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Atlantis

4.7 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 7, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Why David Arkenstone isn't a top line film composer is a mystery. His music has a cinematic orchestral sweep that seems destined for Hollywood epics. Yet, except for some small films, the silver screen has eluded Arkenstone, so he works out his cinematic ambitions on his albums. A gifted multi-instrumentalist with a wide orbit of influences, Arkenstone has a fondness for the grandiose statement and the sentimental mood. They are present in abundance on Atlantis, his paean to the mythical lost continent. His touchstones range from Coplandesque exuberance to Cecil B. DeMille biblical epics, complete with faux Middle Eastern melodies and rhythms. There are some nice touches, including some Adiemus-like chorales courtesy of Adiemus singer, Miriam Stockley. But Arkenstone's romantic arrangements swamp his compositions like the Red Sea closing on the Egyptians. Most Hollywood soundtracks are full of tried and true emotional strategies. Arkenstone utilizes them all on Atlantis--the only problem is, he doesn't have a film. --John Diliberto
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 7, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Narada
  • ASIN: B0002RQ2SU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,210 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of David Arkenstone for a few years now and after giving Atlantis a thorough listen I can say that he has impressed me with what I think is his best work yet. Walking and dancing the line between the grand and epic and the intimate and heart-tugging, this is one fine piece of work. There are no real "breaks" between tracks, so it feels like one long and epic journey and boy is it a good one.

The Dream Of The Gods- This starts slowly with beautiful keyboard and choral effects with a few "hits" on piano. The feeling is one of mystery and beauty. Later, a grand string melody kicks in with heavy percussion to give you the impression that you are off on a sweeping adventure to take you to a place you could only visit in your dreams

Tower Of Light- This has a little bit of the same flavor as track one, but to me it feels much different. It's a bit slower for one thing, and the woodwinds and strings give it a feeling that is a very little bit less "epic", but one that is every bit as exotic and lovely. Very nice vocals by Miriam Stockley (Adiemus) contribute to that. I love the percussion in this too.

In The Garden Of The Citadel- To me, this piece carries a distinct Middle Eastern flavor in its percussive style and in the instrumentation of it as well. The flute and harp are featured beautifully with other winds and what sounds like a guitar or other Middle Eastern instruments. It's the slowest piece up to now on the CD and it sounds almost noble. It felt to me like taking a lonk trek through a desert locale.

The Temple Of Poseidon- Starting off with soft horns, this is given a calm sense of regality. The harp, flute and string melodies are lovely, and they depict a loacation of great beauty and wonder.
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Format: Audio CD
I like this CD so much, when my first one developed a minor glitch I didn't even wait to see if it just had dust on it, I went right out and got a new one. I can't bear to have it skip any notes.

I write to this music; sometimes I put it on just before I go to bed so I'll have neat dreams. If you allow it to, this music can conjure up white-stone palaces, people in flowing white robes, and a myriad of ancient seascapes. It takes me to an exotic bazaar where they sell goods nobody knows about today; the streets are thick with people from every corner, the air full of dead languages.

This is my favourite of David Arkenstone's efforts, so evocative of a time and place that he must have been there once. Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Absolutely beautiful symphonic music, 10 tracks in total. Very rich, very peaceful, very "full". Makes you feel like you are journeying somewhere. A little booklet is included, providing a blurb about Atlantis, the mythical (?) island of times long past. A little blurb on the "feeling" of each musical arrangement in story follows in the booklet, each about Atlantis, the island named after Poseidon's first-born, Atlas. The back cover of the booklet says, "This music is my tribute to the majesty and mystery of the great civiization of Atlantis. May the spirit that guided their earliest generations find its way into our hearts soon."

I actually did this CD as a free-flow, let-yourself-go experience, a combination of automatic writing and open-eye meditiation. I just journeyed all over Atlantis to wonderful experiences. I will share it with you now. (And, no, I am not ON anything.) But I want you to know that with this music, it IS possible.

With my eyes closed and the music playing, what can I imagine? (yes-I did open my eyes to type in between--DUH!)

1) The Dream of the Gods (4:44 minutes--interesting number)
In this movement, I can see myself looking across the sea. The mist slowly begins to clear as a magnificent city of gold and crystal appears in the distance. As I travel closer and closer, across the water, I see a complete civilization. They are an advanced group and are welcoming me into their city, to teach me the ancient secrets of so many years ago.

2) Tower of Light (6:08)
I am on the beach, walking toward a cylindrical tower of light. I look to my left and I see dolphins playing in thye sea. They are jumping unbelievable high, as though they are performing for someone. I look back at the column of light.
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Format: Audio CD
This is the first album from Arkenstone that i've heard, and personally, i think it's worth taking a listen. Sure, as one reviewer said, if you've listened to New Age long enough, his stuff is fairly predictable, but in my opinion it's still better than some of the New Age artists out there. If he's as good with all his music as he was with "Atlantis" i'd say give him a chance. Now on to the music.

I think the album as a whole is well done. I must admit to having my favorites that i listen to most of the time, but that doesn't mean i don't think the other tracks are worth hearing. Each song is well-crafted to fit a particular stage of development in Atlantis, from the moment it is created ("Dream of the Gods") to the moment of its end ("Fire and Water").

My personal favorites:

Festival of the Goddess - this sounds like the kind of music you'd hear at a festival - lively yet somehow dignified, with a lilt in its voice and a spring in its step. The people talking while the music plays makes you feel for a few moments as if you are really there among them, taking in the sights, maybe joining in a dance.

The Painted Sails - I am in total agreement with another reviewer who said this song made him or her think of pirates. But more than that, I imagined the ships from Atlantis taking off for lands beyond the known borders, full of goods to trade or simply out for adventure.

Below the Ocean - The Spirit of Atlantis - For sentimental reasons, this would have to be my absolute favorite track of all. The guest vocals courtesy of the lady from Adiemus are a beautiful touch. Stately, spirited and hopeful, i think it suits this particular aspect of the Atlantis legend. Whether the city ever existed, we'll probably never know for sure.
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