OK, regular readers will know by now that I am The Gateless Gate (dun-dun-dun!). And I promote my releases on the blog briefly and in a classy fashion, then go back to the regular programming. Here I am doing that again, but this time with an extra layer of specialness.
This new album expands my little act into a duo. My lovely wife is a fine pianist and she played on this and composed about half of the 12 tunes. Who doesn’t like piano? It really adds something to any recording, and this one is no exception.
To add another layer of specialness, this is a concept album about the regions to the north of the city in which we live. So the theme is the wilderness, nature and people of central and northern Ontario, Canada, a vast forested Canadian Shieldy territory of great (almost) unspoiled beauty. The pieces were named for aspects of that, or places, or people we know and love. The cover art is a sketch from the 1930s executed in a rural place called Cameron Township by my wife’s grandmother, now deceased.
The palette is a big one on this 70-minute album — we take on piano ambient in the style of Budd and Eno, Krautrock in the style of Popol Vuh, new age ambient like Steve Roach and Klaus Schulze, post-rock stylings, some folky stuff, and even some avant-garde sound art! It includes a 20-minute dual piece tribute to the beauty of the Aurora Borealis!
Still, because of the theme, I think it all fits together and it’s a nice musical journey to places dear to our hearts. Check it out, if you please. If you like it, it’s available everywhere that a download can be purchased.
After getting so many good recommendations from this site I felt I owed it to you to buy Near North. Unfortunately, I am still in your debt because I received more than my money’s worth. My wife, who is not as into the ambient thing as I am, remarked how much she liked it completely out of the blue. So thanks, and I highly recommend it to anyone reading.
Arthur, you have no idea how much that comment means to me! Thanks to you and your wife from me and mine.