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David Arkenstone

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David Arkenstone - Valley In The Clouds [Narada Mystique N-62001] (1987)

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ITEM# SR-NAN62001
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Artist:

David Arkenstone

Title:

Valley In The Clouds

Released: 1987
Label: Narada Mystique
Catalog: N-62001
Genre: Electronic, New Age


T R A C K L I S T:
01 Ancient Legend
02 Stepping Stars
03 Valley In The Clouds
04 Princess
05 Eastern Dream
06 Night Wind
07 Rain
08 Sun Girl
09 Lost Temple
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Album Review

Johnny Loftus [allmusic.com]

Valley in the Clouds, David Arkenstone's Narada debut, established the new age composer's effortless blend of worldly, contemporary instrumental, and conventional pop/rock textures, and laid the foundation for his successful career. The nine electronic soundscapes of Clouds seem guided by a restless desire to keep things interesting. Not too interesting, mind you -- this is, after all, new age, and it's built for relaxation. But ''Stepping Stars'' begins as a series of synthesizer washes, with two half-formed melodies fluttering by each other, only to transform itself with another melody halfway through. The third part unites the song's drifting sections and makes it much more than a simple keyboard experiment. The same goes for the title track, where a breathy flute adds exotic depth to the track's loping rhythm. While Arkenstone's building blocks will be common to new age listeners -- swirling synths, world music references, and light, insistent percussion -- it's in the way he arranges his songs that make them his own. ''Eastern Dream'' incorporates harp and violin, while ''Rain'''s pattering keyboard lines travel over and across one other, suggesting the hypnotizing quality of a morning thundershower. Valley in the Clouds ends with more nature-noise atmospherics, bringing in triumphant keys and percussion for the rousing ''Lost Temple.'' The album is a solid debut that's definitely lush and relaxing, but never boring.

David Arkenstone's Biography

Heather Phares [allmusic.com]

Grammy-nominated composer David Arkenstone blends global, cinematic, and rock elements into his version of new age music, which has appeared in film, television, and video game scores as well as dozens of his own albums. A music lover since age ten, when he moved to California from Chicago, Arkenstone immersed himself in all kinds of music and played keyboards and guitar in numerous bands as a youth. It was when he discovered the lush arrangements and exotic approach of Kitaro that Arkenstone ventured into new age music. The increasing synergy between computer technology and musical instruments also inspired him; most of his works were created partly or entirely on his Macintosh along with synthesizers and guitars. This blend of electro-acoustic textures was showcased on albums like 1998's The Celtic Book of Days and works from his band Troika, which released a series of albums from the mid-'90s to the early 2000s.

By that time, Arkenstone's solo career was thriving, with several Billboard hit albums and three Grammy nominations (for 1992's In the Wake of the Wind, 2000's Citizen of the World, and 2004's Atlantis) to his name. As the 2000s continued, Arkenstone branched out, incorporating Egyptian and tropical elements into his music, along with the sounds of the Earth in his Natural Wonders Collection series. He also worked on several acclaimed video game soundtracks, including 2007's World of Warcraft: Taverns of Azeroth and 2010's World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. His horizons continued to expand in the 2010s, and his work reflected the growing influence of ambient and chillout within the realm of new age music. By the time of 2016's Fairy Garden, Arkenstone also returned to the more vibrant, mystical approach of his early work along with forays into dark ambient sounds. In 2017, he paid homage to the romantic culture and cinematic history of Italy with Italian Nights.
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