NAPRA Review - 01-02/02, p.72
"...Using slow, repetitious phrasings and incorporating animal and nature sounds with his cello and synthesizer, he carries listeners away on a musical magic carpet ride..."
Solo performer: David Darling (vocals, cello, electric cello, piano, synthesizer, programming).
Recorded at Camp David, Goshen, Connecticut in April & May 2000.
CELLO BLUE was nominated for the 2002 Grammy Award for Best New Age Album.
Personnel: David Darling (vocals, cello, electric cello, piano, synthesizer, programming).
Audio Mixers: David Darling; Tommy Skarupa.
Recording information: Camp David Studio, Goshen, CT (04/2000-05/2000).
Photographers: R.J. Muna; Stephen Hill.
Arranger: David Darling.
This classically trained cellist may be familiar to new age listeners from his early works with the Paul Winter Consort or from his 20-year-strong solo career in the genre. Adjectives like "warmly lyrical," "soulful," and "contemplative" come to mind, and his sparse arrangements are unique in that he creates a personal string orchestra of multiple cellos with piano and keyboards (not to mention lush nighttime nature sound effects). That said, it's mostly a soft, serene vibe experience that cares more about an aural caress effect than offering anything distinctive melodically. There's a heavy, dark emotional feeling as well. Still, some of the titles offer a few tidbits for the listener's imagination. "Children" has a sweeping orchestral effect, while "Prayer and Word" plays like a gloomy day in the forest. There's a little more improvisational energy on "Awakening," but part of it feels like it's just an orchestra tuning up. Lovers of pure ambience will best enjoy "Morning," with its crisp running water, chirping birds, and distant, high-ivory tones. ~ Jonathan Widran