Another volume of the Tranquil World series, Tranquil World: Chinese Gardens mixes field recordings of the birds, insects, and wind in meticulously arranged Chinese gardens with Asian-inspired new age instrumental music. The collection is at its best when the music stays close to Chinese tradition and doesn't overpower the field recordings, as on "Brooks -- Murmuring Poetry," "Pavilion of Moonrise," and "In the Garden of Contentment," all of which are traditional Chinese folk songs. However, several of the new compositions, such as Dave Miller's atmospheric "Mist on the Lake of Shavxini" and the Dragon Ensemble's gently percussive "Suzhon's Gardens on the Emperor's Canal," work nearly as well as the more traditional pieces. Overall, Tranquil World: Chinese Gardens is a soothing, fairly exotic collection that finds a harmonious balance between music and nature.
AllMusic Review by Heather Phares