Dr. Clive Brooks is Amberfern, and AquaEssence is a collection of tracks that he has created to elicit the sounds and experiences that one has when they are on a beach. From “Avon Beach” to the disc’s final track, “Calm Waters Home,” Amberfern has deftly created a release that will elicit memories of days spent on the boardwalk, playing around a swimming hole, or bobbing around in the ocean. At a hair over an hour, AquaEssence contains considerable variation under the aegis of a unitary theme.
“The Enchanted Path” is the introductory effort on Day of Life. At four and a quarter minutes, the track still seems to go by like a flash. Each note created by Koch fits perfectly and sets the stage for the rest of the album. While “Flowers on the Mountain” barely reaches the three minute mark, the track is able to dovetail nicely into “Morning Silence.” The hopeful feelings that are elicited during the latter track provide listeners with a warm feeling that is fostered time and time again by later-album efforts, including Day of Life’s titular composition.
“Downpour” opens up Daytime Dreamer, and it provides listeners with a tremendously dynamic and up tempo feel. While there are not vocals present, the piano line that Akram lays down provides a considerable amount of narrative. The track taps out at a hair over four minutes and leads into “Dancing with the Wind.” “Dancing with the Wind” is a softer and more introspective effort, where Akram delves into the corpus of classic music and spins it into something that is current and contemporary. A wide array of instruments and sounds make this into a must-listen.
“Autumn Fall” begins Distant Sun, and the sheer amount of emotion that is showcased in this piano composition is impressive. There are no vocals here, but Karran is able to imbue this introduction (and the subsequent works on Distant Sun) with a nuanced and alluring sound. The four minute-plus run times that are commonplace on Distant Sun provide Karran with more than enough time to properly express himself.
The second part of “Into the Rising Sun” provides listeners with a considerably different set of instrumental elements than the initial one: Gandalf is able to link together the two through sheer ability, setting up listeners for “Reaching for the Sky.” “Reaching for the Sky” weighs in at 9 minutes (the disc’s longest), providing fans with an epic composition. The different movements in this track allow Gandalf ample opportunity to weave in disparate styles and influences.