Quiet Music: 2-CD Edition
by Gary Andrews
QUIET MUSIC was originally composed in series form, from 1983 to 1986 on the cassette format. In 1988 a selection was put together on one compact disc, and in 1999 the whole series was released as a double CD package. The music presented, as suggested by its straightforward title, is very much in the gentle pastoral scheme of things, and was the precursor for albums like STRUCTURES FROM SILENCE and THE DREAM CIRCLE. These slowly evolving compositions combined with an atmosphere that encompasses the listener in a almost sacred sound enviroment.
This is music that will undoubtedly relax you; in fact it probably is Steve's most calm-inducing release ever. It verges on the generic term New Age, but as ever with Steve's releases, he manages to create mystery and a sense of real imagery that bypasses the overtly sweetness and "throwaway" ethics of much that falls under the banner of New Age.
Disc one contains all the music from the first CD release, and some of these tracks including "Something in Tears" and "Towards the Blue" are simply entrancing, most of the magic coming from the simplicity of the synthesizer sounds used.
The first two tracks on disc two are over thirty minutes in length. "The Green Place" featuring nature sounds, lays deep resonating textures that guide the listener through its journey of peace and tranquillity. It is good that Fortuna has released the entire QUIET MUSIC series on CD. It has taken a long time, but the end result has been well worth it, an album that can be used to chart what Steve produced then and linked to what he is doing now, on albums like SLOW HEAT and LIGHT FANTASTIC.