MoonWater is also an enhanced CD and includes a video piece with music by Rudy Adrian and Nick Prosser (baroque flute).
- MoonWater [4:34]
- MidnightFantasyAngel, part 1 [5:26]
- Summer Fields [7:19]
- MidnightFantasyAngel, part 2 [12:39]
- Ancestral Legacy [4:15]
- The Legend of Kristy Lynn [7:09]
- Under Orion [5:17]
- Three Views of a Japanese Garden, part 2 (live) [10:39]
- Three Views of a Japanese Garden, part 3 (live) [6:03]
All music written, recorded and performed by Rudy Adrian
MoonWater is the FIRST US release by internationally renowned musician and New Zealand native Rudy Adrian. This new body of work is the culmination of On MoonWater, Rudy dives deep again into subtlety and meditative minimalism, using a single synthesizer–a Yamaha SY77. MoonWater is a beautifully crafted study in deeply serene and contemplative soundscapes.
Like I mentioned before in other reviews: for a deep and passionate analysis of this album, read Richard Gurtler's review inside out... It's almost poetic and so extensive... And the thruth!, like all 5-star reviews on this album. It deserves no less than 5 stars, it's an ambient-pearl...
New Zealander Rudy Adrian (who, I can proudly say, is also from Dutch origin!!) delivers his magnum opus so far with MoonWater... To me this album represents the ultimate ambient-feel in a way that if you just started collecting ambient-albums, or want to get to know more about this utterly interesting and beautiful genre, this album is one of the first ones you will have to buy!! Well, for me it starts with the package: the stunning artwork by Jeff Kowal (a splendid ambient-musician himself under the moniker Terra Ambient). The artwork gives off the atmosphere of the music on it, so clearly! The first track, titletrack "MoonWater" starts of as if we're waking up on a beach somewhere on this magical planet which is shown on the cover... Looking around to see where we are, and getting overwhelmed by the beauty of this place...This track sets the mood by it's soft drones, synth-washes and tinkling sounds, a lovely start of this journey!! "MidnightFantasyAngel, part 1" gives this Harold Budd-feel with it's piano themes combined with light drones and synth textures, and again those lovely tinkling sounds, to emphasize the beauty of this planet we landed on and slowly we stand up to explore this new world... On "Summer Fields" it feels like we just woke up to a brand new day with sunshine and brightness. These are what I call the typical ambient-synth-waves which I love so much...Well, I mean if they're well-played and in the best chord-progressions, and that's exactly what we're getting here! Breathtaking is the right word, because when you close your eyes you can see all this beauty in front of you... The green landscape, soft waving treetops, and an eagle circling in the sky...please let me stay there for a while!! Next up is the longest track "MidnightFantasyAngel, part 2". We stay in a place of beauty.., with again some stunning Harold Budd-like piano themes combined with drones and synth-washes (& guitar?). This reminds me a of the STUNNING 3-CD by Harold Budd with John Foxx & Ruben Garcia 'Drift Music', 'Translucence' & 'Nighthawks' which I must mention here, and I really think is also a must-have for ambient-fans!! But back to this wonderful album... On "Ancestral Legacy" it starts to rain and our landscape changes... Besides the (wonderful) sounds of rain falling down, we hear synth-waves, light percussion like rattles, shakers, beautiful flute melodies and the tinkling bells are back... It's obvious that we found shelter underneath some big leaves and look at this cinamatic landscape we're in... (another beauty!!). "The Legend Of Kristy Lynn" is yet another ambient-pearl where the rain has stopped, and our journey continues... synth-waves, light drones, twinkling sounds and some thunder-like percussive sounds in the distance create a magical atmosphere! "Under Orion" is one of my favorites of the album. We're back on the beach, when darkness falls, and a million stars are twinkling in the sky, like children of the bright shiny moon... Combined with the sound of ocean-waves, it gives me goosebumps all over... Again I have this feeling I want to stay here forever!! These synth-waves with drony sounds underneath make this track feel majestic! "Three Views Of A Japanese Garden, part 2" is a live-track, and gets back to the combination of piano-like synth themes with drones underneath... Then all of a sudden we get chanting vocals, like singing prayers...beautiful!!! Again it sets a mood that you want to stay in... The vocals are done by Rudy himself, and it brings a very special addition to this album!! Then it's time for the closing track "Three Views Of A Japanese Garden, part 3" which is also a track recorded live. It's the perfect ending to this wonderful journey... It has a sort of sad flow, as if we have to leave this wonderful planet after this unforgettable journey: light drones with spacy synth melodies take us out of this extraordinary world, back home...
