Luna Kafé e-zine  Luna Kafé record review
coverpic flag England - Full Moon 121 - 08/09/06

Robert Jarvis
Magic Stones

How the sounds of our environment affect us, how certain sounds evoke an immediate sense of time and place, and the way that some precious sounds are becoming increasingly rare, are explored by Robert Jarvis in his new CD Magic Stones. Winner of last year's British Composer Awards for the engaging piece "Disappear", composed of 'endangered' sounds, and included in this album, Jarvis is clearly a composer with a vivid sense of how apparently 'unmusical' sound affects us emotionally.

Although there are many beautiful 'musical' elements on this album, played on strings, horns, woodwinds and keys, the starting point for each of these compositions was the ambient sounds of particular places, whether a flax mill or a stream. What is immediately striking about these elements is how pleasing they are to the ear. On headphones, these sounds are immersive and incredibly compelling, transporting the listener to another place. On some of the pieces, Jarvis then incorporates performances on different instruments, inspired by the original field recordings.

While this is unlikely to be a CD that I return to often, it's a delightful disc to have in my collection, and one that has refreshed my senses.

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