I have fairly mixed opinion of Illumination. On the one hand it is a classic example of ‘New Age’ music: melodic, unthreatening music that encourages you to relax and just go with the flow. Where ever that may take you. I liked New Age music when it first came about . . . in the 1980s; I’ve gotten a little tired of it now. On the other hand, there is a clear jazz influence that reminds me of Shadowfax, and I like Shadowfax very much (they are in my regular playlist, in fact.).
Craig’s background as a bass player is clearly heard in his emphasis on that instrument and the overall percussive quality almost every song carries with is. He does a lot of layering, which I think is meant to convey complexity, although in some cases I think it is actually meant feel enlightening. I fund it frustrating, actually. There were a lot of songs that had great beginnings, but then some element was added that threw the dynamic off. That addition might be a new instrument, or a change in tempo, or the stopping of a n instrument I was enjoying.
Illumination was nominated for Best Electronic Album of the year in 2009 by ZMR Music Awards. This is a group of worldwide broadcasters in the New Age, World, Electronic, Solo Piano, and similar categories.
For me, however, Illumination is just ‘ok’. Not great, not bad, just not something I would think of to play on a regular basis.
~review by Lisa Mc Sherry
Artist: Jamie Craig
Craig Sound Productions, 2008
CD 54 mins