Thankfully we can make this journey over and over again by playing this album, an absolute ambient-CLASSIC!!
2015. Sander Berkvens / The Netherlands
New Zealander Rudy Adrian, the master of deeply tranquil, heartwarming soundscapes, has released "MoonWater" as his 10th album (including his co-works with Nick Prosser and Ron Boots) and debut release for US label Lotuspike back in 2006.
The opening title piece, "MoonWater", unfolds with enormously relaxing natural sounds (cicadas, ocean waves...) and synth washes masterly enhanced by fragilely tinkling bells. Intensely evocative nocturnal journey just begun!!! Follows first part of "MidnightFantasyAngel", leaded by a warmly inviting intimate piano, with highly visualizing drones, which are again nicely enriched by shimmeringly swirling bells. Magnificently nostalgic masterpiece and the first highlight proving the bravura of its sculptor!!! "Summer Fields" with serenely spreading washes are as much soothing as your wanderings through these brightly beautiful and relaxing places. Second part of "MidnightFantasyAngel", the longest composition clocking over 12 and half minutes, moves into deeper, slightly more colossal drone terrains revealing all kinds of fascinating images. Rainy sounds and expressive flute, bell and shaker magics guide "Ancestral Legacy" into mysteriously grandiose primordial realms. "The Legend Of Kristy Lynn" keeps on wonderfully evocative route with deeply droning walls nicely interacting and harmonizing with flickering passages. A composition presenting Rudy Adrian at the very top of his craft!!! The next composition, "Under Orion", is sculpted with celestial washes and crystalline field recordings of ocean waves, another highly immersing tranquilizer!!! "Three Views Of A Japanese Garden, Part 2" is a live version, which has a quite close connection to "MidnightFantasyAngel" composition. Nocturnal drones navigate it into absolutely magnificent domains, which are highlighted by Rudy's wordless vocals, it's like exploring another new instrument skillfully matching the overall context. The use of voc als is quite rare in this genre, but Rudy's vocal performance left me immediately breathless. This is a stunningly thrilling and magical listening experience, bravissimo, Rudy!!! More please!!! Part three of "Three Views Of A Japanese Garden", again a live version, closes this amazingly dreamy journey with all the grace and tranquility.
Aural peacefulness of "MoonWater" is precisely portrayed by splendid cover images created by Jeff Kowal/Terra Ambient. With "MoonWater" Rudy Adrian has definitely entered into my Ambient Hall Of Fame!!!
2012. Richard Gürtler / Bratislava, Slovakia
US-based ambient producer Rudy Adrian has been releasing albums since the late nineties, both as limited CDR runs and through labels such as Groove Unlimited, and Moonwater represents his first release on Pennsylvania ambient specialist imprint Lotuspike. Originally conceived as the result of unforeseen studio mishaps; both Adrian’s newer computer setup and sampler stopped working more or less simultaneously, forcing him to work only using a 512k Macintosh and a single synthesiser, the Yamaha SY77, in many senses, Moonwater shows Adrian returning by necessity to the sonic landscapes that coloured his earlier works. From the outset, the murky sleeve art depicting full moon rise over a beach landscapes suggest the familiar stock-in-trade totems of New Age ambient music, preconceptions firmly backed up by the contents of this disc.
The opening title track certainly sounds akin to the sort of atmospheric yet calming music that Michael Stearns might have selected to soundtrack a magnificent time-lapse scene of clouds moving over the Utah desert in ‘Baraka’, warm harmonic synth pads bleeding out beneath ringing tones and the distant whir of insects.
‘Midnightfantasyangel Part 1’ meanwhile manages to inject a somewhat more foreboding edge, with exotic, vaguely Middle Eastern tones and dark looming sub-bass swells adding a tangibly ominous edge, but throughout proceedings are tempered with an overall reassuring vibe. Indeed, pretty much all of the nine tracks gathered here are aglow with warm harmonic tones and a reassuringly optimistic vibe that’s often a little more Ken Davis than Tangerine Dream.
