Composer-synthesist Meg Bowles (b.1957) began her musical journey as flutist and completed formal studies in classical music performance at both Northwestern and Boston Universities. Upon her graduation from Boston University in 1979, she chose to embark upon a career in investment banking, and eventually earned an M.B.A. in finance from Columbia University in 1984. After working as a derivatives trader for several years, she left the investment banking field in 1992 to devote more time to pursue advanced studies in shamanism, Jungian psychology, and psychoanalysis, and to create and produce electronic space music.Meg's first two CDs, Inner Space and Solstice Dreams, were released in 1993, followed by critically-acclaimed Blue Cosmos in 1996. During those years she developed a musical association with David Bilger, Principal Trumpet of the Philadelphia Orchestra, which resulted in several commissioned works for trumpet and synthesizer. The first of these commissions, Night Sun Journey, was premiered by Mr. Bilger at the 1996 International Trumpet Guild Brassfest, followed by the premiere of Places Where Rivers Meet at Washington National Cathedral in 1997. These pieces and other works for trumpet and synth are included in the CD From the Dark Earth (1999), with David as the featured soloist.|
- Hymnus - [8:48]
- Migration at Dusk - [8:42]
- The Ridgewalker - [8:19]
- Chalice of Shadows - [5:42]
- Berceuse for a Star Child - [5:52]
- Evensong - [10:51]
- Time and Light [15:01]
In addition to receiving airplay on various syndicated programs such as Echoes and Music from the Hearts of Space, Meg's work has appeared on two compilation albums - The Other World (Hypnos Recordings) and Soundscape Gallery 2 (Lektronic Soundscapes), both released in 1998. Meg also contributed the opening and closing soundscapes for the Zodiac series of recordings, a 12-CD classical crossover set released in 1999 by Angel/EMI.
Her fifth CD, A Quiet Light - a collection of six contemplative ambient works which explore reflections of the numinous in nature - was released in 2011, followed by The Shimmering Land in 2013, which was voted Best Ambient Album by Zone Music Reporter. Her co-producer and mastering engineer for all of her recordings is her husband Richard Price, a Grammy award-winning producer, mastering engineer, and president of Candlewood Digital LLC, a classical music recording company based in New Fairfield, Connecticut.
Meg's newest CD, Evensong: Canticles for the Earth (2018) is a meditative reflection upon the ritual spaces of evening, both light and dark, and a tribute to the beauty of planet Earth.
In addition to her work in electronic music composition, Meg is a licensed psychoanalyst and member of the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis, and has cultivated a private practice specializing in creativity and trauma. She lives in Connecticut with her husband Richard, their daughter Hannah, and their two Akitas.
Although the word “Evensong” most often refers to the traditional Anglican Church service, various forms of prayer and song at the end of the day have been practiced by humankind across cultures for thousands of years. On a personal level, US-based composer Meg Bowles finds being outdoors during this time of day can be a very powerful antidote for a turbulent world. “Evensong” draws inspiration from the essence of evening- a time of contemplation and reflection- as well as the idea of a practice of gratitude as expressed through a song cycle while also being rooted in the land, lake, and sky where the composer lives. In addition, throughout this body of work Meg felt compelled to hold the tension between major and minor harmonies as well as between metered and unmetered time. Thus, the music featured on the 63-minute “Evensong - Canticles for the Earth” is a beautifully crafted collection of uplifting, contemplative and emotive ambient space music of a floating, gentle swirling nature with subtle rhythmic structures surfacing sideways occasionally.
The fourth track “Chalice of Shadows” taps into an even deeper level, a darker edge of twilight which can be perceived as haunting and mysterious while “Berceuse for a Star Child” following next is meant as a cosmic music lullaby for the Star Child in all of us. A sense of grace as well as contemplating on the vastness of the cosmos make up the 11-minute title piece, a lament for the wildness that has been lost, especially for the disconnection of our soul with the earth, her creatures, her cycles.
“Evensong’s” 15-minute finale “Time and Light” displays a soft mourning, bittersweet and intense outcome as the soft glistening music shifts from stark turbulence into a gradual, redemptive melting into timeless Light and a new beginning.
All in all, aficionados of meditative deep space drifts into the deep yet far end should make sure to check out this sonic marvel.
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
2018. Bert Strolenberg/SonicImmersion.org