Wednesday, June 10, 2015

CD Review – Narrow Path, by Matthew Schoening

Matthew Schoening is not only a brilliant composer and performer, but a musical visionary as well, with the talent, ingenuity, and technology to manifest what his mind’s eye sees and hears.

As he did on his previous albums, Schoening plays electric cello by himself without any accompaniment. But you would never know that just by listening to the CD.

The disc brims richly with the sounds of guitar, bass, violin, cello, synthesizers, and percussion, all generated by Schoening on his electric cello with the high-tech help of looping. Schoening literally is a one-man new age fusion ensemble.
As impressive as Schoening's technical abilities are, it's his compositional skills that elevate the material to greatness. Not only does Schoening have an ear for edgy and ethereal tunes, but he also has a knack for rhythmic arrangements, compelling orchestrations, and spellbinding sonic tones, all utilized in the service of both rapturous revelry and introspective reverie.
Standout tracks include “Odyssey,” “Discipline,” “Faith,” and “Narrow Path.” The last two numbers, “Surrender (Float)” and the epic 15-minute meditation “Breathe,” are pure transcendental brilliance.
Schoening has achieved something truly special here. This album is to cello what Andy Summers' The Golden Wire is to guitar. And like that CD, this one is a classic that will stand the test of time.
--Raj Manoharan

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