"Love Song to a Planet "

by Kim Robertson and Bettine Clemen

reviewed by Sara Paris Bay


 

An audiophile's dream, this collection of eleven classical, folk and original pieces were recorded with great aural depth and clarity. On this project, the clean beauty of both Kim Robertson's Celtic harp and Bettine Clemen's flutes acquire an unearthly vividness in presence and tonal color thanks to the work of sound engineer Robert Hughes. A keynote theme of revering and celebrating our planet, its natural forces and creatures, is sounded with the Anton Dvorak anthem "New World", introduced by the expansive chord voices of the harp. Adding to the protean body of her recorded work, Kim Robertson contributes four original compositions to this CD: "Vivo", a lively percussion-accented dance; "L'Espoir" a romantic meditation in a minor key with Anthea Scott-Mitchell on cello; "Dancing Gaia", a spirited piece, evocative of breezy, Mediterranean isles; and, with Gregory Fast, "Shanti" a celestial revery whose Sanskrit title means "peace."

On her completely solo offering, "The Dark Island", Kim displays the articulate lyricism that is the soul of her style. To her credit, also, are eight of the eleven arrangements which make use of her and Bettine's refined, well-exercized musical instincts. Together they have created an energetic, precision new age chamber music including cello, percussion, bells and synthesizer with sounds harvested from nature: birds, creeks, wolves, waves and crickets. This is a brilliant and sensitive "concept" album, likely to become a classic in its own genre. Like a beautiful fragrance, the feeling of "Love Song to a Planet" lingers long after the last vibrating breath of music is heard.

 

Copyright © 1998 Sara Paris Bay

originally published in the Folk Harp Journal

 

For more information regarding Bettine Clemen's musical life and creative projects,

please visit her web-site at http://www.joyofmusic.com

 

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