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In the Presence of Light

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Album Review

In the Presence of Light (subtitled "A Journey Into the Unknown") was recorded and first released in 1986. It was reissued in 2001 on TO Music, Oldfield's own imprint, with different track titles but similar music (except for the usual remastering job). This conceptual album aims at describing meditation. The only beat heard throughout these 50 minutes is in the first seconds of the first piece, "Entering" — it gradually slows down and fades out as washes of synthesizers come in. The first three tracks are very short, two minutes each, but work as sections of one bigger piece. Oldfield's flute and shakuhachi sketch ethereal melodies. The same themes reappear throughout the album, tying the material tightly together, although some listeners may feel it renders the music too linear. Some keyboard patches show their age (it was the mid-'80s), especially in the closing "Return," but overall the music feels natural, the acoustic instruments being well integrated to the synthetic floorings, with a peak reached on "Flight," featuring a trio of violin, viola, and oboe. Fans of Oldfield's Spirit of... series will probably miss his world music twists and find this CD too much into the meditative side of new age music. ~ François Couture, Rovi

Biography

Genre: New Age

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

Flutist/composer Terry Oldfield is best known for his film and TV soundtrack work, in addition to releasing solo albums on a regular basis since the mid-'80s. Oldfield has penned the music for several Emmy award nominated National Geographic specials, including Land of the Tiger and Twilight of the Dream Time, as the early 21st century saw a flurry of new releases by Oldfield. Leading the list was 2000's Spirit of the World (which incorporated music from several different cultures: the Australian...
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In the Presence of Light, Terry Oldfield
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