In honour of seafarers everywhere, Sailing truly captures the jubilation and joy of riding the waves to an open sea. Lush waves and watery effects revolve around an arpeggio sequence that propels the listener into an aural landscape of oceanic vistas and sparkling, sunlit horizons. Pure freedom in musical form.
Raindance is another jovial piece, with glittering cascades of sound that skip and prance around a jazzy beat. A lone flute weaves an enchanting and wistful melody, and with the addition of a jazzy soprano saxophone, the mood is lifted even further, the whole piece conveying a simple joy and innocence that is both enchanting and magical.
Wispy tonal clouds ebb and flow across a glassy landscape in Mirage, a hypnotic and mesmerising track which invites you to let go and succumb to it’s comforting embrace. Like drifting in a boat upon the stillness of the ocean, this sleepy and soporific piece soon evolves with the addition of smooth rhythms and sultry saxophone, carrying you off effortlessly to distant shores.
Perhaps one of the most powerful and upbeat tracks on the album, Undercurrents opens with sub-aquatic bubbling and ambient guitars before more urgent rhythms propel the track into a glassy and shimmering landscape of passion and intensity. The fervour of the track continues to build with rich orchestral strings, and reaches a powerful and exalted conclusion. A true anthem to desire.
Returning with the sound of rainfall is Cascade, another delightful environmentally-conscious excursion into almost smooth-jazz territory, with rich layers of glassy sounds underpinned with smooth brush drums and other percussion effects. Similar in mood to the earlier Raindance track, Cascade is nothing but effortless, inviting you to just let go and be carried off on your watery journey.
A watery journey is certainly the theme of Crystal Stream, which glitters and sparkles throughout. You can almost hear the aquatic life emerging from it’s musical undulations, which convey a delightful naiveté and childlike innocence; a joy and a delight in the natural world, as if the whole piece is a lullaby for the ocean, and all life that dwells therein.
There is perhaps no more of a romantic location associated with water than Venice, and the track The Floating City is dedicated to this most historic of locations. And the piece evokes Venice perfectly. With a gentle 3/4 waltz tempo, the rich flutes, strings and evocative melodies say it all, and with the addition of mandolins and other glassy effects, the evocation of this floating city is complete.
A gentle guitar introduces Distant Shores, a contemplative ballad that is both bittersweet and emotive. In some ways this piece seems to summarise much of what has come before on previous Heaven Sent albums; a sense of melancholy combined with joyous exhilaration. All the more fitting now perhaps, as we have almost concluded our journey through the Heaven Sent series.
And finally we are there! But rather than end with some grandiose flourish, in the final track Healing Waters Clifford takes us to a secret place where the healing waters run, a quiet cove, where peace and stillness reside. Here the waters seem to glow with an inner light, and you allow yourself to become immersed in this light, to become the light, until only the light remains…