This new album by Sante is a tribute to the oceans of our planet. Sante is an award-winning keyboardist and composer, and she returns to the ambient genre in this musical offering. She has been a member of Greenpeace for many years, supporting their efforts to save the oceans and sea life. The album draws attention to the joys and problems our oceans face.

The title has a double meaning. It references the clarity and purity of water as seen in sun light, but also to the notion of clear thoughts, to educating people to the dangers of pollution and the risk of ocean species extinction.

The album is mostly instrumental and produced with synthesized sounds. Sante uses the keyboard to mimic the sound of water dropping, moving, gushing, and flowing. Track 1: Clear Light begins with droplets and shifts into a full synth sound that pulses with life and energy. Track 3: Salacia's Dream taps into the sound-effects of being underwater. The sounds ripple and distort. Cries like whale song penetrate the texture. A few wordless vocal lines are included in some of the songs.

"Clear Light" is a wonderful ambient-genre production. Offerings from ambient composers typically feature intensely driven percussion. That's okay if you're in the mood for it, but sometimes the percussion overwhelms the melodic and harmonic contents. Sante has a very light hand with rhythm. There isn't a lot of obvious percussion, but rather gentle pulses and rhythms that support and frame the melodic/harmonic content. Some of the numbers, like Track 6: The Color of Coral, and Track 7: Fractured Echoes, allow the sounds to float through a dreamy waterscape. Ambient is a great way to capture the alien nature of outer-space, but Sante shows it's just as effective for capturing the mysteries of under-space, the hidden universe beneath the ocean's waves.

I loved this CD from the first time I heard it. It's compelling and evocative, gentle and moving. It's on my new favorites list! Highly recommended.

~review by Elizabeth Hazel

Artist: Stephanie Sante
9 tracks, 56:26 minutes
CD $14.95, mp3 $8.91