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Quiet Celebration - 2007 - "Sequel"

(49:27 / Mellow Records)


*****+
                 

TRACK LIST:                                 
                                         
1.  Cyan 4:37
2.  Lilac 4:32
3.  Dragon's Blood 4:06
4.  Copper 2:42
5.  Lapis Lazuli 3:24
6.  Mandarin 6:34
7.  Aureolin 3:58
8.  Lavender 5:10
9.  Henna 5:29
10. Palladium 6:54
11. Chlorophyll 1:52

LINEUP:

Don Falcone - synthesizers, organ; flute
Purjah - keyboards; guitars; woodwinds
Edward Huson - tabla; bayan
With:
Tom Damby - brass, woodwinds (2, 10, 11)
Karen Anderson - vocalizations (10)
Daevid Allen - glass guitar (8) 
David Falcone - ac. guitar (9)
Graham Clark - violin (7)

Prolusion. Don Falcone is a highly prolific musician (keyboardist and composer) from the American state of California. QUIET CELEBRATION is one of the units in quite a long string of projects he runs and which includes also Spirits Burning, Spaceship Eyes, Melting Euphoria and Spice Barons, to name a few. "Sequel" is a successor to Quiet Celebration's self-titled debut album from 2000.

Analysis. Different projects involve different music, and it would've been strange had it been otherwise. Unlike Spirits Burning, this 11-track recording is more in the realm of ambient Space Fusion (with elements of World Music) than Space Rock and seems to have no direct connection to Rock in general. Nevertheless it would be wrong to call this music entirely ambient or spacey either, for several reasons. Falcone doesn't use prolonged drones and succeeds in avoiding even relatively protracted ones; the compositions reveal no obvious repetitions, evolving slowly, yet almost constantly, without any amorphous or abstract constructions, and no pointless effects. This is not all though. The tablas (played by Edward Huson), besides being the main bearers of ethnic elements, often provide counterpoint lines and complex rhythms as well, bringing a distinction to the music everywhere they're part of it, and they are present on eight tracks. These are Cyan, Lilac, Chlorophyll, Lapis Lazuli, Mandarin, Lavender, Palladium and Dragon's Blood, each for the most part coming across as both flowing and rhythmic, pleasingly contrasting music, full of emotion and tranquility at once. Dan's third main partner, Purjah, skillfully merges his quasi-improvised guitar and woodwind solos into the basic fabrics, now directly supporting the development of the main theme, now playing counterpoint melodies, advancing the entire picture to take an almost surrealistic shape. Still, quite a few of the movements have a distinctive Falcone sound, evolving in a way that is familiar to those who listened well to Spirits Burning, as I did. Of the aforesaid pieces, Lapis Lazuli and Mandarin both additionally stand out for their blazing acoustic guitar leads as well as more distinct oriental colorations, referring to Indian and Chinese music respectively. The sole track with singing, Palladium features Karen Anderson whose wordless vocals are ethereal, hovering over the dreamlike spacey-atmospheric landscapes. Gong's Daevid Allen has contributed his guitar solo to one of the tracks here too, namely Lavender. The three compositions with no tablas involved, Aureolin, Copper and Henna, all bear a much richer melodic sensibility. Dominated by acoustic instruments, with bayan (think accordion), violin and acoustic guitar at the fore respectively, each comes across as a piece of chamber symphonic music with some spacey and occasional fusionesque tendencies, the former piece often blending together Arabic and Gaelic tunes.

Conclusion. Quite Celebration's "Sequel" is another proof of Don Falcone and his fellows' ability to work equally effective within textural and rhythmic fields. This time around they often sound like nothing else I've heard, albeit that Jade Warrior (think "Floating World" at its most serene or "At Peace") can serve as a relative point of comparison. Those who enjoy Spirits Burning should be satisfied with this release as well.

VM=Vitaly Menshikov: January 13, 2008


Related Links:

Mellow Records
Don Falcone


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