Geoff Hall is an instrumentalist and composer writing new age, orchestral-ambient instrumental music. The songs are orchestrated to depict images, stories and feelings. Elements of electronic, film, ambient and neo-classical genres are fused in this music, which gives the music a modern and slightly epic flavor.

Track 1: The Run moves right into a mix of orchestral and yoga groove sounds. Track 2: To Go Alone leans toward the ambient-electronic genre while including a lot of string orchestra textures. The title track, Track 3: Understanding the Signs begins with a light string pizzicato melody accompanied by a string orchestra. This song is more reminiscent of film score music. It’s a thoughtful piece that unfolds gradually. Track 4: Toward a Perfect Moment shifts back toward new age-ambient. A strong melody is expressed over layers of synthesizer, percussion, and strings. Track 5: Gone But Not Forgotten begins with guitar and piano sounds. It’s soft and a bit melancholy but becomes more assured as the song progresses. Track 6: Perseverance returns to the orchestral neo-classical idiom. This song gradual gains texture and velocity as more and more sounds are added to the mix. Track 7: Knowing draws on elements of space-ambient music. A lengthy, effects-drive introduction gives way to a traditional exposition of a long choral progression. Track 8: Something More is a mellow string orchestra song that’s very restful and calm.

Overall this is a well-done freshman CD. The instrumentation is a judicious blend of traditional and modern sounds presented in a range of overlapping musical genres. Some of the tracks would have benefitted from further exposition of the thematic material and mixtures of the various track sounds, melodies and textures. Hopefully Hall will continue to develop his style for future albums!

~review by Elizabeth Hazel

Geoff Hall 2016
8 tracks, 37 minutes
available on CD Baby - CD $11.99, download $9.99