It was Michael’s old friend and music colleague Clive Littlewood of Electronical Dreams fame who suggested a kind of commemorative release (“a revisit” in his words) of new material to mark the 30th anniversary of Mr Neil’s classic “Goodbye to the Greenlands”.
The core inspiration of the latter came from the strange and bleak ‘lunar’ landscape around the town of St. Austell in Cornwall where Michael Neil used to live for many years. The landscape found there really articulated the composer’s mood during that time in the late ‘80’s, a rather dark period where he struggled to find his musical identity.
By contrast, “Return to the Greenlands” (on which Michael attempts to capture the essence of the 1987 recordings as well as improve the quality of the sounds and the recording which at the time was not possible) is inspired by a very different landscape: Michael’s large wild garden (also seen on the album cover) and the joy its bountiful wildlife has to offer.
Well, three decades later the composer proves to have found his own voice in a bit more upbeat and contemporary sounding outcome: three tracks airing the symphonic grace and positive vibe echoing in the distance along the spacious aural contours of the original. It’s the third and also longest track “Hour of Light” featuring most modern elements and sequenced-rhythmic structures running through the ethereal aural canvas.
You can see what reviews I have done of this artist on the Michael Neil artist page