Like almost all of Mr. Adrian´s previous releases, this recording had a long way coming. As usual, it involved a lot of (almost aimless) experimenting with sounds, note progressions, and keys to find the right one that would unlock the door to some promising idea for a new sonic journey. This process also added to the nice “searching” quality this New Zealand composer is always after of an Eno-esque outcome, giving way to still a lot of the layering of different sounds (background as well as subtle soundbites) while leaving a little bit more “breathing space” between some of the elements in some of the tracks.
This said Rudy considers “A Walk Through the Shadow Garden” a logical continuation of the musical ideas explored and sketched out meticulously in “As Dusk Becomes Night”. The latter was started during the first Covid-19 lockdown in New Zealand in March 2020. This successor though feels very much like “post-Covid”, featuring a number of positive changes having been implemented into his lifestyle, such as going on a regular stroll and trying to enjoy life more.
Well, the 65-minute “A Walk Through the Shadow Garden” turns out to be another fine atmospheric, introspective journey where the order of tracks to unfold the sonic narrative still matters a lot. Again things start out in a slightly experimental manner with the 5-minute title piece (so if you’re familiar with the album and don’t like the experiment, one can start playing it from track 2 onward) before running into the warm, uplifting textures of “Clouds over Fields”, “Dawn Redwood” and “Hemlock Grove”, places where calm, serenity and beauty is all around.
Nocturnal, cosmic images appear effortlessly before the mind´s eye on “Maple Glen” followed by the soothing, Eno-esque “Rising Mist” and the epic, 9-minute sleepy glider “Perchance to Dream”. “Beechwood” and “Conversations with a Gardener” round out the album with peaceful, harmonic, and overall quiet dreamscapes. Nice one, Rudy!
You can see what reviews I have done of this artist on the Rudy Adrian artist page
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