Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Andreas Vollenweider - White Winds (1984)

Another trip into the mid-80s New Age zone, when it was really coming into its own as a commercial force.  White Winds, subtitled Seeker's Journey, was the third major-label release by Swiss harpist Andreas Vollenweider, and his fourth album overall.  There's a Spin magazine review online from the time of White Winds' release that likens it to "bathing in club soda", and finds the album's production "as exciting as a shopping mall full of rice pudding" [Was it just on the shelves, or all over the floors/walls?  Can't get that image out of my head], but I happen to find it's aged fairly well.

Vollenweider's electroacoustic setup of the harp allowed for a fascinating range of sounds, as well as a great dynamic range; he proudly notes in the liners here that the bass sounds were played by him simultaneously with the rhythm, harmony and melody.  On these mostly mid-tempo tracks, the sound is filled out by billowy synth beds and bits of ethnic instrumentation and percussion, with occasional wordless vocals.  The folky and jazzy melodies are nice and uplifting, and there's the occasional switching of the overall tempo with the fun groove of Flight Feet & Root Hands, or the swirling ambience of The Stone (Close-Up).  The percussive interlude of Brothership is an ear-bender too.  Nice little record all round.



  1. I'm following the blog silently since almost a year and i love you, man...but this i cant...i tried, but i can't :D

    1. why? because it's tagged as new age?
      Andreas's music and harp playing is brilliant, his first three albums essential listening. It might helped that I saw him live. Look everyone has his own taste...