Recording quality is no problem for Clifford White‘s album, which is stunningly beautifully engineered. It is marvelously layered and textured, recessed like a three-dimensional model which revolves in front of us on a slow-moving turntable.
There is another aspect, an emotional one, which is unique in the New Age albums I have encountered up to now: a religious orientation, without embracing any particular faith. It can be discerned in the titles of individual pieces; ‘Ascension’, ‘Hallowed Ground’, ‘Church of Light’ – these may not seem particularly important in themselves, but add up to an overall feel, something like one experiences on entering a large or famous church. Immediately one is in an atmosphere of profound peace, quiet and solitude, surrounded by a sense of space, in which one can meditate or meander at will, at all times ‘protected’ so to speak by comforting environment of the hallowed building.
No religious message is implied, or meant (still less forced upon us), but the spiritual qualities of peace and love and understanding are nevertheless here. It may be pushing matters too far, but I found my thoughts turning to such matters on hearing Clifford White‘s album. It is sensitive, carefully and expertly put together. Many will be content to let the music flood over, bathing in its calm effect, and leaving a feeling, a beautific, macarian untroubled tranquility. The use of bird-song adds to the feeling of unhurried nature, and I found the whole thing enchanting.