Hilary Stagg

The Edge of Forever

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Hilary Stagg's Edge of Forever tones down the supporting instrumentation that colored 1991's Dream Spiral, accenting his trademark electric harp sound with understated keyboards and the occasional flute. It's a typically soothing set, withStagg's harp evoking images of the concentric rings of a water droplet, or a slow-motion sky ride through a bank of cumulus clouds. The lilting melody of "Inspirations" intertwines flute with harp, while the 11-minute epic "Forever" drifts on the breeze of a melody awash with synthesizer accompaniment. There's a samey quality here that Dream Spiral largely avoided; indeed, "Prelude to Love" and "Simple and Sweet" are mirror images of one another. But that isn't really a bad thing, since Stagg seems content to use his lightly textured arrangements as platforms for tasteful harp playing with light accompaniment. In that sense, Edge of Forever is just as rewarding as Stagg's previous releases.

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