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Music Street Journal

This is a good fit under progressive rock, but it’s got plenty of things like classical and jazz in the mix. One of the vocalists who guests on this disc has been featured on Pink Floyd albums. That would make this of interest to fans of Pink Floyd. I’d say the music itself would, too. There are connections to that sound for sure. This is quite a strong set that leans toward the theatrical side at times.

 
 
 
Track by Track Review
 
Intro

Electronic and symphonic in texture and tone, classical musical elements merge with powerful instrumental prog on this piece.

 
Cloudburst
Although not a huge change, this has more rock in the mix. The saxophone adds a lot to it, too.
 
When Night Falls feat. Durga McBroom-Hudson
This is very theatrical and dramatic. There is a lot of classical music built into it. The vocals are powerful. I would consider this the very essence of powerful and dynamic art rock. It’s definitely one of the highlights of the disc. Given the quality throughout, that says a lot.
 
Through the Dark feat. Ole Jacob Hystad
Seeming to combine jazz and classical, this is such a powerful piece of music. It’s dramatic and quite intense.
 
First Steps

This is less than a minute long. It’s quite pretty, but definitely more of a connecting piece than anything else.

 
Stratocumulus feat. Roger Pedersen/Ole Jacob Hystad

Although not a big change, this is another satisfying piece of instrumental prog. It has a lot of jazz and some space music built into it.

 
Air
This keyboard piece reminds me a lot of something Vangelis might do. It’s quite pretty and also a bit on the dramatic side.
 
Illuminate (feat Durga McBroom-Hudson)
There is definitely a dreamy vibe here. The vocals really soar. The sax weaves magic, too. This is another highlight for sure. It does call to mind Pink Floyd quite a bit, really.
 
You Will See Winter Turn to Spring
This is a very short and pretty instrumental. It continues the same basic combination of sounds we’ve heard throughout.
 
Does It Really Matter Anymore?

This is one of my favorite pieces of the whole set. It has some evocative musical passages. It also has great guitar soloing. It is particularly powerful instrumental prog.

 
Cumulus
Atmospheric and textural, this is pretty. It calls to mind Phillip Glass and also Vangelis.

 

Musicemissions

Norwegian composer and electronic musical wiz Christian Weldeis, clearly, a big Pink Floyd fan. Illuminate, his latest collection of atmospheric and highly charged soundtrack-esque material, features a Floyd backing vocalist (Durga McBroom-Hudson) and an overall feel of Floyd's later work. Think The Division Bell meets the ambient soundscapes of Brian Eno meets the progressive tilt of a Porcupine Tree. The music is mostly synthesized or digitally manifested, but the results are nonetheless powerful and moving, for the most part. 


While titling the first track of an album "Intro" is a bit laughable anymore, this track really does lay out a small sample of what the majority of Illuminate offers. It teases you with strings, a rock orchestra aesthetic. "Cloudburst" enhances this dynamic with the use of front-and-center guitar peels straight out of the emotiveDavid Gilmour handbook, and couples this with ample sax work, creating the aforementioned Pink Floyd feel in full effect. "When Night Falls" is the first track to feature McBroom-Hudson's deeply moving and melodic vocals, which are wrapped in a fusion of space-prog and metallic guitar. This is one of the better moments on the record, while the sax lines on "Through The Dark" stand out vividly on Welde's synthesized backdrop. The essential ideas behind Illuminate don't shift throughout the 11 tracks, but do work better at speicifc moments than they do others. By the end the overall impression is that you just listened to high-quality soundtrack work for a highly dramatic visual affair. 

Fans of later-era Pink Floyd are going to love Illuminate, while everyone else...well, who really knows? This is a unique blend of influences and sounds, as much a soundtrack as it is a collection of themes and variations that coalesce around a foundation of synthesizers and a flair for the dynamic and dramatic. Christian Welde has a clear knack for moving his listeners. The only real complaint is that the crescendos aren't always built with an eye for eventual impact. Sometimes the sound just explodes for the sake of it.

HISSIG (Norwegian)

Noen norske artister blomstrer frem i underskogen, uoppdaget av mainstream-media og publikum. Christian Welde fra Kopervik er en slik musiker. Han er nå ute med en ny EP, visstnok den femte i rekken. 

Bare for å slå det fast med en gang, dette er et hyggelig bekjentskap. «Lucid Dreaming» består av seks instrumentallåter, alle i et landskap ikke så langt unna tidlig Pink Floyd, Tangerine Dream og Vangelis – for å ta de mest opplagte referansene. I tillegg er her en kort ballade fremført på klaver, med mye etterklang.

 

– Temaet er drøm/refleksjon, og tempoet er deretter, sier han selv i en kortfattet pressemelding til HISS!G.
Alt sammen er svært vakker, men også svært stillestående, musikk. «A Ladder to the Sky» skiller seg litt ut, med noen små sitater fra Vangelis filmmusikk til «Missing» og «Blade Runner» helt mot slutten og bruken av dempede trommer. Ellers er det lite av den slags rytmiske innslag her, det hele holdes innenfor et stramt skjema av rene og beatsfri flytende stemningsøvelser.

Det virker som om han er klar for å stikke ut en ny kurs. Kompasset sier Drømmeland.

