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Album Review: Earth Voyage
Joseph Sullinger
Cover image of the album Earth Voyage by Joseph Sullinger
Earth Voyage
Joseph Sullinger
2011 / Soundship Music
38 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Earth Voyage is the third release from classical guitarist Joseph Sullinger and is an eclectic blend of classical, world, and Latin music stylings. With the theme of oceanic travel, the music is often gently rhythmic and soothing without becoming ear candy. There is a strong, passionate pulse in some of the ten pieces while others are more on the dreamy, floating side. All of the compositions are Sullinger originals, and in addition to acoustic and electric guitars, he performs on electric bass, melodion, and percussion. Sullinger is joined by members of the Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra on violin and tuba as well as keyboards, synthesizer, percussion, voice, and drums. The Texas native has a strong background in a variety of musical genres that include classical and rock, and has been composing music since he was a young child.

Our voyage begins with “Drawn By the Wind,” one of the highlights of the album. Although it starts quietly and with a touch of mystery, it gradually gathers energy as it evolves and demonstrates several facets of Sullinger’s very impressive musicianship. The sounds of the surf and seabirds fit in perfectly with the guitar, violin, and exotic percussion. “Voyage” effectively alternates excitement with smooth, graceful passages, suggesting a sense of adventure calmed by untroubled waters. Sullinger’s guitar work is sparkling, clear, and very articulate. “Escape” slows down the tempo and glides effortlessly - contentment set to music. “Ships At Sea” is also very tranquil and peaceful, evoking images of boats gently rocking to the ocean’s comforting rhythms. “Another World” is also a favorite. Brighter and more upbeat, there are definitely rock influences in this one. The melody conveys a sense of mystery and the strong rhythm gets the blood pumping and toes tapping. “New Shores” is quite different from the other tracks in that it is more orchestrated. It is also more ambient at the beginning, developing a stronger guitar melody as it evolves, accompanied by orchestral instruments and synth washes. “Sands of Time” is darker and more intense. A feeling of urgency propels the piece forward, perhaps into unfamiliar waters, and then it fades out rather unexpectedly - much like time does. “The Ocean” is a brief coda that brings our voyage to a peaceful close.

I love classical and Latin guitar and am so happy to have discovered Joseph Sullinger and his music. Sullinger has been posting gorgeous videos on his site and on YouTube that illustrate the pieces with close-ups of his hands playing while fading in and out of ocean and other scenes that suit the music perfectly. Check them out when you have a few minutes to spare at josephsullinger.com. Earth Voyage is available there as well as on Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Recommended!
September 19, 2011
This review has been tagged as:
Guitar music
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Cover image of the album Earth Voyage by Joseph Sullinger
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