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Binkelman's Corner by Bill Binkelman
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Other reviews from Binkelman's Corner by Bill Binkelman:
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Let There Be Light
By Tom Moore & Sherry Finzer
Label: Heart Dance Records
Released 11/17/2017
Let There Be Light tracks
1. The Way of the White Clouds
2. First Light
3. Timeless Journey
4. Full Moon Night
5. A Celebration of Life
6. Sacred Grounds
7. Waves of Light
8. Tides of Time
9. A Deeper Light
Tom Moore and Sherry Finzer - Let There Be Light
Sherry Finzer (flutes) and Tom Moore (keyboards, synths, guitars, bass, percussion) prove to be as simpatico as two musicians can be on their joint effort, Let There Be Light, exploring some unique takes on the merging of ambient and new age soundscapes, with some mild interjection of world elements. Through her career, Finzer has shown remarkable versatility, spreading her considerable talent across an assortment of genres and styles. Moore, while this is only his fourth album (and his second with Finzer) shows equal versatility as he navigates through a myriad assortment of synths and keyboards, always staying step-for-step with Finzer's haunting, ethereal flute playing. Like I said, pure simpatico.

While the album's title mentions the presence of light, the first track is actually a somewhat brooding, mysterious affair. "The Way of the White Clouds" has a slow tempo rhythmic texture and a repeating synth refrain (not a full melody, but a series of notes) and Finzer's lower register flute snakes around in the foreground with a shadowy sensuality. "First Light" makes judicious use of flowing water sounds and what I think is synthesized bird calls. Moore lays down a warm drone as a bedrock and Finzer's flute, which she plays in a more breathy manner than the previous track, is less sensual but more a minimal style of playfulness (at least at the outset). Later, the flute line becomes closer aligned with a more "traditional" new age style, pirouetting above not just the drone, but some subtle tambura sounds as well as chorales. The drones and some gongs bring an exotic world element—India or Tibet would be the best alignment with which to connect.

Let There Be Light is one of those recordings that is ideal for losing yourself in, however, the nature of the music itself does not require you to be in darkness (like some ambient recordings which benefit from it). Which makes sense with the album's title, I suppose. Recording quality is first rate. Moore did all the heavy lifting behind the board (production, mixing, mastering) and he obviously knows what he is doing. Even on average speakers, the attention to detail and placement of the various instruments in the mix is readily apparent. ""Timeless Journey" features another rhythmic texture (meaning a tempo device not employing an actual "beat" per se). Moore allows the tambura drone to take a prominent position on this track, along with more emphasis on the chorales, too. Finzer's flute playing is spot on as her lovely melodies encircle the other sonic elements, wafting in the air like heady incense A real surprise surfaces on "Full Moon Light," which paints a wonderful slow-paced bluesy picture, with an ultra-mellow bass guitar line and some mighty fine acoustic finger style guitar by Moore. On the other hand, I wouldn't have injected the tambura drone on this piece, as I think it doesn't fit in as well as it does on some of the other numbers. But everything else on this track is très cool! The next track, "A Celebration of Life" (more nature sounds injected; here, that of rainfall) veers nicely into more uptempo and subtly dramatic territory. However, I don’t think it disrupts or takes away from the overall mellow mood the album has established so far. The energy level is not raised to such a degree that one would be inclined to program the track out of the playback sequence. It's more of a pleasant yet mild diversion. Likewise, "Sacred Ground" is also a tad outside the lines (compared to the rest of the CD) but only in a small way. The remaining songs ("Waves of Light," "Tides of Time," and "A Deeper Light") return to the style of the earlier tracks, which make the circle complete as far as album cohesion goes, ending in a serene, contemplative manner.

Let The Be Light shows what two musicians can do when they dial into each other and their muses resonate on a deep level. It also helps to have two artists as talented as Finzer and Moore. Yeah, that actually helps a lot!
- reviewed by Bill Binkelman on 3/27/2018
 
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