As late-night chilled background listening, ‘Moonwater’ certainly fulfills its purpose, but I personally found that it veered frequently a little too close to pastel New Age crystal shop ambience to prove a truly engaging listen.
Rudy Adrian is equally at home doing all-out sequencer blitzes or doing mellow ambient and new age music. MoonWater falls squarely in the latter category, a blissful reverie of soothing sonics.
Crickets and gently lapping water start the title track, followed by warm synth pads. "MidnightFantasyAngel, part 1" approaches similar new age territory to The Healing Lake, predominantly a piano piece with a couple bright shimmering electronic touches deftly mixed in.
"Summer Fields" is perhaps softest of all, just a couple of quietly floating synths that seem to melt into the background; absolutely lovely. "Ancestral Legacy" features beautiful wood flute.
"The Legend of Kristy Lynn" is shrouded in ethereal mystery, delicate and flowing. "Under Orion" is classic space music in the style of Jonn Serrie. The last two tracks are excerpts from a live recording from December 2003, and fit very well with the rest.
MoonWater is thoroughly relaxing and peaceful from beginning to end.
Phil Derby / Electroambient Space
In this work, synthesist Rudy Adrian explores areas little trodden of Ambient, discovering unreal worlds of contrasting sounds to our ears, which the author knows how to skillfully braid in kaleidoscopic textures. The music is mostly of a cosmic personality.
The evolution of the pieces tends to be slow, hypnotic, and it makes our imagination fly to other planes of reality, at times evoking the same sensations of dreams.
Rudy Adrian is one of the most talented and imaginative composers of electronic music among this generations of synth artists. For years he has successfully spanned and infused many different areas of electronic music within his compositions. From his successful Sequencer Sketches Volumes series of cds through his various improvisational live performances, Rudy has had the distinction and accolades of creating some of today's most original and exciting works of electronic music.
His most recent recording, titled MoonWater and released on the Lotuspike label, is another milestone in his career and a credit to his remarkable talent as a composer.
Relying solely on rich atmospheric textures and floating ambient soundscapes Rudy has created another masterpiece of sound and style.
2007. John Garaguso
With MoonWater (63'26"), Rudy Adrian celebrates the touching and easy moods of environmental musical fantasy. This work hopes to take the listener out of the real world, with all its uncertainty and isolation, and into Adrian's personal Eden.
The nine idyllic compositions are quieting to the mind and envision a harmonious and tame nature. Adrian unitizes a number of interesting methods to portray and convey his convictions including, native flute, field recordings, lilting piano melodies, pleasant synthesizer tones and his own voice, all routed through cavernous reverberation. The grandeur of MoonWater's consonant harmonies is grounded by detailed and imaginative electronic modulations just beneath an aural glow which seems to surround each composition.
The result is beautifully flowing and transporting music, contemplative for the mind yet warming to the heart.
2006. Chuck van Zyl / Star's End
This release from 2006 offers 63 minutes of foggy ambience.
Tenuous textures of ethereal substance provide a swirling foundation for sedate piano passages that express solemn chords in a relaxed fashion. Sparkling, understated effects drift throughout the mix like mobile starscapes. Periodic swells cascade over the harmonics, lending brief instances of vitality, then things recede to the customary pool of tranquillity. Waves of fragile tones drift with vaporous consistency, generating a foggy overcast.
Peering through this hazy firmament are layers of additional electronic mist which provide a gradual interchange of rarefied atmospheric disposition. These exchanges occur with great lassitude, defying observation and generating an easygoing transference of silvery effluvium.
The chords waft like theoretical condensation, elusive and flimsy as they create a moody flow.
Buried in the mix are sounds of twinkling definition that infuse the illusion of remote celestial events. This deceptive presence gives the soundscapes a feeling of expansive reach, linking the stately moon with the placid oceans of earth.
These compositions are sparse, with only a hint of melodic content. The tunes rely more on harmonic ebbs and flows to accomplish their existence.
The last two tracks comprise two-thirds of a live performance around Christmas of 2003.
Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity