Steve Sheppard from One World Music Radio
There has been nothing in my life that has ever held my whole existence and meaning together like nature, when all else was so far down I would have to look up to tie my shoelaces there was always nature. My grandfather taught me all I know about nature and what a marvellous teacher he was and I am sure he would have loved this album that reflects so much of nature’s redolent beauty.
I have had the pleasure of many years of watching the sea, gazing upon the ocean with eyes of wonderment as the tides Ebb and Flow. Now that maybe a somewhat tenuous link, but Ebb and Flow as a track has a beautiful tempo about it that literally pulls you back and forth in the same way as a high tide does in late summer. The constant rhythm almost adds a beat to the track, but the harmonies and restrained and resurgent strings give that real feel of movement to and fro.
Moving to a state that is really nice to achieve, this piece is called Light-hearted. In an almost choral state we have a continuation of the narrative of the former track, but within the styled performance of this composition we can see the very essence of newness. There is something very classically ambient about this piece that I find most appealing.
Dear constant reader, across an arrangement called Calmness. In an almost processional style we now lay in the gentle arms of a sweet Harp that plucks away at the frenetic and leaves only a peaceful place to reside and listen to this unique album. As some delightful harmonies and keyboards play behind the scene, strings and the Harp especially create a marvelous place of pure calmness and thus mission achieved by the artist.
As we approach the half way stage of the album we, Return to Nature, as the ambient structure of this composition lasts for some eight minutes, but every note is like waking up at 4am to a dawn chorus and watching the world of nature be birthed all over again.
It is now time for a total new beginning, yes a fresh start and we can sample this delight with the utterly amazing composition called Rebirth. This is the shortest track off the album and starting with a real sense of movement through the strings that open the track we are on our way to a new land of opportunities. This is a very cleverly produced piece, it almost treads its way carefully throughout as a child would as it is about to be born.
Now we move to a classic New Age styled track with the piece S.W.A.N., this is the delightful title track we dear constant reader and listener have been eagerly waiting to hear. As you would expect from the title, this was and is a very melodic and smooth piece that floats with a confident and certain magisterial ingenuity among the reed beds of this musical lake of sublime calmness. I urge you potential listener that when you purchase this album as I hope you will, go back to this track several times and listen to all the musical wizardry and subtle nuances contained within.
Now there comes a time on any album that a title pops up that you just love and this time dear constant reader it’s called Dark Night of the Soul. Once more Grenot brings us the depth and takes us into the dark alleyways of the inner workings of his musical mind. This is a sparkling track that chimes its way into your heart with its careful and mindful approach, the changes in direction are so subtle you feel like peaking around the corner to see what’s going to happen next. In my opinion this is another fine composition that should be used in a movie soundtrack and yes yet another personal favourite of mine.
As we descend into the last part of the album, the musician gives us a really ethereal composition entitled, Self. Again the narrative continues as does the Harp. There is something deeper here that moves me to suggest that this arrangement is almost a soundtrack of a suspense movie or should be used as one. While there is something very angelic about this track, there is an underpinned feeling of mystery and imagination hidden within; this I feel the need to say now was one of my favourite tracks of the album as Fred Grenot allows himself to explore the uncharted territory of the inner self, clever work indeed.
Dear constant reader it is as if we literally float into track two called Letting Go. Grenot lays down some restful, but angelic synths that seem to hover above a repeating backdrop of steady sound waves and with the chiming of bells which reminds me so much of lazy summer days by a sluggish river in England. The piece crawls over the early morning landscape like a reluctant mist across a farmer’s field and one within the music can almost feel the stresses and the strains of the past and a final letting go can be achieved, I must say I am looking forward to meditating to this track in the future.
I cannot help feel at this juncture that surely someone must use Grenot’s work in either television or film, it’s perfect for it, take a listen readers and listeners and see what you think.
Fred Grenot has taken an opportunity here to manifest something entirely new and fresh into our universe. S.W.A.N. is an exceptional release of great calmness and clarity. Grenot should be proud that he has created something new, unique, but quite remarkable and beautiful for you dear readers and listeners to fill your lives with, oh yes! This one defiantly gets my recommendation. ~ Steve Sheppard / One World Music Radio
Beyond the Sun
Steve Sheppard from One World Music Radio
Grenot has gone in the opposite direction for his latest release, Beyond the Sun. On his last outing he gave us SWAN, (Spiritual Wisdom Awakens Nature) now we literally take off and go, Beyond the Sun.
