Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Spotlight: Immortelle by Deuter

Born in Falkenhagen, Germany, composer and multi-instrumentalist Deuter (pronounced “Doy-tur”) is one the earliest pioneers of new age music. Having recorded is first album in 1971 and with over sixty releases to date, his music is especially popular in the spa and wellness industry – long heralded as being among the best of its kind for massage, reiki and various relaxation therapies. Inspired by nature and dedicated to healing, Immortelle consists of eight compositions that are each named after a medicinal plant. Deuter plays a variety of instruments throughout the album, including flutes, keyboards, piano, guitar, cello, violin, harp, strings, harpsichord, chimes and hand drums.

Named for a mint plant that exudes a spicy fragrant essential oil, “Monarda” leads the album with celestial chords and earthy cello, which are eventually joined by an arrangement of strings towards the end of the piece. I’ve long found Deuter’s music to be generally well-suited for early mornings, and this composition aptly brings to mind images of the sun’s rays peering upon the horizon of an early dawn. The mesmerizing “Sonnenbraut” follows next and is my absolute favorite track on the album. Just over ten minutes in length, delicate flute and icy bells dance among layers of ethereal chords in an almost circular pattern, as hypnotic percussion gently guides this enthralling composition along. The exotic nature of this piece combined with its frosty atmosphere feels evocative of the Himalayas, bringing to mind images of an ancient temple hidden among the misty snow-capped mountains. Named for a flowering herb, “Traubensilberkerze” is led by an arrangement of harpsichord and woodwinds, which are accompanied by synthesizers and East Asian musical instruments. Possessing a harmonious juxtaposition of Far-Eastern and medieval European elements, the piece exudes an almost folkloric and mythical quality. The watery “Lily of the Valley” is another favorite, which highlights a subtle piano melody throughout. Entrancing hand percussion gently guides the piece along, as it’s accentuated by crystalline chimes and suspended synth-tones. “Binguga” is perhaps the album’s most heavenly moment; it gets its title from a plant listed in the 12th writings on healing plants by the mystic nun Hildegard von Bingen. The composition’s mysterious swell of angelic synths seems to capture a vision of the sky opening up to reveal a beam of light pouring through. I’m also especially fond of the closing piece, “Cumaru”, with its drifty piano, softly swirling tones and wordless vocal intonations. This dreamy composition seems to paint a picture of evening, as it lulls the listener into a restful dream state.

Deuter is unquestionably the gold-standard of new age healing music and Immortelle is no exception to his excellent body of work. Easily one of his best in recent years, this is a landmark album for him, which is certain to join the ranks among some of his most notable and outstanding recordings. A gently moving album full of ‘high vibration’ signatures, Immortelle is not to be missed by anyone looking to heal, connect and relax – or bring the same to others! ~Candice Michelle

For more information please visit the artist's website. This album is also available at Amazon and iTunes.

This review was originally published on Journeyscapes Radio on 10/25/16.