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World Music CD Reviews New Age & Avant Garde

Peter Phippen

By Paul-Emile Comeau
Published April 24, 2007

Shadows Of Dawn

Most New Age music is pretty vapid stuff, but Native American flute music is one of its more worthwhile subgenres. Although Peter Phippen played rock and avant-garde jazz before discovering the flute, there are virtually no vestiges of his earlier musical explorations left on Shadows Of Dawn, his fourth album for Canyon. A mere reading of the tracks, which have titles such as “Ritual,” “The Dawning,” “Invocation,” “Oceans of Time,” and “A Silent Place,” reveal that Phippen doesn’t stray too far from the musical pursuit of serenity, a not ignoble goal. Besides the Native American flute, Phippen plays the shakuhachi, the transverse bamboo flute, the Anasazi flute, and the bone whistle, though specific information on the flutes used for individual tracks isn’t provided. “Devotion” stands out by featuring two guests on crystal singing bowls and African drums, in place of the synthesizers and programmed percussion that dominate the other tracks.