We almost blast off with the power opener called Orion. The deepness and powerful essence of this track has freshness to its construction and also a caring intensity, perhaps one of treading paths new and the real and tangible energy of exploration, this can all be felt in the opening track.
One of my favourites was the next one dear reader, it’s called Glaciers, the beginning had a lightness of foot to it, that displayed a theme of care and concern, I could feel that the keyboards here dear listener, were painting a picture of a vastness of a yet unexplored territory, but a soundscape so vast can be found in this piece, that illustrates perfectly a feeling of awe and splendour.
We now move to Exosphere. Once again Grenot uses his expertise to musically draw us a picture of a dimension so different from everything that we know. This is sublime, the layered keyboards on this arrangement have a real metallic feel to them, the effects swirl, but in a controlled way and the tempo is slow but very deliberate, the energy of this piece also very carefully escalates as the track progresses and is done in not only organically, but also with great professionalism and style.
As we move to the half way segment in the album, we come across a track called Elixir. Now this is a strange brew of a piece, a dark and mysterious offering, that is brilliantly composed, the chimes of a bell adds depth and quality to the piece and at times Grenot has almost transported me back to the great days of electronic music and the wondrous skills of Isao Tomita, there is indeed something very much like “The Engulfed Cathedral” about this composition, dare I say yet another favourite of mine?
On Dream Fairies, Grenot once more shows how far he has progressed as a musician and delivers a perfect performance on the arrangement, the narrative is paced beautifully and one can truly feel like they are literally flying through a fairy realm in a dream state, the music is the perfect back drop to our nocturnal musings within this dimension and reminded me in parts of Llewellyn’s release many years back called Journey to the Fairies.
As we approach the track Dharma, we move into a composition that is our longest piece off the album. Dear Reader and constant listener, it’s time to settle back and listen to a harmonious rapture of sound, that at times is deep and insightful within its intent. The almost angelic harmonies add a powerful but gentle layer, to what is easily the most forceful and dynamic track off the album. This is one of those arrangements that you could see with ease being used in a Hollywood space movie. Musically the dynamics of this piece are outstanding, listen to the bubble sounds as the tones seem to fade out of view at the half way point, then, slowly and very carefully, a deep resonance manifests and we are gifted a track that even the great Vangelis would be proud of.
Spiraling, is a track of great movement and power, the harmonies again add a layer of depth to the composition, there is also a sense of great awe about this arrangement, one that a person has when they let go of control and just go with the flow, as much can be said for this piece. Grenot’s ability to bring music of great depth and intensity is totally emphasised on this track and at times this piece, has a way about it that reminds me of the space classic by Kevin Kendle called, Light from Orion.
We now move dear reader to the penultimate piece from this new release and it is called Dhyana. My feelings of this whole album have now been confirmed; I felt a desire to take this music into a meditation, this is the style I prefer, it enhances greater oneness with a universal energy and Dhyana means in simplified terms "a deeper awareness of oneness which is inclusive of perception of body, mind, senses and surroundings, yet remaining unidentified with it". This piece is a moment of creative genius and here we see the artist completely becoming at one with his musical soul and it shows with a distinction that even the most ardent electronic music fans would be in awe of, totally stunning!
We now find ourselves at the very end of the journey, but Grenot has one more slice of magic to leave us with, a track of musical beauty called Night Whale. I can guarantee you will enjoy this composition; it is slow, but fluent, the Whale sounds keep us grounded and one can imagine the great record keepers of the ocean, swimming with a natural grace to this very piece, here we have an arrangement that goes beyond the natural beauty of things, a truly lovely way to leave an outstanding release, the melody here is also so very emotive, it may even bring a tear to the eye.
Grenot has trusted in the universe to release his second album and that has been a sound decision, this is another step forward for the artist in his musical career and one that he will be proud of for a lifetime. Grenot can be heard on his own show Impressions on One World Music Radio and I am sure if you pop in from time to time, you may hear a track or two from this landmark release.
In Beyond from the Sun, you have an album that will pacify both the New Age music fans and the Electronic music followers, it will bring to your ears something fresh and exciting, and from a musician who has got an abundance of skill, passion, integrity and respect within the business already, this is a thoroughly recommended album. ~ Steve Sheppard / One World Music Radio
I cannot help feel at this juncture that surely someone must use Grenot’s work in either television or film, it’s perfect for it, take a listen readers and listeners and see what you think. ~ Steve Sheppard / One World Music Radio