Like many instrumental keyboardists travelling has provided New Zealander Rudy Adrian with a rich source of inspiration. While the pieces here were played during his 2002 US tour (with help from various local musicians) this is not the straightforward live document the title might lead you to expect as the versions you hear on the album were actually re-recorded back in NZ under conditions as close to the gigs themselves as he could get, including the fact that each piece was 95% improvised. It might sound an odd way of doing things but hardly matters in the end as the inspirations and feelings behind the music still come through loud and clear.
Adrian's music has always had that sequential base that is inspired by the German artists of the 70s but he has used this as a springboard to his own unique musical visions. In this case, this has been mixed with skillfull use of varying sound sources that manage to bring the American wilderness to life. This is demonstrated by "Donner Pass" which is quite appropriate given that it was originally played in the Sierra Nevada or the excellent "Rock and Junipers" where Native American samples back the totally modern synthetics to perfectly evoke the environment where the original concert took place (Arches National Park in Utah, in this case). Likewise the opening "Japanese Garden" ably evokes it's title, although it's relative brevity, at just under 5 minutes means it acts more an an introduction to the main body of the album. Each track fades into the next which gives the album the feel of a complete musical 'suite' and provides some memorable atmospheric moments, not least when the haunting choir samples that grace the melodic "Island Of The Pirates" (where, I must confess, I can see no link between the melodic music and the title!!) carry over into the sequential "Final Sequence", giving the piece a nice evocative feel. Like those used on "Rail Corridor" the sequences are phrased just right to give the pieces the impetus they need, no hint of plodding here which is, of course, another point in Adrian's favour.
Music like this is often said to be an imaginary soundtrack and indeed the music does form pictures in your mind, making for quite an evocative mental travelogue. Adrian proves himself to be a quality musician once again on this release, forging his own musical identity all the while.
Artist Link: http://www.groove.nl