Meg Bowles | A Quiet Light

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New Age: Space Electronic: Ambient Moods: Mood: Dreamy
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A Quiet Light

by Meg Bowles

Seminal space music composer Meg Bowles's latest poetic journey into a lush, mysterious, and luminous ambient world.
Genre: New Age: Space
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Nocturnal Flight
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11:57 album only
2. Glacial Dawn
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9:25 $0.99
3. Forest Glade
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10:53 album only
4. Chant for a Liquid World
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8:52 $0.99
5. Beyond the Far Shore
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8:22 $0.99
6. A Quiet Light
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14:38 album only
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
I am always fascinated by the mystery of liminal space (from the Latin word limen, meaning “threshold”), that fleeting yet eternal place of opening into another reality. Frequently, the solitude of nature provides a doorway into liminal space, a territory between the worlds which can feel intensely private yet vast. These experiences often feel a bit extraordinary, even numinous. Witnessing the gleam of early morning light flowing like a line of gold down the trees, listening to the hushed stillness of the wind over the lake, bidding farewell to the slow peeling away of blue twilight as a canopy of stars is revealed overhead, are just a few of those moments of pure grace, where one can suddenly become transported into a greater, deeper reality that exists parallel to, yet outside of, ordinary awareness.

A number of images seemed to accompany the writing of these pieces, eventually becoming the inspiration for the track titles. A constant presence throughout this project was the perception of a subtle luminosity - a quiet light - that inhabits all things.

Reviews:

by John Shanahan, Hypnagogue (July 5, 2011)

"Seductively graceful and contemplatively hushed, Meg Bowles’ return to music, A Quiet Light, is a classic spacemusic disc that’s extremely easy to get completely lost in. In her liner notes, Bowles talks about the concept of liminal space, “a territory between the worlds which can feel intensely private yet vast.” A Quiet Light becomes the key to that territory, like gates easing open in front of you as you listen. It’s a deep relaxation disc, but it has passages that percolate with subtle energy–like the delightful, unexpected moment when the opener, “Nocturnal Flight,” suddenly shifts from gossamer drifts to rise just slightly under a cool, upbeat melody. In every track, Bowles’ long, soft pads absolutely teem with emotional phrasing, and her atmospheric touches, like the stream running under “Forest Glade,” are laid in with a perfected mastery to elevate the overall effect. Bowles is at her best here with “Chant for A Liquid World.” This is, quite simply, a stunning track that heads directly to your soul. With sacred-music overtones provided by sampled voices and a breath-slowing pace, this prayer in sonic form is, for me, the centerpiece of the disc. It eases into the horizon’s-edge feel of “Beyond the Far Shore.” Sighing chords and a gently played melody dance quietly together and the overall feel is like watching the onset of twilight.

The six tracks here glide by in exactly one hour, and it is a perfect hour of listening. Bowles knows how to pull at your emotions with sound, and she spends the time guiding you through her ideas and intentions. You will feel every note here. I genuinely cannot say enough about this disc. Calm, beautiful and superbly affecting, A Quiet Light is a Hypnagogue Highly Recommended CD." -John Shanahan


by Bill Binkelman, ZoneMusicReporter (August 14,2011):

A Quiet Light

"After way too long an absence from the ambient music scene (her last release was 1999's brilliant From the Dark Earth), Meg Bowles has made her triumphant return with A Quiet Light, and she has not missed a beat. If anything, her time away seems to have sharpened her focus and increased her ambient and spacemusic chops. A Quiet Light is an excellent album and heralds Bowles reemergence into well-deserved prominence as not only one of the few women recording and releasing ambient and spacemusic but as a major player in the arena as well. Fans of her last two releases, Blue Cosmos and the aforementioned From the Dark Earth will recognize some of Bowles' signature touches scattered throughout the six tracks on A Quiet Light but there are plenty of new wrinkles here as well.

The CD is superbly engineered by the artist's husband, Richard Price, who also co-produced the album. The sound is sumptuous yet subtle, full of nuance if listened to intently on headphones; but the CD is equally enjoyable (as all good ambient should be) played in the background during quiet times of relaxation or contemplation.

Bowles drew inspiration for the music on A Quiet Light from her fascination for "liminal space" which, for example, is typified by the threshold we cross as day becomes night and light changes our perceptions of our surroundings. She refers to these times as "...moments of pure grace, where one can suddenly become transported into a greater, deeper reality that exists parallel to, yet outside of, ordinary awareness."

Track titles paint an accurate picture of the music contained on the CD: "Nocturnal Flight," "Forest Glade," "Beyond the Far Shore," and "A Quiet Light," to name four of the six selections. The mood is equal parts serene and mysterious, haunting but not dark or foreboding except in the subtlest ways. To say the music has a fluid quality is understating the case, as Bowles’ synth washes, pads, and chords seem to flow and ebb with an almost organic sensibility.

