Seductively graceful and contemplatively hushed, Meg Bowles’ return to music, A Quiet Light, is a classic spacemusic disc that’s extremely easy to get completely lost in. In her liner notes, Bowles talks about the concept of liminal space, “a territory between the worlds which can feel intensely private yet vast.” A Quiet Light becomes the key to that territory, like gates easing open in front of you as you listen. It’s a deep relaxation disc, but it has passages that percolate with subtle energy–like the delightful, unexpected moment when the opener, “Nocturnal Flight,” suddenly shifts from gossamer drifts to rise just slightly under a cool, upbeat melody. In every track, Bowles’ long, soft pads absolutely teem with emotional phrasing, and her atmospheric touches, like the stream running under “Forest Glade,” are laid in with a perfected mastery to elevate the overall effect. Bowles is at her best here with “Chant for A Liquid World.” This is, quite simply, a stunning track that heads directly to your soul. With sacred-music overtones provided by sampled voices and a breath-slowing pace, this prayer in sonic form is, for me, the centerpiece of the disc. It eases into the horizon’s-edge feel of “Beyond the Far Shore.” Sighing chords and a gently played melody dance quietly together and the overall feel is like watching the onset of twilight.
The six tracks here glide by in exactly one hour, and it is a perfect hour of listening. Bowles knows how to pull at your emotions with sound, and she spends the time guiding you through her ideas and intentions. You will feel every note here. I genuinely cannot say enough about this disc. Calm, beautiful and superbly affecting, A Quiet Light is a Hypnagogue Highly Recommended CD.
Available from Meg Bowles’ web site.