160

John Barnard: Araluen

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
John Barnard is an Australian composer whose music has been used by British Airways to calm tired travelers on long-haul flights – to and from Australia, for instance. This album was commissioned by the airline for its "Well Being in the Air" program track. The airline had already been using Barnard's earlier companion album, Beyond the Clouds.

"Araluen" is a nature preserve in Australia, and throughout the album, you hear recorded sounds of birds, water, and creatures from the park. The music is slow, meditative, and simple. It uses synthesized "symphonic" instrumental tones, with the melody carried on a single-note piano or synthesizer line or quiet guitar. Most of the harmonies are straight "classical" forms with only a few diversions into jazz or "impressionistic" tonality, and its mood is always sweet. Listening to this, I was much reminded of the now-classic "environmental relaxation" albums in the "Golden Voyage" series by the late duo Robert Bearns and Ron Dexter. Barnard's music is also similar to that of Mike Rowland, whose "Fairy Ring" has become a New Age standard.

This soothing, restful collection definitely serves its purpose well. It is gentle and undemanding, and could easily waft a listener away from stress and into dreamland. This is not music for those who want to be challenged or excited or shaken; it is for those weary journeyers, whether by air or any other way, who simply want a few moments of peace.

Website: http://www.cdstreet.com/artists/johnbarnard


Title: Araluen | Year Released: 2001


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio CD/LP/Track Review Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Moment Frozen CD/LP/Track Review Moment Frozen
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Minor Step CD/LP/Track Review Minor Step
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 19, 2017
Read A Meeting Of Spirits CD/LP/Track Review A Meeting Of Spirits
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 18, 2017
Read First Light CD/LP/Track Review First Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 18, 2017
Read "May I Introduce To You" CD/LP/Track Review May I Introduce To You
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 15, 2017
Read "Unspoken" CD/LP/Track Review Unspoken
by Andrew Luhn
Published: October 9, 2016
Read "Hush Point III" CD/LP/Track Review Hush Point III
by Budd Kopman
Published: January 8, 2017
Read "Isang" CD/LP/Track Review Isang
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 24, 2016
Read "Nigerian Spirit" CD/LP/Track Review Nigerian Spirit
by James Nadal
Published: May 29, 2017
Read "Discoveries on Tracker Action Organs" CD/LP/Track Review Discoveries on Tracker Action Organs
by John Eyles
Published: January 21, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.