2019 / Dream Score Music
Review by Kathy Parsons
After releasing a series of singles over the course of about five months, Marc Enfroy released the full album, Surrounded, his sixth album to date. Enfroy has come to be known as a composer of cinematic, dramatic and very colorful music, and Surrounded fits that description perfectly. Enfroy’s goal for the album was to write “mini soundtracks that inspire feelings of awe and quiet reflection.” I find it really interesting that Enfroy has never visited the places he composed the music about, relying on impressions and his imagination for inspiration. His wife, Sharon Enfroy, co-wrote five of the eleven pieces on the album and composed one on her own. Marc Enfroy introduces Surrounded in his own words: “If this new music was a TV show, it would be National Geographic Explorer, surrounding you in the sights and sounds of stunning places around the world. The sound is colorful, neo-classical, piano-driven.” Enfroy mixed the album and Corin Nelsen mastered it. Guest artists include Joni Fuller on violin, viola and cello, and Jan Sullins on violin. Live strings make such a difference!
Surrounded begins with “Aotearoa,” which is the Maori people’s name for New Zealand. Both mournful and majestic, it’s a very powerful opener that sets the tone for the album. “Land of Fire and Ice” was co-composed with Sharon Enfroy and is a study in the extreme contrasts that are Iceland - from an icy glacier lagoon to an active volcano that closes the piece in full eruption! Piano and Joni Fuller’s strings create a dynamic soundscape. “Lavande de Provence” was also composed by both Enfroys and was inspired by the lavender fields in France. The gently-swaying rhythms make it easy to envision the graceful plants moving with the breezes. “Flight of the Monarch” is a favorite. Mostly piano and strings with synth orchestration, some passages are slower and more relaxed while others are more energetic and dynamic, creating images of masses of butterflies flying together. “Northern Lights” is darker and more mysterious. “Castle Corvin,” co-written by Sharon, also expresses a dark air of mystery - a place in Romania with so many stories to tell in its long history. (There are some really impressive photos of this castle if you do a Google search!) “The Initiatic Wells” refers to a place in Portugal that has become a tourist destination. Steeped in mystery and sadness, piano and strings really tug at the emotions (Sharon co-wrote this one, too!). “Lover’s Leap” is a Sharon-only composition and conveys painful loss and despair. Performed with piano and strings, I assume the abrupt ending indicates another tragic leap.
As you can see, there is a lot of variety in the music on Surrounded, but it is an exciting musical tour of places and the emotions they evoke. The album and its singles are available from Amazon, iTunes, CD Baby, and several streaming sites. Check it out!
December 19, 2019
Review by Michael Debbage