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Atlantis by Clifford White

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Clifford's epic track Atlantis begins with a serene piano introduction which quickly evolves into a bold and adventurous ballad in true seafaring style. As a bold horn section sweeps across the audio landscape, one can easily imagine an ancient seafaring civilisation preparing for their most important voyage, their great ship sails fluttering in the wind as they prepare to set sail for ancient lands beyond the edge of the world.

Shifting from the majestic to the mysterious in Catacombs, we are invited to venture to subterranean depths, to explore crystalline caves to the rhythmic sound of dripping water. The spirit of adventure and discovery is strongly evident on this album, as if the entire concept is some kind of travelogue of exploration. The shifting sands of time and fate are revealed in Xtasea, and here also the primary oceanic theme of the album becomes more self evident, as gentle tones and sweeping voices sway to and fro across the panorama. The rhythm section gradually takes over in a joyous and exhilarating celebration of achievement and victory.

As with all of Clifford's albums, there are usually many surprises and changes in style, and this is no more evident that on The Kingdom, which is a rather groovy and uplifting track full of rich swells and shimmering sunlight. One can almost imagine a bright coastal scene flashing past, as you enjoy the sea breeze blowing through your hair. The joy and elation of this music is palpable.

In stark contrast to the previous piece, Voices of the Aegean takes you deeper into the mysteries of the ocean, with haunting voices and subtle guitar harmonics. A tropical rhythm emerges from the depths to gently support the idyllic mood, and a romantic acoustic guitar plays subtly on the waves, carrying you to your ultimate destination. Followed by yet another change of gear, in Time Tunnels Clifford kicks off with a pulsing and frenetic groove underpinned by modal strings, creating a quirky and offbeat mood that is both intriguing and inspiring.

We return to the world of romance and relaxation in Edge of the Ocean, a rich and sun-soaked serenade suffused with tranquillity and enchantment. Harp arpeggios and ocean waves blend smoothly with a bossa nova beat to create a balmy and idyllic paradise for relaxation and pleasure. The oceanic theme continues in New World, where we find ourselves sailing a great ship on a mighty sea, with hearts and voices raised in passion, our voyage to a new world drawer ever closer to it's conclusion.

Sombre and sacred, the opening chords of Summit suggest some distant, unexplored, mountainous region, far from prying eyes. Yet here, in our minds eye, we can almost make out a small group of pilgrims scaling the summit, a procession of worshippers perhaps, or courageous explorers? The cold winds and snow capped mountains almost obscure their progress, but they are journeying nonetheless. For what reasons we do not know...

To warmer climes we venture in Ascendant, almost tropical temperatures in fact, where the jungle holds a secret known only to those that venture this far. As the music progresses, we are gently lifted higher into the air, almost as if we are borne in a hot air balloon, gazing down at an ever diminishing landscape, eventually reaching stratospheric heights where the air is rarefied and the rain-clouds jostle for room. And finally, after so many musical twists and turns, the Atlantis album concludes with it's last surprise, Exodus, a high-speed propulsive bladerunner style jaunt across the icy wastes and glittering landscapes of a forgotten kingdom. Truly magical.

Atlantis is an album full of surprises. Just when you think you have a handle on the style, it changes. Just when you think you know what to expect next, your expectations meet surprise. And yet, with all this stylistic variation, the album is a smooth and coherent experience, perfectly planned and realised as a travelogue of discovery and invention.

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The Spiritual Arts Foundation
The Spiritual Arts Foundation is dedicated to promoting arts related projects that specifically demonstrate a vision of spirituality at their core. We represent all positive and life-affirming spiritual and religious beliefs.
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