Det er vel og bra, men da må melodiene være tilsvarende sterke. Det er de ikke. Det hviler rett og slett noe claydermansk (som i Richard Clayderman) over denne EP-en (slik det forsåvidt også gjør over mye av Vangelis’ produksjon). «Avsluttende «Synaptic Connection» er muligens en hyllest til Vangelis «Invisible Connections» (utgitt på Deutsche Grammophon i 1985), som i mine ører er det mest spennende og innovative den greske synthtrollmannen har laget. Uansett virker det her som om han er klar for å stikke ut en ny kurs. Hvilken retning den går i? Kompasset sier Drømmeland.

IO Pages

The first song, Carpet Ride has a nice atmosphere, a Steve Hackett-like guitar sound by Roger Pedersen and the beautiful voice of Jan Toft. It is a bit like the CD Madcap Flaming Beauty by Tangerine Dream.

Welde also has jazzy elements, like the saxophone of Ole Jacob Hystad in Birds of Passage, but personally I'm not so found of the saxophone. The voice of Helene Bonander on the other hand, is beautiful and provides great atmosphere.

The amazing guitar work of Pedersen we hear in There and Beyond, along with the saxophone.

The Flight, by Alice Hellevik, is a very strong number. The same goes for the ambient-like Summer Forest, Meadows Edge, the classic Interlude and October Air.

What Place is This, again Helene Bonander and Pedersen, sounds like music from a musical and Touch The Sky sounds like film music.


Skywatching has an icy atmosphere that is appropriate to the country from which the composer comes. It is a beautiful and attractive CD with several well-played tracks.

Planetorigo.com

It took Norwegian keyboardist and composer Christian Welde no less than 11 years to release the follow-up to his debut album FairytalesSkywatching is now finally here for listeners to enjoy.

 
 

Welde, from the West coast of Norway, released a single / MP3 in 2006 calledDecember Song, but this album is his real successor to the 1998 debut.Skywatching features 15 tracks, and it all starts with Carpet Ride, with vocals that makes the song sound like a rather straight pop tune. The vocalist (from renowned Norwegian folk band Vamp) isn't too lucky with all details here, but the electric guitar-playing is quite good. There are more vocals onBirds Of Passage, a nice relaxing tune with sax and synths. I have always liked these two instruments together, the way Tangerine Dream did it in the late 80s / early 90s for instance. There And Beyond is a pompous guitar / sax-tune, somewhat similar to Welde's countryman Egil Fylling. The Flight is lightweight new age / pop with female vocals and flute, and I realize that I'm not a big fan of the flute in particular. Welde runs the risk of becoming a bit too sugary here.

Track 5 is Summer Forest, featuring quite exciting ambient soundscapes, which are rather welcome after the commecial opening tracks. Interlude is only 1:23 but is nevertheless an enjoyable melodic little tune. It's probably a coincidence that Horizonhas the same name as a track by one of Welde's musical inspirations, Øystein Sevåg, but this tune is in many ways how I would have wanted Sevåg to sound in recent years, i.e. letting the keyboards come to the forefront again.

I'm not a specialist on musical instruments, but on October Air it sounds as if Welde is playing on a vintage synth. In this phase of the CD I am starting to wish that he would speed up the tempo in his compositions, and become more energetic. That would help the overall feel of the album. What Place Is This has more of the pompous style with vocals and guitar that I'm not too keen on, and on Meadow's Edge I realize that Christian Welde is most interesting in the floating / ambient moments like here, where his keyboard sounds and production are both pleasant and professional.

Track 13 Touch The Sky is a symphonic-sounding cinemagic track which shows that Welde surely can make it good in the film music business. The title track consists of quite experimental collages of sound, before the almost 11-minute Haukeli closes the disc. Haukeli is a remote Norwegian mountain area, and this track sounds like Biosphere with more sound design than music. The track stops very abruptly after 10:48, which I found a bit peculiar.

It's quite funny to notice how the music goes from very commercial to comletetely experimental on this disc. Somehow I wish Welde would have ended up somewhere in between. That said, Skywatching has several enjoyable moments. Let's hope Christian Welde's third album will see the light of day before the year 2020.

 

Fairytales review:

Fairytales:

This is a great cd filled with dreamy music in the best tradition, but not so soft that it runs into new age.

This remarkable music is able to reflect the grandeur of nature surrounding the talented Norwegian musician Christian Welde, who takes you on a relaxing journey without things getting too quiet.

 

This musician has done well and sounds original in many ways. Only the second track is more up-tempo with a nice sequence & beat. Then things slow down again with descriptive soundscapes and twinkling sounds, which work like a warm banket in cold days.

 

The fourth track offers some vocal additions, in the eighth track flute is added to the engaging electronic textures. Undeniable, subtle influences of space music can be noticed in the following track "Change of Season" before the album concludes with two introspective soundscapes.

 

 

Not to mention that this cd is very well produced and composed for an amateur-recording (which is not the case, by my reconning!).

So it will be clear that I highly recommended this recording to those looking for a good piece of music... Website: www.christianwelde.com

© Bert Strolenberg

Peoplesound

Christian Welde's Fairytales album comprises a wide range of grandiose musical moods, ranging from the ambient, calming Encounter to the contagious sense of adventure of the outstanding Night Flight.
Welde describes his music as a "cinematic journey". The cinema is in the listener's opened mind, so sit back and allow the music to take you to a far away place. 

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