With the release of Nebula The Haiku Project has now released three albums on the Real Music label. Nebula is an intriguing album and especially so with the delicate vocals that are provided by Sara Grabow who makes this album quite memorable. Grabow hails from Denmark, as does Henrik Hytteballe, aka: The Haiku Project. Her vocals provide an ethereal aura to the songs on which she is featured, allowing the compositions to move in new and interesting directions.
Nebula has found that perfect balance between voice and instrumentation that allows both to reach their full potential without detracting from one another. Nebula features ten compositions, six of which feature Grabow’s voice as a major component of the arrangement, and I find the music refreshing and listenable even if left on repeat for an extended period of time. As a long time reviewer of instrumental and ambient music I am always doubtful as to how successful a pairing of vocals and instrumental music will be. That success happens when a listener walks away from the experience not thinking how great the instruments were or how beautiful the voice was, but how marvelous the compositions were as they became one in the performance. That is the difficult task that Henrik and Sara tackled with the creation of Nebula, and let me congratulate them on crafting an album that is filled with emotionally rich music that touches the listener from the very first song to the last.
From Hytteballe’s splendid piano work to Grabow’s soft and delicate vocals, there is nothing not to love about Nebula. It is very hard to pick a song as my favorite, but I found “Glow” to be a song that I can listen to over and over again. And even though “Glow “is a sonic delight, the album is filled with songs that I feel are just as good. The two opening tracks, “Nebula” and “Breeze,” alert the listener right from the beginning that they are in for a compelling musical journey that will leave them wanting more when the journey is over.
Hytteballe has always valued nature and protecting that which is a part of us so it is only natural that his music would move and breathe with those kinds of values in mind. The titles of the compositions tell you where the journey will lead with songs like “Creation,” “Glow,” “Earth,” “Water,” “Rain,” “Wind,” and “Breeze.”
When you listen to Nebula you are hearing the passion that Hytteballe has for valuing nature and standing against those who would carelessly destroy that which also is part of what keeps us alive. The music of Nebula enthralls the listener and communicates this message through compositions that evokes the majesty of the earth we live on, the air that is the breath of our lives, and the water that is a part of who we are as human beings. Hytteballe has woven all of those emotions and more into the songs of Nebula and along with Grabow’s voice has intertwined a musical tapestry that will leave the listener appreciating the natural world that surrounds us.
The technical aspects of this recording are impeccable and the sound quality is first rate throughout, as well. Hytteballe and Grabow have revealed their hearts, and you, the lucky listener, get a front row seat via your listening device to that revelation. This music will wend its way into your spirit and remain a part of you long after you have silenced your player; definitely deserving of a place in your music collection.