Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Monet's Garden By Dean and Dudley Evenson


Monet's Garden


Dean and Dudley Evenson

Written by

Steve Sheppard


I sighed a sigh of blissful relief when I listened to Monet’s Garden, ah the sweet refrains of good old classic New Age music are not dead, but alive and thriving thanks to this amazing new release by Dean And Dudley Evenson. To start with pull up the picture of the album cover, press play, and simply enjoy the moment, it is quite beautiful.

My past came flooding back to me whilst listening to this album, the full and rich colours of nature cried out across the barren wastelands of popular music and eased my soul, a place of sanctuary was immediately found in the opening piece Water Lily Nymphs; a mystical flute and a gentle refrain from the harp, this will be a place I will never wish to leave.

One of my favourite pieces off the album is this next one entitled Wisteria Foot Bridge, the beginning is very Floyd and Crazy Diamond in its early stages, it was that added sense of mystery that hooked me in, one could easily see the bridge within my own meditations. The hovering multi-instrumentational nature of the piece was idyllic, and simply perfect in all that it had to offer; how clever was it to change flutes midway in this track, I cannot remember that being done before, and in doing so giving the track sublime depth.

Ah Golden Tones, this is a halcyon moment of great beauty, a chiming of a bowl, the far away flute, and the hovering instrumentational brilliance of this arrangement, makes this a veritable tapestry of many colours, one could almost make out the figure of Monet himself, standing just by the bridge perhaps, gaining inspiration for one of his many wondrous works of art.

There is a charming delicacy on the track Splendid Irises, which gives rise to a slight ethereal energy within its musical narrative, I felt a certain familiarity here with some of the artists I used to adore back in the early part of the century, perhaps the Golden Age of New Age music in Europe, with artists like Nigel Shaw, Llewellyn, Medwyn Goodall and Kevin Kendle, the latter created his own Garden based release. This for me brought the whole album in to a sharper focus, and the brightness of the colours of the album now glowed like an August sun.

I simply love leaning out on my balcony and listening to the pigeons and doves, those natural sounds fit so well with my environment, and also usher in this next piece by the duo called Water Garden. Dean and Dudley have a true symbiotic partnership, their flow of sublime oneness drifts in a wonderful meditative state within this track, the flute changes and so does the depths of compositional structure, taking us into a wonderful land of texture and tone.

One of my favourite birdsongs can be heard at the start of this next piece, the Lark, so charming, so warming, and so calming, and that statement is utterly perfect for this next piece called Spring Impressions. The lightness of this song is transcendent and tranquil, the flute and harp seem to manifest an early April landscape where peace can be found, and sanctuary gained.

The tale of a mystical and magical place is up next as we listen to Enchanted Garden Path. The chimes, flutes and hovering intensity of the piece give us a state of mystery and imagination to enjoy. The pauses, natural sounds and deliberately slow tempo manifest a perfect meditative offering, a composition where one could with ease, simply float on a bed of unbridled tone across this wonderful garden of Monet’s

The harp sets the scene perfectly here on the track Field of Flowers; this is a sun kissed opus of great beauty, and that is also what is so very special about this album, even if you placed Monet’s Garden to one side, through tracks like this, and in all honestly each and every composition, one could with ease meditate within their own chosen place of serene bliss.

I had listened to this song a few times before, so it was nice to once again hear Pond Reflections. I used to spend a lot of time in nature and near waterways when I lived in England, so now that I live in a land with precious little water they are even more special to me. Pond Reflections is just that, a cleverly created reflective moment of sublime new age music, one that will allow you to gaze into your very soul, and perhaps even beyond.

Cascading Willows is in the deeper labyrinths of the album and at the start I think I picked out the dulcet tones of a blackbird, a creature I haven’t heard for many years sadly. Here the harp and flute work a magic all of their own, and manifest energies of a sun drenched afternoon by the water, under the shade of a beautiful willow tree; the music is the master creator here, and paints a tableau of the slow but permanent state of nature’s free spirit.

I have several singing bowls in my music room, and this penultimate track makes me want to walk upstairs to play them, it is utterly idyllic, the tones of the added flute creates for me a perfect meditational offering.  On Play of Light, the shadows, the softness, the movement of shades of light, are all created by this quite breath taking last but one offering, a piece that for me highlights the transformative energies of light, and the quality of it, especially in Autumn.

So we arrive at the end of the album, our final gateway to the release, it is as if we are transported to a time free from form and the ravages of ages, and we can sit with the artist (Monet) on an Evening in Giverny, and just simply be, and of course how could there be a more perfect way to leave one of the most beautiful new age albums of the decade thus far.

Monet's Garden by Dean and Dudley Evenson is one of those rare albums that I will just put on at random times when my spirit needs it, and just drift in a state of uncomplicated bliss whilst doing so, oh how I would love to be at this location, perhaps one day, but for now, this experience can be gained vicariously through the genius of both Dean and Dudley Evenson, who, by creating Monet’s Garden, have manifested a soothing tranquillity to be found within us all and more. If any album deserves an to be an award winner, this one does with ease.

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