French composer Alain Amouyal resurrects the much-decried genre of mood music.
Amouyal is a dentist, wich enduring love for music. He has long used music to calm and encourage his patients during dental procedures, and in 1987 got involved in composlng and performlng music geared to achieving specific effects on the Iistener.
The result has been a stunnlng number of discs, all originally rooted in the composer's improvisations on electronic synthetizers. The result is a rich, pleasant sound. It reminds me very much of music composed as background to films, especially fantasy films, such as the Lord of the Rings cycle.
I have acquired four of the discs, and I find myself completely intrigued.
They don't follow any of the musical structures which I have come to know, but they are never repetitive or depressing.
Two of the discs are performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, and are the background for multimedia opera/ballets.
Frames for a Fairy Tale was conducted by Paul Mann, featuring soprano Suzan Montgomery and pianist John Alley.
It was recorded in the famed Abbey Road Studio 1, made famous by the Beatles.
Orpheus is a CD-Rom, with the visual images intended to accompany the Frames for a Fairy Tale disc, dealing with 15 images from the Iife of the Greek hero and musician for whom it is named. The other discs I own are Enlightened Heart, and Platform, which I belleve was the original release.
All are hypnotic. Whenever I turned them on, I inevitabty find my first reaction is that the sound is too rich and heavy, but I leave them on, and often conduct my entire afternoon with them playing in the background. The result is restful and cathartic. They beat short term annoyances, fatigue, and any number of negatives.
I suspect my NEA advisors would be horrified by this review, because reviewers have a responsability to be rational and incisive, but this music touches the emotion, in way that science would say are impossible. I enjoy them very much.
You can find them for sale at around $17.95 at a number of stores in internet sites.
The composer's Web site is www.alalnamouyal.com.
Robert W. Plyler