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Customer Reviews

5 out of 5

5 Ratings

Review from Journeyscapes Radio

CandiceMichelle1,

Less than a year after releasing his stunningly impressive album, ‘Abendromen’, Tom Eaton returns with a follow-up titled ‘Indesterren’. Comprised of twelve supremely gorgeous compositions spanning seventy-eight minutes, the album was composed, produced and engineered by Tom, who is also co-producer and engineer for Imaginary Road studios (owned by Windham Hill founder, Will Ackerman). A gifted multi-instrumentalist, Tom plays piano, analog and digital synthesizers, electric guitars, fretted and fretless basses, accordion, omnichord, and acoustic and electric percussion on the album. Listeners will also note the cosmic theme present throughout, as conveyed on several song titles, such as “Waltz of the Seven Sisters” (an allusion to the Pleiades constellation), “Spica” and “Argo Navis”.

“The Red Blazer” immediately imparts a sense of melancholy, as hazy chords underscore ambient piano notes and subtle electric guitar, not unlike that of Tim Story or Patrick O’Hearn. A warmly enveloping albeit forlorn atmosphere permeates this piece, as well as much of the album, often conveying a nostalgic sense of longing and regret. Following next is the beautiful “Vervagen”, where the aforementioned elements are additionally joined by hushed ethereal vocals and echoing percussion. Tom skillfully weaves many intricate details and subtle nuances here and throughout this recording, which are both perfectly understated and wholly essential in relaying their intended effect. Concluding with softly chirping crickets, this piece perfectly captures the essence of being in a vast and open landscape while gazing upon the night sky. “Gravity” seems to emerge from a nocturnal fog, with its misty tones, minimal piano and interspersed electric guitar. A faint submarine-like sound is employed here and on other parts of the album, further lending to its alluringly haunting atmosphere of reflection and solitude. “Midnight Clouds and the Great Bear” is an especially captivating composition characterized by balmy textures, dreamy guitar and a splash of piano amidst a subtle chill rhythm. Once again we’re treated to just how masterfully Tom is able to convey such profound depth of emotion by employing many subtleties and hidden complexities in his music, as opposed to taking a more obvious and grandiose approach. One song that absolutely took my breath away is “Venus”, which is named for the morning and evening star, as well as the ancient Roman goddess of love. A spellbindingly seductive piece, it features flugelhorn courtesy of Jeff Oster, along with all of the now familiar musical elements and more. Guided by a sensual chill type of rhythm, a Mediterranean mood takes hold with a melody that feels almost gypsy-like, culminating in what is not only my favorite song on the album, but one of the most beautiful pieces of music I’ve heard all year. It’s not until the final piece, titled “The Little Lion”, that we finally seem to catch the first glimpse of an early dawn. Dreamily ethereal and floating throughout, with sparse piano notes drifting in and out of suspended chords and atmospheric loops, it seems to convey an emotional release, or letting go of sorts.

Essentially ambient with subtle chill rhythms in parts, ‘Indesterren’ is a profoundly gorgeous album that is surely destined to become one of my favorites. The wistfully haunting melodies herein seem to fully express without directly revealing a closely guarded emotional secret, often alluding to nights spent in solitude and pondering under the stars. As with ‘Abendromen’, Tom Eaton has created yet another masterpiece that is every bit as moving, mysterious and possibly even more stunning than its predecessor!

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus

MDiamond,

Tom Eaton is on a creative roll these days. It’s only been about 8 months since I wrote about his excellent last recording, “Abendromen.” But considering the fact that I referred to Tom in the previous article as a “Jedi master of the recording studio,” it’s not that surprising. Tom Eaton is best known for his work as a co-producer and recording engineer working with Grammy winner and Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman, and together they are one of the most highly regarded production teams in the contemporary instrumental and new age music genres. However, Tom is also an extremely gifted multi-instrumentalist who appears on a great number of the albums that are produced there, as well as being a recording artist of his own original ambient music. With regard to this new release, Tom shares: “’Indesterren’ is a collection of songs inspired by the night, the constellations, and the people I think of when looking into the stars.”

As the album opens with a track entitled “Red Blazer,” Tom’s electronic and textural roots are evident, setting the scene with a spacious soundscape that allow his tastefully understated piano melodies to stand out like stars against the night sky. The next track entitled “Vervagen,” has an elegant and graceful dancing-in-the clouds feeling, driven by a subtle drum track that becomes more pronounced as the song develops. As I listened to track 4, “Midnight Clouds and the Great Bear,” a thought occurred to me that while many piano-based albums use electronic accents sparingly, the ratio, in some ways, is reversed here. The synthesizer textures actually play a very major role in Tom’s compositions, with the piano adding minimalistic melodies that drift in and out of the ambient sound field.

A song called “Venus” grooves to a laid back electronic rhythm track, picking up steam as it evolves. A stand out feature of this song is the addition of Jeff Oster’s dreamy flugelhorn into this downtempo chill piece, providing a bit of a departure from the preceding 5 songs. The interplay of the horn and piano is exquisite, exhibiting once again, Jeff’s versatility and ability to cast his magic spell in any context. A track entitled “the False Cross,” evolves through a number of movements that are alternately ethereal and rhythmic, and in places reminded me a bit of the music of Patrick O’Hearn. Track 11, “Argo Navis” is a piano-less deep space synthesizer journey that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Jonn Serrie album. Not that Tom’s music sounds exactly like either of these above-mentioned artists, but listeners who enjoy them, will almost certainly resonate with the celestial journeys on “Indesterren.”

That Tom Eaton could produce two recordings of this caliber in the same year is astounding. Every song is an exquisite example of sonic architecture, perfectly composed, arranged, and performed. I really can’t say enough about Tom’s ability as an arranger and sound designer, with the way he is able to weave his electronic textures and other instruments into such superb soundscapes – truly stellar in every way. I have no doubt that although Tom Eaton is currently most known for his extraordinary work as an engineer and producer of other people’s music, he will soon become known as one of the premier recording artists in the ambient music genre.

To read a full-length feature article on this album, as well as others, please visit: MichaelDiamondMusic.com

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