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Lotus Land

Gandalf

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Album Review

One of Austria's most accomplished international musicians, versatile multi-instrumentalist and sonic landscaper Gandalf celebrated 27 years as a recording artist with this hypnotic nine-track collection, his fourth on new age mecca Real Music. Although the whole new age movement was just getting started as he came of age, Gandalf's music has always created its own mystical East-meets-West world rather than follow trends. The inspiration for this disc came to mind when he was reading Dante's Divine Comedy. His approach to inventive, rhythmic relaxation — whether by sitar, piano, synth sounds, or a graceful acoustic guitar — comes out of a longing for a place where all creatures live in perfect harmony and peace, which he acknowledged is as old as mankind itself. He succeeds at making the music wholly transporting, beginning with the swirl of sweeping ambience, nature sounds, and elegant piano melody on "A Seed Dreaming Inside" and continuing through two sitar-laden pieces, the dramatic declaration that "Life Is Love" and the hypnotic "Just a Glimpse of Paradise." Gandalf's titles remind listeners that it's all about the journey — "Mystic Voyage" leading to "A Heavenly Gift" where "The Lotus Unfolds" (a stunning piano ballad) and causes extended, dreamy "Waves of Delight." The world magical only begins to describe the journey.

Biography

Born: Austria

Genre: New Age

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Hein Strobl is an Austrian new age multi-instrumentalist (proficient at piano, percussion, guitar, and synthesizer), and has issued countless albums on a steady basis since 1980 under the alias of Gandalf. Taking his name from the good-hearted wizard in J.R.R. Tolkien's trilogy Lord of the Rings, Gandalf's work often reflects his love of nature, as well as his commitment to preserving the environment (while his music has been compared to such other artists as William Ackerman, Rick Wakeman, Shadowfax,...
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Lotus Land, Gandalf
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