Ronald van Deurzen is an artist whose music lives in the "new age" ecosystem; it's principally where he is filed, and websites focused on new age music are where you see him reviewed. He has another world he lives in, though; soundtracks for a variety of media. If you didn't know this, after listening to his single, "Hopeful Bliss", would have been a dead give-away. After hearing it, your first question likely would have been "what movie do I remember that from?"

This isn't a bad thing; at least, it doesn't have to be. Mr. Van Deurzen is clearly comfortable orchestrating for a diverse suite of instruments performing (I believe, for I saw no other credits) all of the parts himself either live or with electronic reproduction. The piece itself, "Hopeful Bliss", sounds bang on the money for its title. This, though, brings me to what we can call the reservation to my recommendation. If this was in fact the 3rd from the last track of an adventure movie, where our heroes have come face to face with utter defeat but now begin to kindle hope of survival and even victory... well, you'd hardly be surprised. For my taste, when I'm making the conscious choice to listen to something other than a movie soundtrack, it's not entirely a compliment for me to be put in mind of one. More subtlety, greater nuance, perhaps even a bit of inscrutability all go a long way with me. After hearing "Hopeful Bliss" for the first time, you might very well guess its title. Again, this isn't a crime, but it is rather on the nose.

This single by Mr. Van Deurzen is capably crafted, and there are numerous circumstances where it could be the exact piece of music that you're looking for. In the end, I suppose my only caveat is to say that it likely would feel out of place in a New Age playlist.

~review by Patricia Mullen

Artist: Ronald Van Deurzen
2020, Ronald Van Deurzen
US $1.73 via Bandcamp