The opening Nocturnal Flight opens with expansive synthesizer textures flowing into each other and breaking apart (sampled overtone vocals are understated). Sparse bass notes provide counterpoint to the sustained tones and warm drones/washes. Very slowly over the twelve-minute track, the bass notes begin to accelerate in tempo until a distinct midtempo beat is achieved, accented by a series of bell tones, while the main synth melody begins to attain a more specific sensation of flight and soaring, hence the cut's title, obviously. Glacial Dawn, which is next, also merits its title as the drones and textures evoke barely any movement whatsoever as well as containing a perceptible element of "cold (despite the presence of some synth chorals in amidst the assorted other sounds). A crescendo effect at the six-minute mark seems to convey the moment the sun finally appears in full above the icy blueness of the glacier. Forest Glade opens with music that may evoke emerging from an arboreal landscape into a clearing. The subtle enhancement of the introduction of what sounds like running water, accompanied by gentle organ-like tones, paints the track with an especially lovely pastoral calmness. As with “Nocturnal Flight,” after about four minutes, Bowles introduces an overt rhythmic element, this time a series of sequenced notes, laid over the lone and forlorn sounding lead synth line (which has a strong horn-like characteristic). “Chant for a Liquid World” introduces fuller synth chorals and even a solo vocal line, sung in a distinctly church-like fashion. These angelic voices are counterpointed at the outset by an assortment of burbling sounds which eventually dissipate and are replaced by overlapping synthesizer tones, washes and textures.

I could continue describing the remaining two tracks (Beyond the Far Shore and A Quiet Light) but by now you should have an accurate picture of what the album holds in store. Bowles excels at crafting long ambient pieces (the shortest selection is 8:22) that evolve over their running course, but in such gradual ways that, while the changes are perceptible, they are never in the least bit jarring. Her juggling of the various layered synthesizers is formidable and displays her supreme artistry. A Quiet Light heralds Meg Bowles return to prominence in ambient and, in particular, the subgenre of classic-era spacemusic. I frankly can’t think of a more essential album to buy this year than this one." -Bill Binkelman; Rating: Excellent






Reviews


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REVIEWS NEW AGE

La quintaesencia de la calma y la relajación!.
La compositora de música electrónica y psicoanalista Meg Bowles lanza al mercado su quinto trabajo bajo el nombre A Quiet Light, un álbum compuesto de seis pistas de larga duración que se enlazan entre sí con una etérea música que viaja desde los confines del espacio hasta la profundidad de nuestro subconsciente, logrando una paz difícil de explicar. Co-producido por su marido Richard Price (Ganador del premio Grammy), este último trabajo de Bowles es la quintaesencia de la calma y la relajación; el misterio que envuelve al viaje que Meg nos invita a efectuar con su música es sencillamente fantástico. Melodías dulces y con un toque mágico que consiguen dejar al oyente inmerso un absoluto trance.

"Nocturnal Flight" abre el CD, casi doce minutos de bienestar incondicional. Algunos toques de sonajas, muy sutiles, e instrumentos nativos como cuencos y profundas voces se adhieren a los tranquilos sintetizadores de Meg. La mezcla de los suaves sonidos electrónicos crean una música que es la droga perfecta para el descanso o la meditación. Comienza nuestro viaje espiritual!.

El misterio continúa con "Glacial Dawn". Nuevamente, una pieza que invita a cerrar los ojos y dejarse llevar. Apasionante en algunos fragmentos, "Glacial Dawn" conserva un estado de quietud inalterable, siendo en contadas ocasiones, cuando los sintetizadores alzan su música con ligera emoción. Qué poder de sedación!.

"Forest Glade" es mi preferida de A Quiet Light. Aunque Meg mantiene el carácter hipnótico y tranquilo de la composición anterior, en esta ocasión, la artista opta por el sonido de algunas aves que suenan en la lejanía y el dulce y calmante sonido del correr de un río. La escucha de esta pieza consigue aplacar los latidos del corazón y sumergirnos en un profundo y delicioso sueño. Fascinante!.

Voces femeninas y un sonido ambiental sorprendente son los encantos de "Chant For A Liquid World". Cada segundo que pasa hace que la pieza sea más y más interesante, rodeado de un ambiente de misterio y profunda belleza creado por los synth pads de Meg. Otra de mis favoritas. Wow!.

Continuamos el viaje a través de los sueños con "Beyond The Far Shore". Una composición donde se prescinde de los sonidos ambientales antes utilizados y Meg opta por el penetrante sonido de un instrumento de viento que suena sobre los sosegados sintetizadores. Un sonido que es una delicia para los sentidos!.

