The Middle of Time
CD, Earth Turtle Music, 2000
Sound artist Michael Stearns is an expert in composing ambient soundscapes that imagine the travel through time and space. On the 49-minute "The Middle of Time", the soundtrack to the PBS documentary The Mystery of Chaco Canyon", afficionados of space-ambient that incorporates a node of world music will find an attractive and highly spherical outcome which pairs grand symphonic space realms with some Native-American influences (bits of chant, rhythms, Indian flutes and assorted samples) where a mesmerizing current of mystery runs through or underneath occasionally.
Its opening piece already makes a strong, emotive composition along beautifully rendered cosmic and smooth excursions like "Solar Alignment" and "Lunar Alignment". The closing track "Sealing the Door" though comes forward quite foreboding and bombastic, leaving the listener behind in a kind of hypnotized state. As is the case with all works of Mr Stearns, the album mix and mastering is top-notch.