by Eric Clark, The Herald (Allaire, New Jersey)
Steve Roach has been producing recordings using the didjeridoo for many years. The didjeridoo is an ancient wind instrument that is basically a long, hollow tube of 4-5 feet in length. It's played like a trumpet, but with a few important differences. You can produce only one note with it, but it has a wide tonal range. Sing the sound of "oohwowoohwowoohwow," and you'll get the idea. Lots of people know the sound from the "Crocodile Dundee" movies and the Fosters' beer commercials on television. Circular breathing is used, a technique which allows the droning sound to continue while the player breathes in. This is quite a magical sound. Steve Roach also uses electronic technology to create vast sound stages with lush reverberation, where a series of free-flowing melodies and sound events might stimulate your imagination and soothe you at the same time.
On ARTIFACTS, time seems to slow down. I played it all the way through for the first time late at night while painting. The music transported me even further into my own imagination. What more could you ask from music like this? "New Age" is a good a term as any, I suppose, for this genre of music, but "experimental" music might be better. "Music for Transportation" best describes it (although I wish I'd come up with that last phrase, I didn't and so I must give proper credit. It was coined by Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart). Highly recommended.