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Album Review: When Eternity Touches Time
Jim Ottaway
Cover image of the album When Eternity Touches Time by Jim Ottaway
When Eternity Touches Time
Jim Ottaway
2020 / Jim Ottaway
76 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
As he often does, award-winning Australian electronic musician, composer and producer Jim Ottaway has created an album that does not fit neatly into any one category or genre (yea!!!). When Eternity Touches Time is a collection of twelve original electronic pieces that touch on eternity and the heavenly realms. Dedicated to the memory of Ottaway’s closest friend, Fr Reg Mills (1932-2019), the music covers many sub-genres of electronica including Berlin school, melodic electronic, ambient and even a dance-tinged track. Ottaway also creates music for films and television, and his recorded music has a very colorful and visual quality that goes beyond most ambient and space music. Ottaway hopes that listeners will experience all of the possible joys of eternity through the different sub-genres of music on this album. He recorded the tracks between August 2015 and April 2020 and then mixed and mastered them in the spring of 2020. The title was inspired by a quote from C.S. Lewis in The Screwtape Letters: “Live in the present, because the present is the point at which time touches eternity.”

When Eternity Touches Time begins with “Parallel Worlds,” a piece that starts out with a space music feeling before its driving, energetic rhythms kick in. Layers of a wide variety of sounds make this an upbeat opener. “Second Sight” is a bit more mysterious, with a quick rhythm and electronic sounds that range from smooth voices to metallic percussion, and much more. “Clouds Hide The Sun” had a very limited release as “Secrets Of The Zodiac” in 2017. This version has additional layers of instrumentation and has also been remixed. One of my favorite tracks, it expresses a sense of adventure and of moving forward (to me, anyway!). The title of “Diamonds In The Rain” presents a very vivid image to enhance the melancholy sound of the music and its hauntingly beautiful melodic phrases. “Perpetual Epiphany” is another favorite. It begins with an organ sound that could be coming from a church. A quiet rhythm stays in the background, building energy until it becomes a driving force and gradually moves closer to the forefront. The interplay of these very different styles makes it a fascinating piece from the first note to the last. The title track has a buoyant melody that overflows with joyous energy. This one will keep your toes tapping! “Isolated Realms” - also a favorite - is another study in contrasts, with an infectious, driving rhythm propelling a melody that would be quite subdued on its own - I love it! “Eternal Changelessness,” the 10+ minute closing track, has the drama and power of the music for the ending credits of an emotional film. Deeply affecting, poignant, and very beautiful, it is an intense and stirring close to a truly exceptional album.

When Eternity Touches Time is available from Amazon and iTunes/Apple Music as well as many streaming sites such as Spotify and Bandcamp. Don’t miss it!
July 22, 2020
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