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Album Review: Music in the Silence
Ron Clearfield
Cover image of the album Music in the Silence by Ron Clearfield
Music in the Silence
Ron Clearfield
2006 / Crystal Mountain Publishing
53 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Master cellist/composer/conductor Ron Clearfield has created a masterpiece that melds classical, jazz, world, folk, and new age stylings to convey a message of love, healing, and global unity. Music in the Silence” is Clearfield’s third release of original music and is simply gorgeous. Clearfield has a rich background in a wide range of musical pursuits in classical and pop music as well as film and television scoring. The cello is such a soulful instrument, and in Clearfield's hands, it sings, cries, dances, and offers solace and hope. Clearfield accompanies himself on most of the tracks with piano and keyboard, and several other acoustic musicians appear on two tracks. A true fusion of many musical styles, this CD offers something for just about everyone.

The title track opens and closes the CD with a message of unifying humankind with our common experiences rather than being divided by our differences. Almost hymnlike, the cello and keyboards combine to express a powerful image. “Appalachian Fantasy” is a cello solo that weaves “Amazing Grace” and “Simple Gifts” in a classical fusion style. Sometimes the cello strings are bowed and sometimes they are plucked, reflecting the style of the Appalachian Mountains where Clearfield lives. “Himalayan Reverie” was composed in honor of the many teachers who have come from that part of the world. Soulful, stirring and evoking the feeling of vast open space, this is a real beauty! “Song Of a New Earth” is one of Clearfield’s earliest compositions. A fantasy for flutes, strings, and percussion, it tells of a vision of a healed world - shimmeringly beautiful and at peace. “Transformation” is a musical trilogy for cello and piano, and contains my three favorite tracks on this CD. The first of the three pieces is “Soaring.” The cello has the haunting melody with the accompanying piano doing runs and arpeggios that create color and a gentle rhythm. “The Challenge” is a bit darker and more of a cello/piano duet, describing life’s difficulties and frustrations. The third part of the trilogy, “Resolution,” also very much a duet, tells of acceptance and compassion leading the way to understanding. This trilogy alone is well-worth the cost of the CD! “Global Awakening” is an intense ensemble piece with the message that our greatest hope for peace lies within each of us as individuals rather than with our world leaders. The closing version of the title track was composed for seven cellos and contrabass, and Clearfield plays them all! A lovely closing to a spectacular album!

Music in the Silence is an album of incredible beauty that will definitely be on my Top 10 list for 2006. Bravo! It is available from amazon.com, cdbaby.com, and other online and retaill outlets.
June 6, 2006
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Kathy's Favorites: 2006