Michael Garrison

Tranquility Cove, Vol. 2

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The second disc in this series shows us the quiet, contemplative side of Michael Garrison. "Infinity Dream," from the album The Rhythm of Life, has a perfectly fitting title. It begins with the sounds of breaking surf, slowly unfolding melodies, and deep, low-pitched synth drones. At times it is reminiscent of Harold Budd's serene floating ambiences. "Under the Orangish Sky," from Images, has a plethora of cascading notes like falling stars over a quirky and catchy percussion track. There's a simple repeating bass sequence in the background with a very interesting percussive sound that repeats every four beats. The melody has a rippling, cascading effect like wind on water. The previously unreleased cut, "Invisible Sun," oozes with spacy organ textures mixed with winds of white noise swirling and breathing with an energy of their own. "The Nebula Dream," from Images, has a very haunting choir provided by the voice of Shari Barna. The voice undulates over a deep repetitive sound which is reminiscent of a Tibetan trumpet. It is a very hypnotic, trance-like piece of music. It would perfectly fit any Herzog film. "Beyond the Cosmic Horizon" (also from the album Images) is a beautiful, dreamy piece with tuned percussion and slowly modulating melodies which are like the musical equivalent of slowly falling snowflakes. "The Distance from Here," from In The Regions of Sunreturn, is one of the album's highlights. It is classic space music in every sense. It starts with slowly evolving spatial effects and shifting drones. It has a very expansive feel to it, much like the sensation one gets from listening to Steve Roach's "Structures from Silence." The next song, "Visions of the Aquasun" (again from the album Images) begins like Klaus Schulze's epic composition "Bayreuth Return" from Timewind. Cosmic wind storms gradually give way to pulsating sequencer melodies. The dreamy solo lines drift gently above the sequencer melody. It contains some nifty undertones of shifting ghostly synth howls, as if some cyborg coyotes were baying at the moon. You can really sense being outside in the mountain air watching the moon rise, and letting the imagination wander as the sounds of nightfall begin. Echoing cascades of notes build and fade into yet more layers of cascading notes. It's like an aural time-lapse video. Tranquility Cove is a compelling, multi-faceted collection of some of Garrison's best ambient works. This is a must for electronic space music lovers and an ideal collection for Garrison fans. Available from Windspell Music, 1293 NW Wall, Suite 1515, Bend, OR 97701.