Release Date: April 7, 2023
Label: Curve Blue Records
When musicians pass, they leave behind more than family, band members, and friends. What's left for us still living is a musical history, a catalog of releases, and sometimes unfinished pieces.
There was unfinished business in the case of David Darling, who passed in 2021. David revolutionized the way a cello sounded. And nobody knew that better than Hans Christian, a fellow cello player. David's longtime producer, Mickey Houlihan, called Hans to invite him to finish what was left behind. He accepted without hesitation, knowing this would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Thus, Ocean Dreaming Ocean was born.
The nine tracks on this recording are mesmerizing. They all caught my attention as separate works of art. Their excellence and beauty were striking. It was eye-opening for my first time hearing something like this, with a cello as the main lead instrument. Under normal circumstances, I would have doubts going into a listen like this; however, the story and music are compelling. And I was pleasantly surprised.
"Seven Veils" was my favorite track, with many good moments. It was so unlike anything I had listened to before and hypnotized me. Hans Christian does a superb job of completing compositions and creating something full of color and texture, like a masterful painting on a partially blank canvas. He was honored and inspired by David's work and did his best to pay tribute to the man and his legacy.
I had a headache when I started listening to this; the music melted it away. Music is the great healer. If you let it work, magical things can happen. Sound therapy is what I describe it as. That is a different subject all its own now, in any case. This music is classical as the foundation with leanings towards new age because of its reflective properties that could easily coax you into meditation. It pulls you in and holds you. That is the power of good music.
The closing track and title track, "Ocean Dreaming Ocean," is the longest at 7:22. It features the sounds of whales communicating. I was always amazed at their sounds, considering how large of a creature they are. The combination of the cello and the sounds of nature at work are a good match. The music moves and is graceful, like those mammals dancing in the water. It is a fitting way to end this recording and give the perspective listener something to think about. And I mean about the oceans and how we have polluted the habitat of so many living things.
Each piece may give you different feelings and thoughts, and this is the focus of any music. It would be best if you went to the website provided to read the short write-up about this project. It will put a different spin on the piece before listening. It worked that way for me.
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-NAMR Founder
May 22, 2023
1. Epitaph 6:08
2. Minor Blue Chorale 04:30
3. Miracle 06:37
4. Unforseen Rain Ambient 02:36
5. Seven Veils 05:05
6. Unforseen Rain 06:32
7. David Darling & Hans Christian feat. Ron Miles
8. Below the Horizon 4:39
9. Ocean Dreaming Ocean 7:22