Gentle Rain of Starlight
What music would you listen to while exploring the starry winter sky, enjoying the solitude of a star-filled night, drifting through space across lagoons of silver light, and having a romantic interlude under a distant sun? All these soundscapes, and more, await the listener on A Gentle Rain Of Starlight, Mark C. Petersen's 2007 Geodesium release. These 13 evocative sound journeys were created for the rarefied atmosphere of the planetarium dome. Now, they soar free as soulful explorations of the stars. Fall in love with the cosmos all over again! ====================================== REVIEWERS HAD THIS TO SAY: 'A Gentle Rain of Starlight is [Mark's] eighth album, filled with 13 music tracks to accompany the star-filled dome. I must say the job has been done well as the music glides through sensitive, light corridors, tapping into an accessible pool of slightly Serrie-kindred sound currents in which softness and romance are always nearby. The overall sound is well done but very mellow, and the varied but recognizable sound palette of the Korg Karma shows up quite a lot as leading voice on most tracks. So look out for lots of sparkling sound and semi-melodic washes scattered over all tracks, carrying you away on a peaceful and gentle cosmic journey. Personal highlight is the great swirling sound textures of Celestial Solitude.' -- Bert Strolenberg, reviewer, EMPortal ------------------------------ 'Mark Petersen (Geodesium) is one of those artists with an instantly recognizable 'trademark' sound to his music, present since he first started releasing his music back in the mid '80s with 'West of the Galaxy'. Part of what separates Petersen (who composes his music for planetarium shows and then releases it on disc) from other space music artists is how he apparently views space as a warm, inviting and friendly place, where any darkness and mysteries are seldom foreboding or scary. His music is filled with a flowing melodicism as well as a tangible sense of gentle awe and wonder. Another characteristic of his music is how he structures it, relying more on notes and refrains rather than on the more typical (for the genre) pads, washes and textures (although they are all here as well). He also sometimes throws in a more uptempo/upbeat song now and then, another anomaly for the genre. A Gentle Rain Of Starlight's title should give you a good idea of what to expect: music which cruises gently through the cosmos at a leisurely pace, sometimes speeding up but never to the point of warp speed. The trip is suffused with a sense of peace and wonder, as if one were witness to the beauties of the universe soaring by a starship's viewport. As with previous Geodesium albums, the CD is technically excellent, from the quality of synthesizers and keyboards to the flawless production, mastering and engineering. With thirteen tracks on the album, describing them all would take way too many words. 'Winter Stars' starts the album off with twinkling echoed and panned bell tones, swirling celestial keyboards and some subdued bass rhythms underneath it all. The bell tones play a repeating refrain but in Petersen's capable hands, it never gets boring (this is also one of the artist's motifs, i.e. The use of refrains within songs, again atypical for the genre). 'Star Hop' is a light-hearted romp through the blackness, with cascading keyboards set against softly sighing choral and ambient textures. Here, the rhythm is imparted solely through the refrain's tempo, although the occasional synth bass note can be discerned. Opening with what could be the musical equivalent of the titular reference, the title track blends high-pitched tones with lush lower register pads and whistling keyboards. 'Celestial Solitude' shimmers and glides with repeated reverberating notes and softly sighing chorals while 'Outbound' bursts with subtle energy via synth arpeggios and wildly panned bell tones, evoking moving gracefully but at great speed. One of my favorite tracks on the CD is the seven-minute long 'The Alcor-Mizar Connection'. It has an air of mystery to it with a slight 'edginess' and I found the melodic refrain to be particularly pleasing to my ears and I enjoyed how the song evolved over it's duration. If planetarium directors all over the world think Mark Petersen aptly evokes the cosmos in his music, the guy must be on to something. For me, 'A Gentle Rain Of Starlight' continues Geodesium's streak of 'stellar' releases (sorry, I couldn't resist that). Geodesium's music reminds me why I fell in love with astronomy as kid, and for that sense of wonder and joy, I can't thank Mark Petersen enough. Highly recommended.' -- Bill Binkelman, New Age Reporter ------------------------------ 'I've been listening to all of the Geodesium CD's (and I own them as well), and this one stands out from the rest. There is a fresh new sound to this new installment, though it sounds very much like 'Fourth Universe' except that this CD has more depth and emotions to it like never heard before. Listen to 'Celestial Solitude' and 'Silver Lagoon' and you know what I mean. I would highly recommend this CD to just about anyone who likes to add floating space music to their planetarium show at home or at the theatres. If you like Jonn Serrie's music then you can't go wrong with this release. It has everything. It's fresh, a new classic, has more depth than the other Geodesium CD's and most important I guess, it sounds very personal but I really can't put my fingers on why. Perhaps this is just me. Anyway, excellent work as usual, Mark C. Petersen! Now buy it!' -- Kristian Persson, on Amazon.com ======================================.