to tonal and lyrical after a project which found him setting the poetry of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson to music. He considers this nine-track recording a major conceptual and spiritual-minded work whose titles can be performed and listened to individually as well. It is a musical approximation of the classic religious three-part "triptych" painting which featured two sides opening to a third. "The 'ancient ones' are ancestors from long ago who brought knowledge to us over the centuries," he says. "They have special spiritual powers." There are three incantations which reflect the use of magical ceremonies to produce an effect which will summon up this ancient knowledge. The three movements are comprised of two dreams apiece; the titles include "The Dream of the Children," "The Dream of Make Believe," "The Dream of Mother Earth," "The Dream of the Silent One," and "The Wonder of Miracles." Urquhart -- who worked for years as an assistant to Leonard Bernstein -- composed "The Dream of Flight" for the Maestro's last birthday.
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AllMusic Review by Jonathan Widran
|The Dream of the Ancient Ones, for piano|