Suzanne Teng & Gilbert Levy
It’s strange how music brings back resonances of the past, thoughts of how things once were, and then it eventually releases and heals them, music is indeed the panacea to cure woes and change moods. I remembered whilst listening to this release, several moments that were incredibly tough times for me that flooded back, music on the album helped me let them all go, here is an album that was created through one, if not the toughest time for us all, the pandemic, and one can with ease feel and enjoy its soothing tones throughout, easing the cadence of the day.
Whisper by Suzanne Teng & Gilbert Levy is one of the finest works of an ambient structure to have come across my desk in a long, long while, listen to the opening piece, the proud title track Whisper, the gentle acoustic guitar of Levy enhances the sublime soothing flute of Teng, this is one of those tracks to simply stop what you’re doing, listen, and just be in the moment with.
Sweet Jack is our next port of call; the soft keyboard chords create a wonderfully serene musical back drop, whilst both artists once more manifest something so beautiful, that time ceases to exist when one listens to its beautiful refrains.
There is a wonderful piece on this album, one that flows like a rich vein of honey on a summer’s day, and this moment of beauty is called Birgitte on the Steps. The calming energy of this track reminds me of the good old days of Deuter’s rich tapestry of tone. There is a warm and meditative quality to this arrangement that simply cannot be denied.
The fascinating and deeply mysterious Watching Us From Other Worlds is up next, the hovering intensity here is sublime, the textures added by Levy on acoustic guitar here are clever and crafted, and add such a weight to a track that seems to drift across the horizon of the night sky, and thinking about that, this song would be perfect to have playing whilst gazing upward to the stars.
I have been longing to say this for a long while, but winter is coming, and it is, as I write this I can see the coat tails of October disappear into the distance, and the footfalls of November growing ever stronger. Winter Prayer is a delicate offering to the season of change and rest, and one that brings a warming performance to the heart and soul of the listener.
As we move ever onward we come across a composition entitled Genesis. The multi-instrumental nature of this piece was utterly transfixing; this may at first appear to be a piece with a minimalistic nature, but Teng’s flute creates a floating dimension of sound and tone, which coalesces with this creative backdrop of a musical narrative.
On She Dances With the Sea we have a track with such depth and emotion, Teng’s flute is masterful here, leading the dance across this ocean of instrumental music with such consummate ease, one could almost feel a slight Celtic motif here too.
Our penultimate track is one of my personal favourites and called White Buffalo; Buffalo alone is a very powerful animal totem, the White Buffalo doubly so. The spiritual energies of this track drifted across the plains to touch the very heart of the ancestors themselves, in a composition that is deeply felt, the harmonic convergence of tone here was stunning, on a track that you could leave on repeat for hours and not even notice that any time had passed at all.
The final offering from this brilliant album is called Gammapana and what a sublime way to finish the album. This release has taken me to realms of peace and tranquillity I hadn’t touched for years, and this final creation has such a vastness to its construction it would be easy to get lost within its beautiful mesmeric realms.
Whisper by Suzanne Teng & Gilbert Levy is a manifestation of utter class, here is an album that could fit into a multiple of genres and still come out top on each one. Whisper by Suzanne Teng & Gilbert Levy is an album that was born from the chaos of the pandemic, created to bring hope and calm, and the final result is a release of outstanding natural beauty, this is ambience at its very best.