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Wondrous Journey
Part I


Composer: Alex Otterlei

Performed by: Vienna Symphonic Library
Alex Otterlei Music
RRP: £0.99
8 857674 45116
Available 19 March 2012

Wondrous Journey: Part I is the first part of an orchestral suite, in which the narrative music takes you on am exciting and spectacular journey of the mind...

Wondrous Journey: Part I is the first in a new series from Belgian composer Alex Otterlei. My first thoughts on hearing this incredible track were: "Damn! Why didn't Otterlei wait until he had enough of the segments together to release an album?" I didn't want to be teased with a mere 8 and a half mins... I wanted more! Much more! Then I realised what a clever idea this was. By releasing them on an ad hoc basis, as they are composed and performed, it allows the listener to go on the journey with Otterlei as he grows and allows the series to develop.

In fact, Otterlei's own notes bear this out. Writing on the idea behind the series, he states: "The composing process can often be regarded as a journey, during which the composer travels along the path he builds, often not knowing where it will eventually lead him, or which obstacles he will encounter along the way. In this sense Wondrous Journey: Part I describes both an inner and an outer experience of travelling, the journey itself being equally or even more rewarding than the ultimate destination."

Genius! Pure genius. The only down side is that I really was left wanting to hear more.

Over the years we've reviewed several of Alex Otterlei's releases including New Beginnings (2010); Horror on the Orient Express (2000); Xyanide (2005) and Where Evil Lurks: Special Edition (2006 edition of his 1994 album) and each time his skill at being able to manipulating the human senses never fails to impress.

With Wondrous Journey: Part I, Otterlei is finally able to perform his music with more of an orchestra "feel". While not an orchestra in itself, the Vienna Symphonic Library contains a comprehensive library of sampled instruments. The samples are collected in such away that it's possible to recreate almost any playing style. This is as close to having a real orchestra perform the piece without the costly expense of hiring an orchestra. On the whole it works well and Otterlei even incorporates his usual sound (that fans of Horror on the Orient Express will instantly recognise) to give it his own personalised stamp.

This is a brave, and beautifully composed track which at times brought to mind the work of Gustav Holst's The Planets.

Another incredible release from Otterlei, and as this is available for well under £1... well, you'd be a fool not to download it.


Darren Rea

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Wondrous Journey: Part 1 - Single - Alex Otterlei
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