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John R. Pierce

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The Brave
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100 Essential Classical Recordings
Each of the ten tracks on the  compact disc Classical Spirit is, as the back cover of the “jewel case” states, “an invitation to relax and allow your mind to wander on a new ambient path . . .”  The recording is written, produced, arranged, performed and mixed by The Brave, whose Sacred Spirit II was nominated for a Grammy. 

The selections on Classical Spirit draw their inspiration from the works of classical composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Albinoni, Beethoven, and Samuel Barber, as well as from the mystical works of Hildegard von Bingen.  But the selections are not merely updated versions of old melodies.  Though inspired by the classical works, The Brave has created original works of art.

In selection number 7, for example, based on an adagio of Albinoni, we first hear a prominent beat while the synthesizer plays a faint melody.  The melody at times becomes more prominent than the beat.  At times we hear a barely audible chorus but cannot make out the words (at least I couldn’t!).  There is some mild percussion. 

In many of the selections we hear a chorus, described in the accompanying notes as a “Russian choir.”  They sing sometimes in Latin, sometimes in German.  Their focus is on producing a sort of background sound, not on communicating the words of the text.  Susann Caroll recites poetry in a few of the tracks.  We hear a guitar in one track.

The effect of the music is soothing and uplifting, but it is never cloying.  I would find the recording well suited for listening to at home late at night by candlelight if one were in a meditative mood.  “This is chill-out music,” says The Brave, who considers the recording suitable for taking to the beach, on a day after a party, “to regenerate your spirits.”

I recommend the recording highly.  It is superlative “chill-out” music.--JRP
The Brave is a part-time resident of Miami and of the Spanish island of Ibiza.