"Mediterranean" is Amberfern’s second release on the Real Music label and the first in his "Distant Horizons Series." The series promises to take listeners on “relaxing and beautiful musical voyages along routes less traveled, to the quieter and most spiritually peaceful corners of the world.” This first installment transports us to the ancient Mediterranean with gentle rhythms that suggest warm, balmy breezes and a much simpler time.
Amberfern has been working in the music industry for more than thirty years and makes his home in the heart of England’s New Forest National Park. In addition to composing and production work, he has taught music widely and is the author of several music books and hundreds of magazine articles. He has a degree in Cultural Studies and is currently completing his PhD. His artist name comes from the ferns that grow in the nearby ancient forest woodlands. He plays and composes for an increasingly wide variety of instruments including guitars, basses, piano, keyboards, synthesizers, drums, percussion, ethnic flute and hang drum, as well as a growing number of unusual and evocative world instruments.
We begin our journey with “Ottoman Palace,” an exotic piece that sets a tone for the album. Flutes, guitars, and hand percussion create a warm and inviting atmosphere for relaxing and imagining this distant land. “Es Grau” is a shimmering, ethereal bit of musical magic with sensuous flute and guitar and enchanting keyboard washes. “Diamond Lights” is a favorite with its sultry rhythm, sparkling keyboard, and gorgeous guitar - a romantic slow dance for a warm summer evening. “Sahara” takes us to the Middle East with hypnotic flutes, light hand percussion, and a slow, swaying movement. “Alcaufar In Amber” is one of the more ambient pieces, floating on a peaceful cloud of sound. “Muleta Cove” is my favorite of the eleven tracks. A gentle yet very haunting acoustic guitar piece with an atmospheric background, it creates a mood of peaceful reflection. “Serranio De Ronda” has a more of a Spanish flavor while maintaining the leisurely pace of the album as a whole. “White Sails, Blue Sea” peacefully ends the album with the easy motion of a boat on the quiet sea. Guitars and piano gently ease us back to reality, refreshed and rejuvenated.
Part 1 of the "Distant Horizons Series" is a most promising beginning, and it appears that Amberfern is on his way to becoming one of the more prominent artists on the Real Music label. Recommended!