FAME Review: Meg Bowles - The Shimmering Land
Meg Bowles - The Shimmering Land

The Shimmering Land

Meg Bowles

Kumatone Records - KU-0393

Available from Meg Bowles' online store.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

Since falling out with 99% of the idiots in the progrock and progressive music merchandising and critiquing community (Sound Choice, OPtion, Progression, Expose, Signal to Noise, etc.), an individuation regretted not at all, not even unto a fractionated atom, I've perforce come to miss certain elements of it—that, after all, is the price paid to leave the realm whence intelligence goes to die—and the Hypnos label looms large in that. Home to Jeff Pearce and a number of wondrous crafters of gorgeously somnolific soundfields, Hypnos pretty much became the ne plus ultra of dreamtime sonics by the time I went freelance. What it has become since, I cannot say, but, good God, does Meg Bowles ever nail such sounds and atmospheres to the wall! Working alone and, as far as I can tell, strictly with synthesizers, she, in The Shimmering Land, has fleshed out a set of six long landscapes (see the time quotes below) so well that it takes the breath away while settling the mind into terrene and alien vistas.

To my way of thinking, Brian Eno's groundbreaking On Land was pretty much the focal point wherein Claude Debussy and Eric Satie met Klaus Schulze and Edgar Froese and somewhat reconciled their differences. From there, of course, everything exploded outwards and inwards, refining the thought processes inherent in crenellations of such outré but (neo)classically minded sonicsmithery; thus: Steve Roach, Chuck van Zyl, Robert Rich, and a small plethora of superior craftsmen and artists. Bowles, on the other hand, unlike many, accomplished both ends, collapsing deeply within herself while vaulting into the heavens. The result, this CD and several others, is masterly and re-cements the underpopulated genre back within itself.

Shimmering Land is the arena where tone poems meld into a galactic National Geographic of the spaceways before coming back to meditate in Earthly deserts. Everything, however, has a very very slow underlying pulse, and the listener is set within strange lands in order to contemplate what lies on the other side of so-called civilization and progress, places where Nature reigns supreme in all her brooding mystery…and not all that impressed with human beings while inviting consciousness to shed its limits and bask in primal oneness. The CD, then, is, when all's said, heard, and done, a collection of haunting paintings from which there is no escape nor any desire to.

Track List:

  • Undulant Sea (7:01)
  • The Sweetness of Mist (8:50)
  • Venus Rising (14:22)
  • Into the Gloaming (9:16)
  • Beneath the Radiant Stars (10:50)
  • Nightwalk Across the Isle of Dream (9:48 )
All songs composed by Meg Bowles.

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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