Curtis S.D. Macdonald (1962) Composer
A Cal Arts graduate, who after many years of exploring many popular instrumental genres, has found a love of transparency, lyricism and hyperkinetic rhythm to forge compositions to reflect, romanticize and remember. Passive and hypnotic sustains, filtered expressive pointillism combined with rhythmic grooves create the foundation for the memorable melodies and lyrical improvisations performed with a single voice acoustic piano. Imagine watercolors that sing.
With so much music available these days, from Country, Post-Punk, Monotonous Repetitive Dance to Chatty Rap, here is a CD that is un-obtrusive and a pleasure to the ears. Melody is all over this intuitive stroll through the mind of a composer who knows what one wants to hear when they just want to unwind. Some of these tunes extract “trance” elements via the form as some are more of a “pop” song formula. Overall the tunes are quite catchy and I find myself humming along. I like the use of the piano, the synth arrangements, and the mood each song represents. “Eloquence Remembered” just about floored me (My mental imagery may be different from yours), and “Till There Was You” created such a feeling of longing, again great use of melody. I would strongly recommend “Home On The Horizon” to all whom like instrumental New Age with a beat as well as you contemporary Jazz fans out there. I notice he has other CD’s out and after hearing his discography, he defiantly has a signature style. The type when you hear it, you know it’s Curtis Macdonald.
- Sean Wienhart - GSC
I found this CD to be very rewarding and pleasant to listen to, a recommendation to any one whom appreciates modern instrumental music.
It begins with “Coronation”, a new age tribal trance with a lush background surrounding a beautiful melody that cascades into a chorus that depicts a sense of royalty and fanfare. Followed by the song “Nightwatch”, which reminds me of classic Vangelis, has an ambient trance vibe that leisurely develops into a pattern groove with a translucent piano theme. The lush and melodic “Till There Was You” continues the CD with an urban world beat feel and a nice descending chorus. Now the tune I liked most. The electonica laden, light jazz “Pacific Palisades”, the melody and chorus move along with such soul outlining the essence of the Pacific Coast community. It next evolves into a romantic feel with “Eloquence Remembered” followed by the title track “Home On The Horizon”, as the title refers to, a joyous travel tune to get you home. “Always By Your Side”, with its urban feel and sing-song melody followed by “My One True Love” another modern New Age piece with a simple yet endearing romantic theme continues the common thread of Curtis Macdonald’s outpouring of melodic affection. The CD concludes with three romantic new age pieces, “Heart Of Gold”, “The Garden’s Whisper” and “The Heart Of Light”, all have an appealing essence and continue to invade my consciousness long after the CD is over. Curtis Macdonald’s “Home On The Horizon” gets four stars for this collection of inspirational instrumentals.
- Carol Swanson - Magic Voice