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Deep Peace

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Album Review

Composer/bassoonist Bill Douglas has always had an affinity for the romance of Celtic music. On Deep Peace, Douglas has set to music poems by William Butler Yates, William Blake, Robert Burns, and Alfred Graves. Wonder of wonder, Douglas uses a real chorus — the Ars Nova Singers — and perfectly smooth they sing, like angels, silk, or fine scotch. The arrangements are delicately supportive; a soft piano joins near the end of the a cappella "Flow Gently, Sweet Afton" while "Piping Down the Valleys Wild" is set on its happy course by woodwinds and piano. Gradually, the oboe and piano take a more active role and are joined by strings. What brings Douglas' music above everyday church fare is his strong connection to the Celtic and the bittersweet nobility — playful, yet sad — of the oboe, bassoon, and clarinet. Instrumental interludes, such as "The Wandering Moon," freshen the ear to enjoy the chorus even more. Special acknowledgment must be given to the piano, a noble Bosendorfer Imperial Concert Grand, which is showcased on "The Secret Forest." This luxurious and unhurried album will take one's head and heart to heaven.


Born: 1942 in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

Genre: New Age

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

With a rich academic and performing background in jazz and classical music, composer/multi-instrumentalist Bill Douglas brings an experienced, creative approach to his playing and compositions. Douglas began his musical journey as a teenage rock and jazz performer in Canada, performing Elvis covers in his very first band. He went on to receive formal musical degrees from the University of Toronto and Yale University, where he studied with avant-garde composer Mel Powell. While at Yale, he also...
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Deep Peace, Bill Douglas
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