Century Seasons: The Space Music of Jonn Serrie
If you’re a fan of ambient/New Age space music — the sort of stuff played on the radio show Hearts Of Space — then you probably already know and love Jonn Serrie’s music. When I first heard one of his albums in college over a decade ago, I wasn’t that impressed. I pigeonholed it as rather uninteresting music that might work well in planetariums (if you’ve been to a star show at any major museum in this country, chances are you’ve heard some of Serrie’s compositions), but didn’t do much for me in active listening mode. But after hearing Century Seasons, I’ve revised my earlier opinions.
True, some of the tracks on this two-CD “best of” set still don’t do much for me. But a lot of this music turns out to be amazingly good — imaginative, emotional, and moving. As you might expect, most of it evokes visions of deep space; stars against the vastness of interplanetary night, to the accompaniment of solar wind, form a near-constant backdrop. Not everything is bright and cheery, though. Some tracks, like “Andromeda Dream” (composed especially for this collection), express the crushing loneliness of deep space, the fear of the intergalactic unknown, and overshadowed awe at the breathtaking majesty of the universe. “The Legacy” is another of my favorite tracks, with its flutes and tribal rhythms revealing a vision of the future from an ancient ceremony, as flames dancing on cave walls morph into exhaust fires licking a rocket’s sides, and seekers unravel timeless mysteries within by reading the stars in the heavens. And “Glyder,” which Serrie describes in the liner notes as being about “a gossamer web of high cirrus… floating on the edge of dreams,” with its very gentle synths and wind-voices, paints a delicate, pure white scene, almost holy in its purity, within which you can drift alone with your thoughts and dreams in the thin-aired heights.
All in all, Century Seasons is an amazing collection of Jonn Serrie’s space music that will be enjoyed by dreamers everywhere, including anyone who has looked up into the heavens with their mouth open, and wondered. Although all but two of the tracks have been previously released, Serrie has woven each of them into “a singular motion” that allows you to drift uninterrupted for more than two hours. And for anyone who has asked themselves what Serrie sees when he composes these pieces, he provides a brief vision-description in the liner notes to introduce each track.
Miramar Recordings, 2601 4th Ave., Suite 320, Seattle, WA 98121; http://www.miramarupx.com