Russell Suereth – Spiritual Haven
Russell Suereth’s Spiritual Haven is an intriguing exercise in using a combination of eastern and western instruments to create a blended sound for his peaceful compositions.
‘A Magic Flight’ opens the album in the most peaceful way possible, ideal for an album aimed at those who will want to use it for times of calm and meditation. The melody is haunting, never forcing itself upon the track or the listener but at the same time giving a sense of groundedness and confidence. ‘Distant Voices’ allows itself to grow slowly, gradually building and forming itself out of nothing, with plucked strings creaking and echoing over a bed of tones, like insects over a misty lake. The music lends itself very well to the creative process, and encourages the listener to allow their imagination to seek and explore. ‘Glimmer of Light’ features some deeper, more robust bass tones that form a bedrock for the airier tones of woodwinds to communicate their melody, and glacial choirs sing out in the distance, while ‘Night Dances’ is perfectly titled according to its sound, as if it is the soundtrack for two ghostly midnight figures in a lonely ballroom. At points there are moments that sound almost industrial, crating some tension when used within the airier sounds, and this all works for the good of the track, creating a fascinating ambience. ‘Swirling Spice’ manages to be one of the most elusive tracks you will hear, as though its melody is always ever so slightly out of grasp, curling itself around things but never quite allowing to be caught or held on to. There is more to hold on to with ‘Nightingale Rushes’, which rather nicely chooses to feature some real birdsong, making it a soothing piece that serves as a reminder of how good it is to get back to nature. ‘Notions Astir’ brings some darker tones to Spiritual Haven, while ‘Sudden Awareness’ creates an atmosphere for inner realisation, with a melody that feels comfortable and familiar, like a comforting voice to keep you calm while discovering a whole new environment that feels both strange and exciting. ‘Red Moon Calling’ leans more towards eastern tones, feeling much closer to a world music style, while the whole time there are slivers and fragments of western ideas that reveal themselves throughout the track. Elements of the instrumentation feel as though there are created by the falling rain, as though nature itself is contributing to the music. Following that, ‘Red Moon Rising’ moves forwards with a warmth and a delicacy that we have come to expect from Russell Suereth’s work, and at this point on the album it feels familiar and friendly, before moving on to ‘Realization’ which returns to those deeper bass tones that have a curious threat behind them, like a tiger behind bars, with more choral voices that echo out like a siren at sea. We are brought to a close with ‘The Village Breathes’, with chattering sounds of a collective group of people over a melancholic piano piece, and before we know it we have come to the end of Spiritual Haven, and all is well.