“Castalia” is the fourth album by composer Mark Isham, whose title refers to the mythical spring Castalia on Mount Parnassus in Greece, that sees mark collaborate with quite a large amount of other session musicians.
The recording has a moody and warm sound design along a vague a new age feel, featuring lyrical acoustic guitar, soft waves of synth-strings and a percussive backdrop besides Mark’s typical muted trumpet playing (the latter is also heard on David Sylvian’s release “Secrets of the Beehive”).
The downside though of Isham’s music here is the profound jazzy flavor that occasionally pops up, and this release is no exception to that, reaching a pinnacle on the second track “Tales from the Maidan”.
On the other hand, I very much like the sonic romanticism celebrated on “In the Warmth of Your Night” and “My Wife with Champagne Shoulders”, both strong atmospheric pieces with an intimate undercurrent. Not forgetting about the great ending of “Castalia” by means of the magnificent and heart-felt 9-minute “The Gracious Core”.
You can see what reviews I have done of this artist on the Mark Isham artist page