David Darling, cello – 8-String Religion – Wind over the Earth Music/First Impression Music K2HD CD with 352.8/24-bit mastering on 99.9999% silver disc – LIM DXD 041, 48.5 min *****:
This is another of the standard CDs carefully downconverted from much higher sampling rates but playable on any CD player without special decoding. Winston Ma of F.I.M. has only remastered two albums which would fall into the New Age category, and this is the latest. David Darling was one of the first cellists to begin to move his instrument out of the symphony orchestra’s cello section and into a wide variety of other musical genres. He has played with the Paul Winter Consort, Spyro Gyra, Bobby McFerrin and the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. He does workshops in healing with sound and music and co-founded the “Music for People” organization which does inspiring workshops.
David Darling plays three different cellos, and they are often multitracked in his eight original selections: a standard acoustic cello and both 4 and 8-string solid body cellos built by Michael Bridgers. There is also piano, voice, log drum, Bundt pan and some use of string samples and other electronic and nature sounds, as well as an interesting use of reverberation. The cellist-composer’s general idea is to create a healing atmosphere to make the listener feel embrace by Mother Nature. The relaxed and centered quality of the music and its originality sets it apart from much New Age music, and with the highest-level sonics that F.I.M. has squeezed out of the original master, the album should provide a wonderful listening experience for most anyone. I would think it would appeal strongly to professional massage practictioners – replacing some of the annoying New Age piano or harp CDs they often gravitate to.
TrackList: Minor Blue, 8-String Religion, Remember, Sweet River, Only One Wish, Sojourn, Clouds, Soft Light
– John Sunier