La pieza que cierra el álbum es precisamente la que da nombre al álbum, "A Quiet Light". Carente de cualquier sonido ambiental o de la naturaleza, Meg sólo se apoya en los sintetizadores para crear la pieza más extensa del CD. Bowles compone una música lineal, capaz de aplacar el alma gracias a una melodía tenue y pacífica. Me gusta!.


La compositora Meg Bowles alcanza la perfección en la música de sanación y meditación. Con sólo seis composiciones, Meg consigue sumergir al oyente en un ambiente único de paz y despreocupación. Una opción muy buscada por todos en el mundo tan agitado en el que vivimos y que ahora, Bowles nos regala con su fascinante música electrónica. La Paz hecha música!. A Quiet Light es un álbum muy recomendable!

reviewsnewage.com
21/04/11

eTripper

A haunting transit across imaginary realms.
Meg Bowles follows-up her excellent ambient project "A Quiet Light" with "The Shimmering Land", which invites you to journey along half-forgotten vine-covered paths, into those 'shadowy places' only hinted-at in ancient legends, and lore. A musical excursion across the mythical Avalons, or deep forays into classical vision-quests of half-forgotten dreamworlds. You will experience this, and much more; listening to "The Shimmering Land", and wonder is it really there, or just a mirage? You set sail upon the 'Undalant Sea' where you start your odyssey to the very end of reality. A siren's song beckons you into 'The Sweetness of Mist' just ahead of those fog-bound, hidden shoals. This is primal ambient fare, much in the same vein, as that sound composed in Thom Brennan's excellent "Mist" album. All of this is very cinematic, and invites some inevitable comparisons to Jon Jenkins, and Dave Luxton's ambient projects as well. Meg Bowles, is one of the top female composers in the ambient realm, along with fellow artists: Constance Demby, Stephanie Sante, and Asmodelle. She first came to my attention by way of the excellent "Blue Cosmos" CD, which puts her in the rarefied company of such heavyweights as: Jonn Serrie, Max Corbacho, Dan Pound, and Rudy Adrian. "The Shimmering Land" is in my opinion her best offering to date. Highly Recommended.

eTripper

A stunning return to the ambient 'limelight'.
After a long 'hiatus' from the ambient scene, Meg Bowles returns with "A Quiet Light". This is her first release since 1999, and a long wait for her many fans. Meg's sonic imagery rates right-up there alongside of: Jonn Serrie, Thom Brennan, Jon Jenkins, and Max Corbacho to name a few. This CD's over-all theme, is one that evokes a deep, contemplative muse. Almost, as if one is exploring 'animistic themes' on some distant, and primally, nascent world. This particular set, is a great 'soundtrack' for deep reflective forays into instinctive spirtitualism, or as a 'soothing' respite from the 'everyday' world. I hope, that Meg soon returns with another ambient project, and produces many more to come. Ever since, her magnificent "Blue Cosmos" album her music receives regular-rotation on my ambient playlists. I equally recommend, "From the Dark Earth" ambience with a touch of brass. Meg hasn't missed a beat, since returning, and I'm glad she's back. Highly Recommended.

Bob Marchessault

Sonic Landscape
Fans of early Steve Roach will like this CD. As a painter I like to play this kind of music while creating my artworks. It stimulates my creativity and sense of space. Meg's sonic landscapes open a mental space that helps me focus on my painting over long stretches.

Richard Gurtler

Welcome back, Meg!!!
Time is running very fast, almost 12 years passed since the highly acclaimed "From The Dark Earth" album by Meg Bowles that also featured David Bilger as soloist on trumpet. But I can say the long waiting was well worth, because Meg is returning in really big shape. "A Quiet Light" album opens grandiosely with magnificent "Nocturnal Flight", yes, this is pure sky high journey gently colored with fragile melodic contributions in Berlin EM style. Some occasional hidden sounds ranging somewhere between tuvan throat singing and didgeridoo are featured as well, very refreshing I must say! After first 12 minutes is everything more than clear, "A Quiet Light" is going to be a superb comeback! "Glacial Dawn" is more meditative and expansive with its calming deep atmospheres in more traditional Bowles space music fashion. Slightly more minimal and earthy "Forest Glade" with some melodic elements is at times combined with water sounds that emphasize its organic feel. This feel overlaps into the next piece, "Chant For A Liquid World", which quickly turns into dreamy spatial voyage beautifully enriched by angelic choirs, a wonderful continous deep ambient flow and an experience that's beyond words! Last two, "Beyond The Far Shore" and "A Quiet Light", are more evocative and meditative floating pieces, very peaceful and warm album closers. To sum it up, two years ago I didn't have any idea that Meg Bowles will ever return, but "A Quiet Light" is another sophisticated sonic statement of this respected and crafted musician, dreamscape floating at Bowles' best! A warm welcome back for you, Meg!!!

Richard Gürtler (Bratislava, Slovakia)