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Between Earth and Sky

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Album Review

The liner notes to the dramatic, soundscape-heavy Austrian multi-instrumentalist Between Earth and Sky recording talk about the music being inspired by the beauty of nature and the wisdom and myths of various cultures. You also find out why the performer, Gandalf, chose his moniker long before Lord of the Rings, which features a character of the same name, was a movie. Still, it would be interesting to have his own personal stories and images to help your imagination as you grasp the lush and expansive tracks. "Just a Heartbeat Away" is lush, an ambient dream with a mellotron hypnosis, while "Echoes From Ancient Dreams" blends a Celtic-flavored guitar and Irish lilt with a mix of cool natural sounds. "The Blessing" blends the sonics of the deep woods with tribal percussion and the haunting wordless vocals of someone named White Horse, who also plays cello. Tunes like the harp feature "Peaceful Heart" allow for some intimacy along the road of heavier productions. Overall, the effect is pleasant, peaceful, and ultrarelaxing like a lot of similar new age efforts steeped in the ancient worlds.

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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Between Earth and Sky, Gandalf
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