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Reviews: Silk Road Journeys: Where Strangers Meet - Silk Road Ensemble

Reviews: 1

Review by Dinko November 29, 2004 (8 of 9 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Classical fans beware: this title at times attacks you sonically from all sides. Forget surround sound used to provide hall ambience, this title easily convinces that surrounds were invented to be used aggressively.

If Yo-Yo Ma's cello is mostly placed in the front with surrounds providing hall reverb, that isn't the case with the wailing vocals which come from the front and the back.
The trombones in track 2 play a multichannel duet. Percussion in a few tracks comes from the rear (with hall reverb from the front), while more melodic instruments are in front (with reverb behind).

As should be expected whenever Richard King's name comes up in the credits, the recorded sound of the percussion instruments is fantastic, from the tiniest clicks to the loudest crashes, it's all so realistic.
It's a sonic spectacular, and the perfect demonstration disc for surround sound.

Now as for the music... well it's a load of bizarre combinations of just about anything generally defined as "oriental", to which some occidental sonorities are added. It's all bound together by the idea of the Silk Road and the music found along it. Musically, it's held together by the cello which could easily act as a traveller along the Silk Road, exploring and participating in local musical culture. Alien and familiar mix together for what is a refreshing musical experience which transcends the average world music album. It may not achieve the same depth as a Mahler symphony, but it makes for some very fine listening.

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