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Homeland: A Prayer For Peace
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Evoking moods that gently flow from reverence to melancholy to serene reflection, composer Bill Douglas once again makes effective use of earthly means to pursue heavenly realizations. On Homeland, his 11th career recording, Douglas (piano, synthesizers, bassoon) blends quiet, contemporary-classical instrumental works with choral selections that again showcase the Ars Nova Singers, an impressive collective whose deeply resonant voices fill the vaulted ceilings of your inner cathedral. The disc's subtle beauty is tinged with sadness, as most pieces (embellished with oboe, flute, clarinet, and cello) reflect the recording's introspective subtitle (A Prayer for Peace). Choral works account for six of Homeland's 13 tracks, and if there's a flaw to be found, it's that Douglas has the singers enunciating too many syllables in his interpretations of American folksongs ("Shenandoah," "The Water Is Wide," etc.) and English verse (Wordsworth, Shelly, Blake). At times, this causes listeners to focus on comprehending hard-to-distinguish words rather than letting themselves be swept away by the sheer radiance of the harmonies. Yet it's a tolerable flaw on a meticulously crafted disc intended to comfort and calm a listener's soul.
-Terry Wood (Amazon.com)
May we move beyond the violence of September 11th
and the escalation of violence throughout the world,
May we recognize that all human beings are our brothers and sisters,
May we realize we all come from a common source
and we all share the same planetary homeland.
May we move towards more compassion
and less suffering in this world.
- Bill Douglas