Stories are made of words and pictures are painted in colors. But, music has the power to narrate inspiring stories and paint breathtaking pictures in the medium of sound. In triggering your creative imaginations, there is no fitting competitor to music. Gifted artists achieve incredible feats in their audience through their inspired musical works.
Ever since he started his musical journey as a little boy, Michael King’s musical enthusiasm has been nurtured by different influences. Some such inspirations he mentions in his introduction to the album are the background music for silent films, moody evocative compositions of ambient electronic music, and the works of classical artists. Michael King has fused all of the different streams of inspiration into the making of ‘Nocturnes’, the debut album of his Dream Cloud Orchestra.
The dictionary definition of the term ‘Nocturne’ explains the word as referring to a work of art dealing with evening or night. Every track of the album has been inspired by a nightly theme. The gently flowing notes and melodies inflict a mesmerizing effect on the audience. Michael King is the mastermind that has singly composed, performed, and mixed all of the tracks of ‘Nocturnes’ from his home. Thanks to the exceptional musical caliber and skilled work involved in the production of this work, it does not sound like a debut album. For the themes, he has picked up and for the meticulous way of treating the concepts, the composer needs special applause.
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The twilight world is highly interesting in many ways. Michael has captured a few unconventional and striking themes of the nocturnal world and has woven the different tracks around them in a fascinating style. Though words are never a match to listening to the album, I can but pen down how I felt listening to these pieces hoping that they will impact you too in the same way.
01. A Twilight Walk (08:52)
The opening track is an invitation to the wonders of twilight life. As the day slowly disappears into the darkness of the night, we are prepared for a break. Perhaps the eight dongs from 02:20 in the opus are suggestive of 8’o clock into the late evening meaning that the traces of day is fully gone in most parts of the globe. The soothing notes of the track ready you for a restful night’s existence.
02. Night Clock Waltz (7:49)
The second track is a unique opus in the album perfectly suitable as accompanying music for the dance of waltz. Here and there, there are surprise twists and the notes get brisker. Every successive development in the track wears a new charm and you never get bored. Chimes and jingles scattered here and there bestow an exceptional beauty on the composition.
03. The Gates of Dreamland (07:41)
When it is time to sleep, you need a comfortable setting to retire for the day. In the third track, the gates of the dreamland open and you feel a soothing and perfectly relaxing mood to rest. Whether in reality or in sleep, dreams add charm to the otherwise boring existence. The third track is all set to give the perfect momentum that your dream duly deserves. Humming vocals in the chorus are a clever addition to best handle the concept.
04. Summer Night Wonders (10:56)
Summer nights are inherently charming. Cajoling you with its coolness at the end of a scorching day, a summer night is a much-needed comfort anyone will love. In the fourth opus, the composer handled the sounds meticulously to treat the concept in a fitting way. As you move with the track, you feel you want to adore the perfect combination of a night’s setting duly heightened by the comforting melodies of this track.
05. A Slumber Journey (13:32)
When you cannot afford to halt in the middle of your journey, you have to move on anyway. In his accompanying notes, the artist describes the background concept he has thought of for the fifth track, ‘A Slumber Journey’. The protagonist journeys through the night of sleep. Slowly dozing off into sleep, he then dreams for a while and wakes up fresh to see the world around him anew. In the same way, the impact of this track on you can be equally refreshing.
06. Sleepy Dog Lullaby (05:57)
The idea of composing a lullaby for our canine friend is certainly not seen elsewhere. Dedicating an entire track in the album for a dog is the height of humanity. Well, the ebbs and flows of harmonious tunes are thoughtfully crafted. In the sixth track, you are sure to love the soothing effect the melodies have on you.
07. A Mysterious Dream (09:43)
We do not enjoy all of our dreams. While we forget most of our dreams, some dreams stand out due to their exceptional content. The seventh track titled ‘A Mysterious Dream’ is an elegant composition on the piano. The theme of mystery is very well brought out by the composer. As the track progresses, the notes get brisker and sharper, but close mildly, suggestive of the restful sleep continuing after the dream.
08. Traversing the Darkness (10:22)
Journeying in the darkness needs courage and confidence, especially when we travel alone. As the eighth track opens, the theme of traversing the darkness is skillfully deployed. As the track progresses, there is some kind of eeriness suggested now and then. The whole experience of listening to the track perfectly replicates a solo journey in the dark of the night.
09. A Handful of Stars (12:11)
Life is so wonderful. Every element of nature is so amazing and inspiring. The thought of having a bunch of stars in our hands feels like being in a fairyland to get all our strange wishes fulfilled. Like a child, we often gaze at nature with wonder and draw our inspiration from it whenever we need it. The ninth track sounds like a fairy tale we listened to when we were young. With an elated and awesome mood, we move on to the final track.
10. Slumber’s Wisdom (14:55)
Sleep not only puts us at rest, but it also works some unseen changes in our consciousness. Deep sleep can heal our mind of its dejections and despair. At times, slumber can also put some wisdom in us. ‘Slumber’s Wisdom’ is the longest opus in the album and also one of the best creations of the artist. The dexterous deployment of musical notes and tunes in this track makes you visualize a castle rising up in the air. The entire story in the album receives a climax in this track and a sense of fulfillment and complete satisfaction envelops you.
Writing a review for a musical work can feel rewarding if you are given to comment on a work that you really enjoyed. The moments I spent with all the ten tracks of the album felt incredibly wonderful. I will call this album a real treat for those who pine to inspire their souls with music. Whatever may be the reason for you to listen to music, you will find this album connects with you on your own wavelength. Enjoy all of the tracks at your leisure and you are sure to recommend them to your dear ones to pass on the same inspiration down the line.